5 Tips for Better Indoor Air Quality
Improving the indoor air quality Florida homes can present more challenges than you may expect. The warmth and humidity that make picnics, beach trips, sunning in the lanai or golfing enjoyable almost every month can affect contaminants. Pollutants in the air can impact health, concentration, allergies and restful sleep. Air filtration enhances an HVAC system’s effectiveness and traps as much as 95 percent of air pollutants. UV lighting systems can destroy microorganisms at first sight, creating superbly clean air. Some tips on improving your home’s air quality can give you a guide about how to achieve it.
Decorating with Air-Filtering Plants
Many species of palms and ferns provide beauty in your home and help clean the air you breathe. Accustomed to living in low light in their natural habitat, they can thrive in an indoor environment. NASA conducted experiments on indoor plants that can remove contaminants from carpets, ovens, synthetic materials, glue and chemical cleaning solutions. A variety of plants can filter household toxins without harming pets, but many cannot. The NASA study recommends the dwarf date, areca, broadleaf lady and bamboo species of palms. Boston fern, spider plant, dendrobium orchids and lilyturf can beautify while filtering the air. Many other varieties can help purify the air, but they may have toxic effects on animals. While you can enjoy the benefits of decorating with plants’ aesthetic beauty, your home can experience lower levels of carbon dioxide, dust and pollutants. You can make sure that they pose no health issues for your pets by reviewing the list of safe houseplants. When you select larger and leafier plants, you can expect better filtration. However, even one houseplant in an average size room can make a difference that increases with the number you select.
Installing a Home Air Filtration System
Pollutants and allergens can enter your home so unobtrusively that you may not even think about the effect on the air you breathe. In Florida, opening windows during most months brings fresh air as a pleasant experience that most other states cannot enjoy. As it exchanges your indoor air for sun-kissed, outdoor breezes, it removes contaminants and odors. Exhaust fans can remove cooking odors and fumes with vents that open to the outside, and a welcome mat at your front door helps limit the pollutants that family and friends may bring in on their shoes. Frequent vacuuming and dusting can rid your home of dust mites, mold spores, dirt and pet dander, contaminants that your HVAC system alone does not adequately control. While you can make extra efforts to maintain a healthy environment in your indoor air, nothing can succeed as well as a home air filtration system. A uniquely effective approach to eliminating harmful indoor pollutants, it attaches to your system’s air handler and captures airborne particles. Media filters produce as much as 40 times the effectiveness of traditional filters, and electrostatic technology delivers even better results.
Preventing Mildew and Mold
Florida’s welcoming warmth invites anyone who has grown tired of living indoors during the long, cold months and coping with ice, snow and hard-to-start cars. Just as life in other states requires extra effort to manage the challenges that the environment presents, Florida residents must accept some inconveniences as well. Bacteria and mold tend to occur in the humidity that occurs naturally, and they thrive wherever moisture accumulates. Warm showers create wet surfaces in the bathroom that can promote growth unless you wipe them down, and the steam can cling to windows and sills. Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on the west side and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Florida holds the distinction of having the most humid climate of any state in the country. Cooler weather tends to produce lower levels of humidity, and the process of learning to control it in indoor spaces helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
Meeting the Demand for Clean Air with Ultraviolet Light
A recommendation to change the filters in your air conditioner appears on almost any environmental website that you visit. Your equipment can benefit from the advice. Your HVAC system works better and has fewer maintenance issues when you keep dirt and dust out of its working parts. Some filters allow particles as large as ground pepper to pass through, a test that you may conduct to prove it to yourself. However, whether you use the least expensive filter or the very best, none of them can clean the air you breathe as well as a home filtration system. UV lighting systems provide an even more effective way to improve the level of air quality, and it ensures better care of your system and cleaner air to breathe. Your HVAC system circulates airborne viruses and bacteria without killing the microorganisms or pathogens that can cause disease. Ultraviolet lighting helps your equipment clean itself of microbial pollutants that can accumulate on coils, filters, ducts, and drain pans while improving the air quality that you breathe. UV lighting systems can reduce your energy use by as much as 35 percent, help lower maintenance costs and enhance operating efficiency.
Reducing the Source of Contaminants
Technological advances can significantly improve the air’s breathability and cleanliness in your home, but some well-meaning, ordinary products can make the job harder. Every pollutant that contaminates the air requires removal unless you can prevent it in the first place. WebMD recommends avoiding synthetic fragrances that manufacturers include in air fresheners, carpet cleaners, deodorants, detergents, dryer sheets, fabric softeners, furniture polish and hair sprays. that can emit chemicals that affect the air. Many fragrances come from petroleum products and contain phthalate particles that make plastic flexible. Alternatives that you may consider include mild cleaners that have a natural scent or no artificial fragrance. Aerosol sprays emit ultrafine particles that affect the purity and cleanliness of indoor air. Fresh air can help dispel that buildup of toxic chemicals and enhance filtered air conditioning benefits.