Poor air quality can be a problem for Bradenton homeowners year-round, and the cooler weather during the fall months introduces its own set of issues. Find out how to beat unhealthy autumn air with effective natural and tech-savvy methods.
To stay comfortable during a hot, humid Florida summer, most homeowners keep the doors and windows shut while turning up the air conditioner. If cooler fall temperatures might tempt you to air out and clean up your home, be sure to do this consciously.
Many standard cleaning supplies will make your home look spic and span, but they fill the air with harmful gases. Avoid inhaling these chemicals for days and weeks to come by making the switch to natural cleaners. Household products like white vinegar, baking soda, and citrus can make your house look just as great, without the harsh chemicals.
While you’re at it, dispose of any unhealthy household cleaners, along with paints and solvents. The latter often emit airborne chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause serious health problems down the road. Remove them from your home now so you don’t have to risk inhaling small amounts from leaky containers.
Green plants bring life to your space, and they can also make a big difference in your indoor air quality. In fact, several common houseplants actually filter VOCs from the air, so you and your family don’t have to breathe in these harsh chemicals.
Aloe vera, a popular succulent, filters out benzene and formaldehyde, two nasty VOCs that are often the byproduct of paint and household cleaners. Spider plants, one of the easiest indoor plants to grow, filter out carbon monoxide and xylene, a VOC that results from leather and rubber. Golden pothos, a vibrantly leafy plant, soaks up formaldehyde, which can also come from adhesives used in furniture making. Bamboo palm, a great plant for shady spots, filters out trichloroethylene, which is used for making electronics and building materials.
High humidity is a fact of life in Florida, but that doesn’t mean you should let it go unchecked in your home. Excessive humidity can lead to a range of environmental problems like mold and health problems like dust mites. If you’re dealing with constant humidity problems, running the air conditioner can help stop the problem in its tracks since air conditioning units remove moisture from the air as part of the cooling process.
For a large-scale humidity problem, install a whole-home dehumidifier. These units connect to your HVAC system and work hard to pull moisture out of the air supply so your air conditioner doesn’t get overloaded. When you have both a dehumidifier and an air conditioner, your HVAC system will run much more smoothly and provide cleaner and more comfortable air.
Utilize Ceiling Fans
If you’re dealing with humidity problems but aren’t ready to take the plunge and invest in a dehumidifier, ceiling fans are a great low-tech alternative. Ceiling fans do wonders to make your home feel cooler and more comfortable, since the moving air evaporates the moisture from your skin. Ceiling fans also help circulate air through your home, and depending on the direction they rotate, they can make rooms feel much cooler. In the summer, rotate fans in a clockwise direction to move cool air downward, and rotate them counterclockwise in winter to distribute warm air.
Filter the Air
One of the easiest ways to keep your indoor air quality in check is to change your HVAC system’s air filters regularly. Change the filters once a month during hot weather, and change it at least once every two or three months during the rest of the year. Fresh air filters trap all kinds of airborne irritants, including pollen, pet dander, and dust. Change the filter yourself, or enroll in an air conditioner preventative maintenance program to have the filters changed before and after the busy summer months.
Is unhealthy autumn air a problem in your home? Contact Aqua Plumbing & Air for an indoor air quality consultation today: (941) 306-3715.
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