You see plenty of dirt and bugs outside in Shreveport, Louisiana, but you might not realize how many of those pollutants are coming into your home. It’s important to know what your air filter is trapping, and whether it’s working well enough to meet your needs.
Understanding Indoor Air Quality
Inside your home, there are many things that can negatively affect your indoor air quality. With homes being sealed to conserve energy, people are breathing more recycled air. That’s good for your energy bills but it can compromise your health. Poor IAQ can increase asthma attacks, encourage allergies, and cause headaches, flu-like symptoms, and respiratory concerns.
The most basic air filters are able to trap a lot of contaminants and are designed to prevent pollutants like pollen, bugs, dust, bacteria, and mold from cycling through your home.
More advanced filters can trap contaminants like cigarette smoke, viruses, smog, cooking oil smoke, pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens.
Pollen gets into your home through open windows, on pets, through your clothing and hair, and through poor insulation. Once it’s in your house, it circulates until trapped by the air filter. Bugs tend to find their way in under doors, through dryer vent gaps, and through appliance vents.
The air filter traps smoke that cycles through your home, but you still put your family at risk for second-hand smoke when you light up a cigarette or pipe inside your house.
Bacteria and viruses enter your home through raw food, kids, pets, and other things you touch. Fortunately, you can limit germs and help your air filter by frequently washing your hands and encouraging your family and guests to do the same.
Mold grows in your home because of excess humidity. Your bathroom, basement, and kitchen are all places to watch for mold growth. Mold causes serious health concerns, so try to eliminate mold in your home instead of relying strictly on your air filter to catch it.
It’s inevitable that smog might enter your home, depending on the pollution levels in your city. Even if you keep the doors and windows closed, smog still could enter through the attic, garage, or other areas that are poorly insulated.
Cooking Oil Smoke
Limit the amount of smoke that comes from the kitchen in order to keep cooking oil and grease smoke out of the home.
Make sure to brush and bathe pets regularly to avoid excessive pet fur and dander in your home.
Finally, dust mites are tiny versions of spiders that make their home in your mattress, carpet, curtains, and closets. These creatures enjoy dampness, so watch the humidity levels in your home and clean your bedding and carpeting regularly.
Preventing Build Up and Protecting IAQ
You don’t want to let any of these pollutants build up in your air filter. Your air filters are only useful if you clean or change them regularly. Follow the product’s directions, or seek the advice of your HVAC contractor to learn how often you need to change your air filter. A good rule of thumb is to check your filters monthly. Dust is a sign that you have a clogged air filter so pay attention if it seems you have more dust collecting than usual.
Have your IAQ tested to make sure that your efforts are paying off, and talk to your HVAC contractor about any concerns. Upgrade your air filter if your current one isn’t getting the job done as well. Between your air filter and your diligence, you can improve your air quality, and keep pollutants at bay. Between your air filter and your diligence, you can improve your air quality, and keep pollutants at bay.
If you have questions about your IAQ or your HVAC air filters, we are the people to call. Contact Pioneer Comfort Systems at 318-795-8000 to schedule an appointment today.
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