Reduce Purposeful Pollutants
Some pollutants cannot be avoided like pet dander or dust. However, others can be easily avoided by making a few changes to your household rules. In particular, no one should smoke inside the house. Even ignoring the risk of direct second hand smoke (which has long been associated with increased risks of illness), smoking can cause build–ups of many allergens, clog filters, and even change the color of your wall paper and paint.
You should also use proper ventilation or take any toxic fumes outside. This includes painting, cleaning with heavy chemicals, and the use of oil or gas fuelled appliances without proper ventilation.
Test for Potential Contaminants
Always have a carbon monoxide detector in place with working batteries. Test it once a month and check the actual readouts to make sure it is properly calibrated. Additionally, tests for radon–which can be emitted from the ground around your home–are important, ensuring you catch and remove any sources of this deadly gas before it builds up to unsafe levels in your house.
Repair Any Leaks
Leaks can occur in your roof, your foundation, and your ductwork and any of those leaks can cause a decrease in air quality in your house. Water leaks in particular can lead to the presence of molds and mildews that will quickly begin to circulate through your ductwork and into your common rooms.
Additionally, leaks in your ductwork can cause gasses and fumes to enter the breathing air of your home, a problem that should be detected immediately by carbon monoxide detectors. Fixing these leaks will help to reduce contaminants and reduce your energy bills.
Have Your Cooling and Heating Systems Cleaned
Dirty air conditioning coils and filters, debris filled ductwork and clogged outside compressors can all lead to an increase in contaminants in your home. Ideally, annual cleaning should take care of these problems, but you should also check to make sure ducts are clean and vents are not blocked. Even during the winter months, keep a close eye on your air conditioner outside to ensure it is not clogged or blocked by tree branches, mud or debris.
Not only does annual cleaning and maintenance ensure excellent air quality, it helps to reduce the workload on your appliances, ensuring they last longer and use less electricity to get the job done.
Proper Ventilation Helps
While air purifiers and filters are a great first line of defense against air pollutants, ventilation will also help. Most airborne debris and dust can be removed simply by cycling air. When air stagnates inside a sealed house, bacteria and other pollutants are able to build up. Purchasing an energy recovery ventilator can not only help to keep air coming in and out of your house in the summer and winter, but it will also reduce the cost of heating and cooling that air.
When weather is more moderate, opening doors and windows can also help a great deal in cycling air through your home.