Changing the filter on the HVAC is something the homeowner does as a way of protecting the HVAC system and allowing it to function better. But, it may also be one of many defenses we can employ to protect our air quality. Here are some facts about poor indoor air quality:

THE FILTER 

The filter is the shield that protects the coils and vents from incoming particles such as dirt, dust, dust mites, mold, pet hair, dander, and more. Furthermore, because they aren’t introduced into the system, they can’t travel through the system and be spread to various rooms of the home.

Pollen is a particularly bad problem in the Vegas area, and warmer days bring pollen from grasses, flowers, and trees. Pollen, combined with the air inversion or wind that occurs sometimes, brings its own kind of suffering for those with allergies. The runny noses, sneezing, itching eyes, headaches, sore throats, and asthma it causes are all symptoms of poor air quality.

SUFFERING INDOORS

Even those homes that have meticulously sealed from outdoor allergens can have poor air quality as a result of the contents or activities in the house. Some causes, such as pets, are readily apparent. But, others are a little less obvious, although they’re worth addressing. 

COOKING FUMES

Cooking grease is a contributor to poor air quality in two ways: it creates an odiferous and unpleasant greasy haze, but also, the particulates cling to walls and cabinets, creating the perfect adhesive for dirt and scum to cling. 

There are two ways to manage cooking fumes. The first is to use the vent fan when cooking, especially on the range or stovetop. The second is to treat the buildup on kitchen walls and cabinets with a degreasing product regularly.

VACUUM  CONTAMINANTS

The reason HEPA filters for vacuums have become so popular is that vacuum cleaners throw small-particulate debris in their exhaust. Using and cleaning a HEPA filter on the vacuum cuts down on the amount of material that is reintroduced into the air. Dusting before vacuuming, and frequent mopping will also help.

BEDDING 

Bedding, pillows, and mattresses can become heavily infested with mites, who live on the dead skin cells sleepers shed. Washing bedding frequently, and using a mattress cover, pillow cover, and duvet will protect bedding and minimize mites. After ten years, a mattress can double in weight because of the debris, so an old mattress should be replaced.

Unused clothing should be stored in dressers and closets, and the doors and drawers kept closed tightly to prevent the spread of clothing fibers and dust.

MOLD

Mold can be highly toxic, but not only to the allergy sufferer: even a non-sensitive individual can suffer when mold is present.  The use of the humidity fan during showers or bathing and prompt repair of plumbing leaks will prevent the chance for mold to grow. Homeowners should have mold areas treated promptly by a professional unless they’re minimal.

FUMES

Painting projects should be enjoyed outdoors, or windows and doors opened during painting walls with low VOC paint. Use of air fresheners, scented candles, bath bombs, perfumes, scented fabric softeners, cleaners, and soaps can cause or exacerbate allergy symptoms. Even an attached garage can set off the CO2 meter if the door is left open!

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

Throw rugs and welcome mats should be placed at every exterior door of the home. If an extremely sensitive allergy-sufferer lives in the house, people may remove their shoes at the front door. The welcome and entry mats should be cleaned frequently, as should any pets. Use caulking and seals to prevent roaches, and by association, their allergy-producing fecal matter.

TABLETOP AND WHOLE-HOUSE FILTRATION SYSTEMS 

We offer installation of air cleaning and conditioning equipment as well as treatments that will help improve air quality. If you feel your indoor air quality can be improved, why not schedule testing and treatment? We can help you select the best option, tailored to your situation and needs.

TIPS FOR HIGHLY SENSITIVE INDIVIDUALS

Pets should not be allowed in the bedrooms or bed of a sensitive individual. If a home has particularly sensitive allergy sufferers, hardwood floors and tile are easier to clean and hold fewer contaminants. If a ‘new smell’ emanates from newly-purchased furniture or other large-scale items, homeowners should consider putting them in storage or a different location until the material has had time to ‘breathe.’

PERIODIC HVAC SERVICE

During a periodic HVAC service, the technician will change the air filter, lubricate the moving parts, perform other diagnostic tests and tasks, and clean areas the homeowner can’t reach, such as coils and other components. This will also give the homeowner a chance to discuss various filters with the technician. 

Living with allergens and pollutants can be unpleasant. But, with a little planning and some routine maintenance, a homeowner can drastically improve the air quality in their home. Let us help!

Hacienda Air is a locally owned HVAC company offering air conditioning, heating, ductwork, air quality, and more to residential and commercial customers in North Las vegas, Summerlin, and surrounding areas. Callus today at (702) 707-4953.