Last Updated on August 5, 2021
If you’ve noticed lately that your air is smelling a bit musty in your home, you’ve started feeling ill more often, or you find your home to be overly muggy or dry, you may want to consider your home’s air quality! Many people take indoor air quality for granted, but it is actually a complex issue that can cause all sorts of problems if unchecked.
Why Should I Care About My Home’s Indoor Air Quality?
Ensuring good air quality is incredibly important, and knowing how to reduce air pollution at home can help increase the quality of your air which has many benefits! Air purification might be top of mind due to the global pandemic, or you may want to increase your at-home air quality because you’re spending more and more time in your home.
Since we live in a northern climate, the average Albertan spends 70% of their time indoors. That’s a lot of time to be breathing in the same kind of air! If you’ve started working from home, that means your time indoors is predominantly in the same space, making it even more important to increase your home’s air quality. Read on for the best ways to reduce air pollution at home!
What Are The Risks Of Poor Air Quality At Home?
Poor air quality can affect both your health and your home! It can:
- Cause mold and mildew
- Create unpleasant smells
- Cause allergy-type symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, congestion, coughing, and headaches
- Cause frequent nosebleeds
- Lead to chronic illness symptoms like chills, fever, muscle pain, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath, and rashes
How Can You Tell If Your Home’s Air Quality is Bad?
If you are having physical symptoms of poor air quality, take a look around you at your home. Your air quality is likely poor if:
Your humidity levels are off:
The right level of relative humidity (between 15-40% in Alberta, depending on the season), is important to ensure comfort and prevent bacteria growth. If this is off, it can be easily fixed using a home humidifier, dehumidifier, or even house plants. Typically, you will want to keep the humidity lower in the winter months to prevent indoor frost.
Your vents, ceilings, and surfaces are overly dusty:
If you have excess dust buildup around your house, you may want to look into your air quality. Filters should take care of excess particles, but too much dust can make you sick – check your filters often!
You have evidence of mold and mildew:
Mold and mildew growth can be a sign of poor air circulation in the home. If your home has a musty smell, or you spot green and black mold on damp surfaces, your humidity level and circulation could be off.
Certain rooms are hotter or colder than others:
Cold and warm spots in your home are indicators of poor airflow and indoor air quality issues. Air is likely not being distributed properly to all areas, leading to zones of stale air in the home.
Your home doesn’t smell fresh:
Effective air filtration and distribution systems should help eliminate unpleasant odors from your home. If your home smells musty, it could be a sign of a poorly functioning system.
How Can I Improve My Home’s Air Quality?
1) HEPA Air Purifier Systems & Filters
For a quick fix, HEPA air purifier systems can be placed in the rooms you spend the most time in. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air or high-efficiency particulate arrestance, and HEPA filters are mechanical filters that reduce air pollution incredibly. These filters are made from thin fibres of glass and contain an activated carbon-based element. Lincolnberg homeowners can purchase a HEPA filter to use in their high-efficiency furnaces.
2) Homeshield UV Light Purification System
Homeshield UV Light Purification Systems are a fantastic customization option from Lincolnberg Master Builder. The purification system uses medical-grade UV lamps to purify your home’s indoor environment. The UV lights remove the ability for mould and bacteria to build up in your HVAC system, improving efficiency and air quality. The UV lamps output 99% sterilization, which kills bacteria and contaminants, reduces the effects of allergies and filters all air entering and exiting your HVAC system.
3) High-Performance Furnace Filters
High-performance filters are definitely worth the extra cost! The high-performance filters reduce the amount of dust and animal hair from your HVAC system, so they improve air quality and can help with seasonal and animal allergies! If you’re looking for a quick and easy improvement to your home air quality, changing to higher performance furnace filters is a great way to do so!
4) Ventilation Maintenance
Another way to improve your at-home air quality is general maintenance. Changing your furnace filter regularly is incredibly important. You should also be sure to have your ventilation system cleaned every three to five years (potentially more often if you have pets). It’s also important to clean your furnace regularly (every 2 years), the vents are important, but your furnace is the source, so you should ensure it is well maintained. Another tip is to organize your furniture so that there is at least 18 inches between your furniture and air vents, this promotes free airflow.
Maintaining high-quality air in your home is incredibly important for your health and safety. When building with Lincolnberg Master Builders, be sure to ask about all our air purification options!