Because of the pandemic, people had to stay indoors most of the time. And with the possibility of the coronavirus spreading through the air, it’s now important more than ever to consider the quality of the air you breathe indoors.
Aside from contacting the coronavirus, poor indoor air quality can lead to illness and non-specific symptoms. You can even develop respiratory problems if you’re constantly exposed to poor indoor air quality. For people with pre-existing conditions such as asthma and allergies, poor indoor air quality can worsen their suffering.
To improve the air quality in your home and prevent the spread of COVID-19, here are steps you can take.
Assess Your Health
According to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, you must first assess your health to determine air quality in your home.
If you notice any change in your respiratory health, particularly after an indoor activity such as cleaning or dusting, you may have poor indoor air quality. However, if this change occurs at the same time each year, it can be because of pollen in the air that enters your home.
If you don’t experience trouble breathing outdoors, that means you have poor indoor air quality. It’s time to do something about it.
Assess Your Ventilation Situation
Assess the status of ventilation in your home. Check all windows and doors. Are they often closed? Check your air conditioner and dehumidifier, too. Are they working properly?
In rooms where moisture is an issue, windows should be always kept open. Bathrooms, laundries, and kitchens are often places where water is present. When there is water, mold can quickly develop. Molds are known to cause respiratory problems. Keep windows open in these areas to improve ventilation.
If your air conditioner is not working properly, it can circulate poor indoor air quality inside your home. Make sure it is regularly maintained.
Ventilation and Airtightness
The Industry further explained that you should introduce fresh air into your home while maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature and conserving energy. They suggested installing mechanical ventilation such as fixed wall vents, ducted air systems, and reverse-cycle air conditioners. However, they must be regularly cleaned, especially at the start of winter and summer.
Air-tightness is also crucial to improving air quality, especially if your garage is attached to your house. Petrol and diesel fumes are hazardous to health. They can leak into your home if your garage door isn’t airtight. Prevent contaminated air from entering your home.
Improve Natural Ventilation
Air from the outside, especially if it’s not polluted, is the best air you can breathe. However, you need to bring it indoors. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are several ways you can do this.
One, some machines can help let natural air enter your home. If you have a bathroom exhaust fan, heat recovery ventilator (HVR), energy recovery ventilator (ERV), HVAC system, whole-house fan, or evaporative cooler, use them regularly. These machines often have intake controls that allow natural air to enter your home. Air conditioners can also perform this task, but not all types. An air conditioner should have a vent or air intake to do the job.
The EPA also suggests keeping windows open, even those apart from the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room. However, stick to machines mentioned earlier instead if it poses the risk of falling, causes an asthma attack, or triggers allergies.
Having screened doors can also improve natural ventilation. A sliding door that opens to the yard is one of the best features your house can have to allow fresher air indoors. However, make sure that it has a screened division for safety and security purposes. Manufacturers like Safeway Security Screens can build modern doors made from professional-grade material and customized to your taste.
A screened door ensures that your little kids can’t venture outdoors unsupervised. It also secures your home from intruders. Thankfully though, it can let fresh air into your home without having to fully open your doors.
Clean and Filter Indoor Air
The EPA suggests air filtering machines, dehumidifiers, and air cleaners improve indoor air quality. Use pleated air filters in HVAC systems instead of ordinary furnace filters. They are more efficient in filtering air particles. Just make sure to change them every three months.
On the other hand, Dehumidifiers ensure there is low humidity inside your home to prevent molds from developing.
For extra filtration, use air cleaners recommended by the EPA. Also called high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners, they filter air particles from sneezing, coughing, singing, and even talking.
Understanding how natural ventilation works can significantly improve the quality of air inside your home. This can help you and your family breathe better indoors. However, the best way to breathe fresh air is to spend some time outdoors.
When summer starts, you get to go to the beach for some fresh air. But don’t forget to follow distancing protocols when you do.