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4 Steps to Make the Air You Breathe at Home More Healthy
You already know and feel this, but we’ve spent much more time at home recently than we have ever done in the previous 50 years. We spent a bunch of that time making our homes more comfortable and livable. For many of us, those changes are permanent as we add home offices, and gyms, or make updates around the house. While spending so much time in our homes, we are forced to pay attention to the minor updates we’ve ignored for so long. For example, the chipped paint in the hall, that little spot of mildew in the shower, and the smoke that fills the kitchen every time we fry bacon in the oven. But some of those issues could be relatively easy updates. But what do we do about the stuff that’s not so easy to resolve? How do we keep the mildew from coming back? How do we get rid of the dirty air particles we’re putting into the air when we cook? And is it ok that I smell all these cleaning chemicals every day? Good questions.
Little did you know, it can be an easy fix to improve your indoor air quality. Most homeowners own appliances and products that can improve indoor air quality, but few use them properly.
Luckily, improving the air quality in your home, and reducing the side effects of poor indoor air quality, can be done by following four (4) simple tips with appliances and products that are probably already in your home.
1. Be mindful of the harmful chemicals.
Disinfectants are great for surfaces but not so great for the air. When using household cleaners, be mindful of the harmful chemicals circulating in the air. To be safe, turn on your fresh air system, range hood, or bath fan to vent those chemicals out.
2. Keep humidity levels in check.
It’s more than just a haze – foggy mirrors, damp towels, and stale odors. These are all indicators of poor indoor air. Avoid mold, mildew, odors, and other airborne dangers in bathrooms and adjoining rooms by turning on the bath fan during your bath or shower. Make sure the fan is running during the shower/bath and after for 20 minutes. That 20 minutes is important, so if you’re always in a hurry to get out of the house, check out our bath fan that will automatically turn on when humidity rises above a pre-set level and turn off when it gets back to normal. Also, remember humidity can rise in the kitchen too. While boiling water, cooking wet foods, or using hot water to do the dishes, make sure to turn on the range hood to remove excess humidity.
3. Run your range hood.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, but it’s also the primary source of poor indoor air quality. Excessive moisture, smoke, and airborne dangers can quickly infiltrate every room in your home, especially with a gas stove. Be sure to turn on your range hood before, during, and after cooking to remove unwanted particles.
4. Removing dust is an absolute MUST.
Keep dust, pollen, and other small particles bay. Dust is full of shed skin cells and pet dander but often includes pollen and other small particles, called PM2.5 (a reference to their size). These pollutants can irritate eyes, noses, throats and can even trigger allergic reactions. Make sure your air handler (furnace/AC) runs throughout the day to move air throughout the house, and be sure to change the filter as recommended by the manufacturer. Most importantly, consider installing a fresh air system that will bring fresh, filtered air into the home from outside. These systems, such as an Energy Recovery Ventilator, also vent out dirty, stale air.
If all this seems like a lot to remember, we get it. So, we created the first fully integrated and connected indoor air quality system that we call Overture™. Overture uses a series of smart wall controls and room sensors to monitor your home’s indoor air quality and control the ventilation systems in your home. So, when you steam up the bathroom while showering, the system will sense the rise in humidity and automatically turn on your bath fan. If you have a Fresh Air System, Overture will also turn that system on to simultaneously bring fresh air into the home. You can learn more about it at overture.broan-nutone.com.