People spend most of their time indoors, especially in fall and winter, so protecting the indoor air quality in your Boca Raton, Florida, home is important. You can keep your home clean, so you and your family keep healthy and reduce asthma and allergy symptoms. Many health challenges are caused by mold, dust, dirt, pests, bacteria, viruses, and harsh chemicals indoors. Clean air also makes your HVAC system more efficient and prevents expensive mechanical problems. Improve your indoor air quality this fall by cleaning regularly, adding a humidifier, using natural air fresheners, and maintaining your HVAC system.

Clean Regularly

Use a damp cloth to wipe any dust away from ceiling fans, air registers, and kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans. You should also look inside your ductwork. You will only be able to see so far, but if there is noticeable debris within the area you can see, it is likely that the rest of the ductwork is also dirty. If you see dirt, dust, cobwebs, or debris, call a professional to have the ductwork inspected and cleaned. Ask guests to take their shoes off so they don’t track dust or dirt into your home and vacuum at least twice per week. Wash blankets and sweaters that were stored during summer before you use them, too.

Add a Humidifier

When you start using the heat in fall, it can make the air inside your home drier, causing nosebleeds, dry eyes, and irritated sinuses, especially for people who already have respiratory problems. Low humidity can also cause dry skin, annoying static shocks, and cracked, shrinking boards in wood floors. A humidifier adds water vapor to the air inside your home to prevent these problems.

There are various types of humidifiers on the market. The Performance Steam Humidifier is Carrier’s highest capacity whole-home humidifier. It produces steam with two electrodes and then delivers the steam with a special dispersion tube. It’s quiet, it can work with hard water, and the steam canister is easy to replace. The Performance Fan-Powered Humidifier blows water vapor into your ductwork, and the Performance Bypass Humidifier saves energy by using the furnace’s fan. You can also use a portable humidifier to add moisture to a smaller area instead of your entire home.

Use Natural Air Fresheners

Commercial air fresheners often have volatile organic compounds or VOCs that can cause cancer and other health problems in animals. Most products don’t list all the chemicals they contain, so it’s hard to tell what’s safe. Vague terms like fragrance usually mean an air freshener has VOCs. Stay away from aerosol sprays, and use unscented detergents and cleaners whenever you can. Instead of a synthetic commercial air freshener with harmful chemicals, use potpourri or air fresheners with natural essential oils. You’ll save money and keep your indoor air quality at a healthier level. Cypress, nutmeg, mint, pine, and clove are all perfect scents for fall and winter.

Try making your own potpourri with natural ingredients by putting a few drops of essential oil on cotton balls and leaving them in a drawer or closet. You can also mix oils with water in a spray bottle. Many herb companies sell glass, metal, or clay diffusers for essential oils as well. You can even add a few drops to your humidifier. Some people are allergic to essential oils like eucalyptus and cinnamon, so be sure to read the label carefully.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system improves your indoor air quality by filtering the air in your home and bringing fresh air indoors. You should check the filters for your heating and air conditioning system at least once per month and change them when they get dirty. If you have a humidifier, you should also watch for dirt or fungus buildup and clean regularly. Have your heating system inspected by a professional once per year, before you start using it in fall, to prevent indoor air quality problems. You should also have your air conditioner looked at before spring starts.

Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical, Inc. is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with over 20 years of experience. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of equipment to improve your indoor air quality. Call us at (561) 202-1422 for more helpful tips.

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