A Healthy Fall IAQ
Earlier this year we discussed ways on how to keep a healthy summer IAQ (indoor air quality) in your Des Moines home. It’s often difficult keeping the indoor air free of contaminants during the spring and summer seasons. Outdoor allergens, pollution (intensified) by heat, outdoor activities and homes closed tight can lead to unhealthy air. It’s just as important to make sure that your home’s IAQ is healthy in the fall, which has a different set of concerns to address.
We’ve compiled a list of the most important tips to keep your air clean and comfortable throughout the fall and winter months.
Replace Air Filter
It is always important to replace the filter on your HVAC before there is a seasonal shift in the weather. Make sure that you replace it with a strong polyester/cotton filter with a MERV (minimum efficiency rating) of around 8 – 12. During the colder seasons, when you’ve got the furnace on around the clock, make sure that you change the filer at least once a month. This will help greatly in removing the majority of airborne contaminants in your home.
Open your windows and get the air circulating for a long as possible. Des Moines homes should be able to open their windows through the end of October. It’s best to open the windows the windows on clear, sunny days with low humidity in the air. A rainy or overly humid day can encourage mold and mildew.
Use Natural Room Air Fragrances
In the fall, many households like to use synthetic fragrances to give their home a festive scent. Many of these products (including wax melts) emit volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that are toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws. Many of the fragrances sold come from petroleum products and have never been tested for adverse effects. This fall, consider using non-toxic air fresheners – or try making your own from natural products.
The colorful fall foliage is great to look at, but the leaf and tree debris can contribute to the airborne toxins inside your home. It is imperative that you keep your floors clean in the fall. Make sure that use effective floor mats (look for anti-microbial designs online) at every entrance. Sweep your floors twice a week using a vacuum with a HEPA filter (which will also help reduce concentrations of lead in your home) and follow it up by mopping with just water (skip the cleaning solutions).
Check for Roof Leaks
The majority of rain we receive in Des Moines happens in the spring and summer. Sometimes these storms can be very destructive and can damage your roof and cause foundation problems. It is always good to check your roof once a year for leaks. Moisture that infiltrates your home can lead to mold and mildew, which can promote coughing and upper respiratory problems, exacerbate asthma and trigger allergy symptoms. Also check the attic and basement for leaks or signs of leakage which include damp or discolored areas on walls.
Fall weather can bring rodents and bugs seeking food and shelter into your home. The mix of feces and debris they manifest can greatly compromise your air quality. Certain pests can trigger allergies, worsen asthma and cause health issues for children and pets. The often-toxic chemicals used to fight off their infestation just makes the situation worse. Integrated Pest Management is an holistic approach that only uses pesticides as a last resort. There are also commercial pest control experts who can help you without resorting to toxic chemicals. However you choose to proceed, make sure that you deal with an infestation before it contaminates your air.
Keeping your IAQ healthy throughout the year should be a top priority. Your family’s health and comfort is at risk – and your home’s foundation could be compromised. Service Legends has a wide variety of IAQ solutions to help keep your home safe this season from airborne toxins and other hazardous elements. Call us today at 515-657-6634 to schedule an appointment to ensure your indoor air is free from contaminants.
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