Bad indoor air quality can be an issue in any season, but it can affect you even more seriously during the fall season. Keep an eye out for these Autumn indoor air quality issues in your Columbia-area home, and follow the instructions for making your home’s air more breathable.
High Humidity Levels
The Baltimore area is no stranger to high humidity levels, as summers are known for their hot, sticky weather. Temperatures start to cool down in the fall, but that doesn’t mean the humidity evaporates from the air. In fact, many autumn days feature humidity levels approaching 100 percent.
Even if you don’t mind the feel of a humid day, excessive humidity indoors can lead to mold problems and respiratory issues. Small changes in your home can make a big difference when it comes to humidity levels. Try drying your clothes outdoors instead of inside, and remember to turn on the exhaust fans when you shower or cook.
Running the air conditioner can also help lower humidity, since one of the ways the system cools your home is by removing moisture from the air. If you’re dealing with a larger humidity problem, though, don’t overwork your A/C by keeping it running constantly. Instead, consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier, which works with the HVAC system to manage humidity levels.
If you have a standard HVAC system, you already have a powerful ally against bad air quality. HVAC systems rely on air filters to remove larger particles, contaminants, and pollutants from the air before they enter the system’s air supply.
While the air filter’s main job is to protect the HVAC equipment, you can take advantage of this setup by purchasing a high-quality filter. Pleated filters tend to be the best at trapping particles that aggravate your family’s asthma or trigger their seasonal allergies. No matter what type of model you opt for, be sure to change the air filter regularly. Most experts recommend replacing the air filter every two to three months, or more frequently if you use the HVAC system heavily.
If the HVAC system’s air filter doesn’t do enough to clean pollutants from your home’s air, a whole-home air purifier might be a better choice. This unit links to your HVAC system to provide you with high-powered air cleaning capabilities. As an added bonus, an air purifier can help your HVAC system live longer by removing more harmful particles like mold spores, pollen, and pet dander from the air.
Fall can be a confusing time of year weather-wise, with cold mornings, sunny afternoons, and everything in between. If you’re still relying on a manual thermostat, fall can be particularly difficult since you’ll need to switch back and forth between heating and cooling and remember to reset the thermostat when you leave for the day. This can easily overwork your HVAC system, leading to poor performance and bad indoor air quality.
A smart thermostat is an easy and convenient solution to this problem. Most devices allow you to program them for a variety of temperatures throughout the day, and since smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled, they can check the weather forecast and adjust accordingly. Many models can also manage both heating and cooling, smoothly switching back and forth between the two systems to keep your family comfortable and healthy.
Poor Air Circulation
Insufficient air circulation can result from a number of causes, including a building envelope that’s too tight and an HVAC system that isn’t sized properly for your home. Bad air circulation means that some parts of your home don’t receive the fresh air they need, and allergens can settle and thrive in those areas.
Since Autumn is high season for dust mites, it’s important to take air circulation seriously. Start by consulting with your local air conditioning professional to find out how to improve your air conditioner’s performance. If that doesn’t do the trick, consider installing a whole-home ventilation system, which works with your HVAC system to push out stale air and draw in fresh air, no matter the season.
Is your home suffering from autumn indoor air quality problems? Call Griffith Energy Services to talk with an IAQ professional: 888-474-3391.
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