How is the air in your home different in summer than during other seasons? You may not know it, but you’re likely to be dealing with an elevated level of indoor air pollutants in summer, particularly when you keep your house closed up with your air conditioner on. Here’s how you can improve your summer IAQ.
Of course these pollutants can be present in your home at anytime, but warm, humid conditions outdoors can creep indoors and encourage the growth of these invaders. Here are some of the major offenders:
- dust mites
- pollen pet dander
Humidity and Your IAQ
Elevated levels of humidity alone can be one of the most difficult conditions to deal with. Once your home’s humidity exceeds 50-55 percent, you will start to feel farm and sticky, as the perspiration on your skin cannot evaporate to cool you off. Your tendency will be to turn the air conditioner down much more than you should need to, just to feel dry and comfortable.
Plus, humidity helps some of these other pollutants take hold. Mold, mildew, fungus and dust mites all love humidity.
Buy an inexpensive hygrometer at the home store and test your home’s humidity. If it’s high, do something about it, such as this:
- Fix plumbing and ceiling leaks.
- Keep the air filter changed.
- Take shorter showers.
- Consider installing a whole-house dehumidifier.
Controlling Other Pollutants
You can control the other pollutants by installing a good quality, pleated air filter and changing it whenever it gets dirty.
- Brush pets outside, bathing them as often as the vet recommends.
- Brush off clothes and pets to ensure they’re pollen free before entering the home. Change clothes right away, putting them in a plastic bag till they are washed.
- Vacuum carpets and upholstery with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter to control dust mites. Wash linens in hot water.
- Watch out for signs of mold and mildew; clean moldy surfaces with white distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
For service to improve your summer IAQ, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing of Indianapolis.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).