When you get home at the end of a busy day, it feels good to take a nice deep breath in anticipation of a quiet evening indoors. That is what home is supposed to be; a refuge from the hectic world outside. But when you take that nice deep breath, do you ever stop to consider the quality of the air in your home?
Humidity Plays an Important Role in Indoor Air Quality The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends maintaining indoor relative humidity levels between 30% and 50% for human health and comfort.
Exclude – Keep contaminants out. Keeping contaminants out of the home can be challenging because most airborne particles are tiny and can be everywhere. Pollen, carbon, mold spores, organic matter, insect matter, pollution, and plain old dirt enter the home, transported on air currents, clothing and shoes. By keeping doors and windows closed, removing shoes when entering and immediately changing your clothing after dusty activities like yard work, you can reduce the entry of pollutants.
Capture – filter and contain that which enters. When airborne particles enter your home, they remain suspended for a period of time. Those that are larger or denser drop out of the air and settle on surfaces. Smaller, lighter particles remain suspended longer, and are best removed by air filtration devices and the filter on your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system. Use high quality pleated filters designed for your HVAC. Clean – remove pollutants from surfaces. Eventually, particles settle on surfaces such as floors, furniture, counters, window sills, shelves and walls. Vacuuming and dusting remove most of the particles, but make sure that your vacuum cleaner has good filtration also.
Hard surfaces can be cleaned with electrostatic dusters or dust cloths that attract and hold particles, or by wiping hard surfaces with a damp cloth and wet mopping floors. Other surfaces such as carpet, area rugs and upholstery will require periodic professional cleaning to remove accumulated soils and pollutants.