Due to the recent pandemic, people spend more time inside their home. Keeping your family healthy has become a top priority in most households — this means keeping everything as clean as possible. In addition to keeping surfaces clean, you should also pay attention to the quality of the air you breathe. In this article, I will discuss some of the steps our family implemented to help improve our indoor air quality.
If your house runs on a central HVAC system, be sure to replace your filter regularly.
Before the lockdown, we also upgraded to a higher quality air filter. Air filters have a MERV rating that tells you how well it can filter the air. Normally, we use MERV 5 filters, which are only good enough to filter out lint, household dust, and dust mite debris. Due to the pandemic, we upgraded to MERV 11 filters, which can filter out more particles. However, if you’re concerned, you could upgrade to MERV 13, which could filter out bacteria and viruses. In addition to the MERV rating, you will have to make sure you have the correct size that fits your system.
If you don’t have a central HVAC system, you can also look into using a standalone HEPA air filtration system. For example, the AeraMax 100 True HEPA Air Purifier claims that it can filter out viruses.
In addition to filtration, you want to make sure your indoor air is well circulated. Our thermostat can turn the fan on automatically for 15 minutes every hour to circulate the air. If your thermostat doesn’t have the capability, you can also consider keeping the fan running 24/7.
Additionally, be sure to use the hood vent when you cook and keep the bathroom vent running when you take a shower. It is a good practice to leave these vents running for another 15 to 30 minutes instead of turning them off as soon as you’re done.
UV Air Treatment System
If you have a central HVAC system, you can also install a UV Air Treatment System. Professional installation, including the parts and labor, can be expensive, e.g., around $600 to $1,000. However, you can buy a system like the OdorStop UV Air Treatment System and install it yourself. If you’re not handy like me, you can also hire a handyman to install the system at a fraction of the cost that an HVAC technician would charge you.
If you don’t have a central HVAC system, you can also use a standalone air filtration system with UV light. For example, the Pure Enrichment PureZone 3-in-1 Air Purifier has this capability.
Other Ways to Keep Your Air and Your House Clean
In addition to the mechanical systems listed above, there are other ideas that you can implement to improve your indoor air quality.
- Grow indoor plants. Taste of Home has a list of 8 easy-care houseplants that can improve air quality.
- Leave your shoes at the door. Dust particles and viruses can be spread around your house when you walk around with your shoes on. Be sure to take them off as soon as you enter the house.
- Indoor clothes. If you don’t plan to leave the house again for the day, it is a good idea to take a shower and change into a new set of clothes. Like your shoes, your clothes and your hair can bring a lot of outdoor particles, including bacteria and viruses, inside your home.
- Clean surfaces. Keeping surfaces clean is also essential. Wipe down surfaces and vacuum frequently to remove build ups of pollen, dust, and mold, which all negatively impact indoor air quality
Keeping your house clean is more important than ever. If you haven’t already implemented these ideas, be sure to start today so that you can breathe easier knowing that you have done everything you can to keep your air clean.
Pinyo is a full-service Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty and an insurance agent with McEvoy Insurance & Financial Services. He specializes in representing clients in the purchase and sale of residential and investment properties throughout Virginia and Maryland areas around DC.