How To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

a living room with a couch and a table

You cannot. Stop. Sneezing. Perhaps it’s springtime and the daisies are blooming extra abundantly today, or it’s fire season in the Pacific Northwest and the embers are destroying the fresh air. You’re looking for a solution to this poor indoor air quality like … yesterday. The Environmental Protection Agency encourages people to understand the air quality index, which is a scale ranging from 0 (good) to 500 (hazardous). Pro tip: You can easily find the air quality index on your weather app! But how do you improve your indoor air quality (IAQ) for better living and breathing?

Better breathing equals better living.

Don’t spend hours cleaning your home only to have the root of the cause be right above your head. Your HVAC unit may need some serious attention. That unit collecting dust in the corner of your home may be responsible for more air pollutants than you realize. Calling a professional to evaluate your unit should be at the top of your list in order to mitigate sources of indoor air pollution, as a dirty HVAC unit can be a breeding ground for allergens and viruses. As one of the industry’s leading businesses, Cen-Cal Air has been improving the quality of living for homeowners for decades, bringing you warmth in the winter and crisp, clean air in the summertime.

Does bad air quality actually cause problems?

Perhaps your great uncle doesn’t believe in doctors and has been mocking you for your pollen-induced sniffles at the dinner table for weeks on end, and you’ve simply had enough. But is it actually all in your head? What problems does bad air quality cause? It’s a whole list of terrible side effects: asthma triggers, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and a hoard of other health issues.

What exactly leads to bad air quality in the home?

A healthy home is so much more than what you can see with the naked eye. A home’s indoor air quality can be drastically affected by irritants that one would never think even the cleanest of homes would be harboring. Indoor pollutant levels can be exacerbated by poor air filtration, a smoker living in the home, a dirty fireplace, asbestos in the ceilings … the list is scary long and can lead to long-term health effects. This means if your upstairs neighbor had their toilet break and it leaked all over your ceiling, it’s crucial that your landlord has a professional contractor on-site to mitigate any potential health risks from growing mold. (Do not let them just paint over the wall of discoloration from the mold growth … eww.) Check out some awful landlord stories here.

Honestly, it might be your furry best friend.

This is by no means a reason to not adopt that older miniature poodle you saw at the adoption fair last week, but it is an encouraging voice to keep up with the best practices in order to keep your home as clean and free of odors as possible. Pet dander can be an added cause to your sniffles, so it is important to have your furry friend regularly groomed, vacuum two times a week, and, if they have a litter box in the home, clean it every day! (Yes, every day.)

Air purification in the United States can be challenging with the bevy of sources of pollution that we encounter daily in our busy lives. Keep your home clean and happy with an updated HVAC unit and regular cleaning and place an air purifier next to your bed to aid in keeping your sinuses clear. You can even throw in a little essential oil to make your bedroom feel like your own personal spa.

Doyle Fowler is one of OI's talented and experienced consultants, responsible for getting to the heart of our readers' needs and creating solutions that are meaningful to help you and your business. Doyle is also a regular contributing writer.

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