5 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Here are 5 ways to improve indoor air quality in your home. I grew up with asthma, and it was not easy. I was sick constantly and missed all kinds of parties and events because of asthma attacks. In fact, I was so affected by the experience I decided to learn more about what caused asthma, which led me to Crawl Space Ninja. Many think Crawl Space Ninja is a crawl space encapsulation company, but it is an indoor air quality company. Everything we do to repair the crawl space is designed to improve your indoor air quality. Here are some things you can do to help as well. We will share more ways to improve your indoor air quality in upcoming articles.

Read 5 More Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Dust Mite Proof Your Bedroom

Dust mites love to hang out in your pillows and mattresses and as you sleep come out to eat. Their food is not you, but the skin you are sloughing off in your bed. If you are like millions of people who wake up congested, it could be you have a dust mite problem in your bed.

Dust mite-proof pillow covers are a great way to keep them from nesting in your pillows. Unlike older ones, new pillow covers are quiet and comfortable. Many of them also repel moisture and bed bugs, along with dust mites.

Your mattress can home millions of dust mites, so encasing the mattress with a dust mite-proof mattress cover is also recommended. When purchasing these covers, ensure it encases the mattress on all sides, versus just a topper. They also repel moisture and bed bugs in many cases.

Wash the Plush Toys and Throw Pillows

My children had their favorite plush toys they played with and slept with. Plush toys and throw pillows are great hiding places for dust mites. Even the security blanket needs to be washed regularly. Dust mites need high temperatures to kill them, but that still isn’t good enough. The dust mite carcass and fecal matter, yes poop, is more of an allergen than the mite itself.

Experts recommend it takes 180 degrees in the washer or dryer to kill dust mites. High-temperature water can be dangerous and scald you and your children when bathing. Most plumbers recommend the water heater temperature to be set at 120 degrees. Unfortunately, that is not hot enough to kill dust mites. Some clothes dryers have an allergy setting that can reach 180+ degrees, but that could melt the plastic eyes on those plush toys. I recommend you freeze the toys and throw pillows, let them thaw outside, then wash them to get the carcasses and poop out. Then you can let them dry outside again. The sun is a great disinfectant too and should help take care of any potential stragglers.

Change Furnace Filters as Needed

People are confused about how often their furnace filter in the return of the HVAC system should be changed. Most go by what the filter manufacturer says like changing every 90-days. This is a way they get you to buy the filter because changing less often is better and saves you money. My only problem is your home may be more or less dusty than my home based on habits and habitants. Homes with more people and pets get dustier than a single person that never runs their AC. Someone like me who engages the fan of the unit to circulate air will have more dust in the filter more often. I say you change the filter as needed. Set a timer to look at the filter every 30 days and if it’s dirty, change it.

Clean the Ducts

Dirty ducts are dark and can be sources for mold growth and dust mite colonies to reproduce unchecked. I feel the same way about how often you should clean your ducts as I do about changing furnace filters. Do it as needed. If you live in a home that has never had the ducts cleaned, do it as soon as possible. Dust stuck in the ductwork is a food source for those dust mites we mentioned earlier. The dust mites are invisible and light. Every time the HVAC system turns on, they scatter. If you have a register next to your bed, guess where they land? Do a visual inspection of the ductwork when you change the furnace filter. Ensuring the supply trunk line of the furnace is clean can be a good indicator of the rest of the system. However, if your ducts leak a lot of air, they will get dirty quickly. Leaky ductwork running in crawl spaces will pick up molds and fiberglass insulation and send them to your living space. Many duct cleaning professionals and HVAC contractors can repair or air seal leaky ducts.

Smoke Outside

I used to smoke, and my parents smoked. I am not hating on you if you smoke, but please remember your smoking affects those around you greatly. My parents smoked in our home and cars, so not only did everything stink like smoke, but it affected my breathing. I grew up with asthma and for some reason, the smoking was never contributed to the asthma. I had to go to emergency rooms and miss parties from the asthma attacks I suffered. Interestingly, my older brother did not have asthma, and we were always together. For some reason, the indoor air quality of the rental properties we lived in and my parents smoking really affected me. I outgrew my asthma and started smoking myself when I got older, I never again had an asthma attack. I did eventually stop smoking and wow do I feel better, you can too. Smoking outside will help the non-smokers in your family breathe better.

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What Next?

Do you need help with mold removal, crawl space encapsulation, crawl space insulation, vapor barrier, waterproofing, or controlling humidity in your crawl space and you live in Georgia, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, or Kentucky? If so, please contact us to schedule your assessment. Also, let us know in the comments below if you have an idea for a new blog topic.

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