5 Easy Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Florida Home
We tend to think that our homes are cleaner than the outside world, but that’s not always the case when it comes to our indoor air quality. It’s important to keep your air clean and healthy — especially if you have younger children or elderly adults in your household — since indoor pollutants (e.g. mold, pet dander, mildew, etc.) can cause health problems like:
- Respiratory/heart issues
Luckily, there are a few low-maintenance ways to improve the air quality of your home, including:
- Changing your AC filter regularly
- Installing UV lights in your HVAC system
- Investing in an air scrubber
- Dehumidifying your home
- Increasing the ventilation in your home
Below, we’ll dive into how each of the above suggestions can improve your indoor air quality and how a professional HVAC technician could assist you.
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Easy Way #1: Change out your AC filter
Your AC filter traps microbes (e.g. dust, pollen and debris) that would otherwise circulate throughout your home and lower your air quality. Over time, your AC filter becomes clogged up with all the microbes it caught, and, if it’s not replaced, it can lower the air quality of your home.
The accumulated dust on the filter combined with Florida’s humidity allows moisture to gather, encouraging mold colonies to grow. Meanwhile, all of the dust, pollen and debris the filter would normally catch ends up settling onto household surfaces and in your AC system’s ductwork. These contaminants can irritate those with respiratory conditions like allergies and asthma.
If you live in a perennial pollen state like Florida, you’ll want to replace your AC filter monthly.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to replace your AC filter:
- Turn off your AC system.
- Pull your dirty filter out of the insertion slots.
- Check what size your filter is and buy a replacement: You can refer to the label on the side of the filter for the size. If the label doesn’t show the size, you can refer to your owner’s manual or use a measuring tape.
- Insert the new air filter. Make sure the arrows on the new filter point towards the blower motor.
Easy Way #2: Install UV lights into your HVAC system
In Florida, the humidity can promote the growth of harmful contaminants like mold, bacteria, fungi and mildew. UV lights are a great, chemical-free way to kill those contaminants as well as airborne viruses like H1N1 and H3N2, according to BMC Infectious Diseases.
As your AC cools your home’s air, the UV lights will simultaneously disinfect that air.
To install UV lights into your HVAC system, you’ll want to contact an HVAC professional. A technician will install the UV lights in prime locations (e.g. the ductwork or evaporator coil) to cut off and eliminate any microbial contaminants before they make their way into your air.
Easy Way #3: Invest in an air scrubber
An air scrubber can remove contaminants like viruses, mold and fungi that could trigger respiratory problems, as well as disinfect your home’s air.
Whole-home air scrubbers work in tandem with your AC system to clean your air. When you turn on your AC, the scrubber’s honeycomb matrix filters the indoor air for pollutants. After filtration, a strong UV germicidal lamp inside the scrubber kills the pollutants.
Beyond being an excellent way to improve the air in your home, air scrubbers are easy to maintain because they don’t have any components that need regular replacement. Since the scrubber is designed to permanently live within your existing HVAC system, you can forget about it once it’s installed.
Another potential reason to invest in a whole-home air scrubber is if you have pets. Air Scrubber Plus is a popular whole-home air scrubber because it does a terrific job of removing pet odors and dander.
Two important factors to consider when choosing the correct whole-home air scrubber is the size of your home and the type of contaminants that need to be removed. If you want a custom air scrubbing solution designed for your HVAC system, contact a professional HVAC contractor.
Easy Way #4: Dehumidify your home
Dehumidifiers help prevent mold from growing in your home. If you live in a humid area like Florida, it’s vital to remove extra moisture from your home to prevent mold.
Harmful mold growth can compromise your air quality and bring about health problems like:
- Skin rashes
- Sore throats
There are two types of dehumidifiers, whole-home and portable.
A whole-home dehumidifier is attached to your AC and removes moisture from the air whenever your AC is on. If you have family members with bad allergies or you have wooden floors/furniture pieces that are susceptible to mold growth, opting for a whole-home dehumidifier can help improve the quality of your air.
Portable dehumidifiers also remove moisture but are usually placed in strategic areas in your home that are prone to humidity like the kitchen or your bathrooms.
To decide whether a whole-home dehumidifier or a portable dehumidifier is better for your home, call an HVAC technician to help you decide which would work best for your needs.
EXTRA TIP: Another simple way to reduce humidity in your home is to pay attention to your bathrooms. Remember to turn on the exhaust fan in your bathroom after a shower/bath and to scrub down your shower walls to prevent mold growth.
Easy Way #5: Increase your home’s ventilation
Proper ventilation helps ensure pollutants and allergens are carried outside, increasing your home’s air quality. An easy way to improve your home’s air circulation is to install a ventilation system. The system first filters incoming air for airborne pollutants like dust and pollen. After filtering, the system pushes the now fresh, clean air throughout your home.
Ventilation systems also deliver multiple benefits in addition to getting rid of pollutants, including:
- Recirculating air so you don’t breathe in the same air for months: Good air recirculation is especially important during hot Florida summers when homeowners are indoors more often.
- Getting rid of odors: When you’re cooking indoors, increasing your bathroom usage or keeping your pets indoors, you’re going to have unwelcome odors. A quality ventilation system can remove odors quickly and keep your home smelling fresh.
- Saving money on utility bills: Ventilation systems are energy-efficient so they can help mitigate the cost of cooling your home.
Want to improve your indoor air quality? Contact Climate Design
We stand by our motto of “Do right by every customer and earn their business for life.” We’ve been helping Florida homeowners improve their indoor air quality for over half a century. We’ll help you determine whether a UV light, air scrubber, whole-home dehumidifier or a ventilator would be the best solution for your needs.