If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you know how important healthy indoor air quality (IAQ) is for your home. It is especially important in the summer and winter to be mindful of your IAQ as the extreme heat and cold can ensure a house is locked up tight for weeks and even months. The summer can be difficult for Oklahoma City homes as the hot, humid weather can increase the number of airborne toxins and allergens inside. Those with allergies and respiratory problems are especially impacted by the weather outside and the recycled air in their homes. How do you keep your summer IAQ healthy when the outside temperature is in the triple digits and ozone and smog levels begin to increase?
Interstate has been a leader in IAQ solutions for years and understands the unique challenges of summer air in OKC. We’ve compiled a list of ways to help keep your indoor air cleaner and healthier throughout the summer season. Follow these tips and keep those indoor toxins at bay!
Watch the VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) Content
- Use Green Cleaning Products – When it’s possible, try to use natural cleaning products and air fresheners to avoid a heavy concentration of VOCs. Volatile Organic Compounds are toxic and emitted as gasses from certain substances, especially household cleaning products. High concentrations are more likely to be found indoors where air circulation is poor. Avoid them altogether by investing in natural cleaners that are not harmful to the environment.
- Never Spray Chemicals into the Air – If you have to use an aerosol cleaner, make sure that you spray it directly into a cloth or sponge for application. Keep the airborne chemicals to a minimum.
- Use Outside Storage – Keep any paint, wood preservatives and pesticides stored in the garage or an outdoor shed. VOCs can leak from cans and containers even when not in use, so it’s best to keep them out of the house altogether.
Watch the Humidity Levels
- Use Exhaust Fans – When the humidity is high, be mindful of using the exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen. Steamy showers and boiling water can add more humidity to the air, which can promote mold and mildew; especially in the summer. Make sure to turn those fans on for at least half an hour to reduce the moisture in the air.
- Clean Away Moisture – Remember to wipe away any excess moisture from surfaces after cleaning, which can also promote mold and mildew. Bathtubs, bathroom tile, sinks and splash guards should be given prime focus as they can be wet throughout the day.
- Buy a Dehumidifier – If your home has a humidity problem in the summer (heavy air quality, condensation on the windows), you might consider buying a portable dehumidifier – especially if you notice a contained condensation problem. A dehumidifier will help keep mold and mildew from proliferating.
- Dust with Microfiber Cloth – When dusting, make sure that you use a microfiber cloth that is slightly damp. This will insure you aren’t spreading dust into the air.
- Use a High Filtration Vacuum Filter – A HEPA (or High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter can help eliminate mold, dust, pollen and other airborne toxins and prevent the emission of contaminates. “Dusting” drapes and furniture with a hose extension is also helpful.
- Wash Cleaning Bucket – After cleaning with a mop and bucket, make sure that the bucket is emptied and thoroughly washed. Cleaning buckets should also be stored outside to keep from exposing the house to any residual toxins.
In addition – In the spring and summer it would also be a good idea to invest in a commercial-grade antimicrobial doormats for the front and back entrance. This will help keep people from tracking in allergens and other pollutants from outside. When the mornings become less humid, consider opening the windows for about half an hour to allow the air to circulate. Fresh air will help greatly with the IAQ.
Remember that Interstate can help you with all of your IAQ needs. If you are unhappy with your current indoor air quality, and have not been successful cleaning it yourself, call us today at 405-794-8900 to schedule an evaluation.
For information or assistance with HVAC efficiency, give Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 405-794-8900.
Don’t forget to schedule your air conditioning tune-up for summer! Schedule service online or give us a call!