Especially if your family has allergy or asthma sufferers, clean air is important. There are plenty of Atlanta homes for sale, but do they have good air circulation? Here are a few ways to improve your home's Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).
- IAQ Test. If you're looking at a house but are concerned about air quality, have it tested. There are DIY kits for this, though a professional will get more complete results. They can tell you how polluted the air is, which specific contaminants are in it, and how to eliminate them.
- Vacuum and Dust. The dust that settles on surfaces and clings to carpet fibers is one of the biggest threats to your IAQ. Vacuuming and dusting regularly will remove those dust particles so they don't continue circulating through the air. Be sure, though, when you dust, to use a microfiber cloth that the dust will stick to. That way, you can truly remove it. Otherwise, you're just moving particles around, agitating them.
- Replace Your Air Filter. When was the last time you replaced your HVAC air filter? It's an easy task to forget but detrimental to your system if you do. As particles build up in the filter over time, it becomes clogged. Not only is it harder to remove contaminants, but it also impedes airflow, making it difficult for your system to heat or cool your home properly. Check the filter every two months. If it's white and translucent, it's still OK. If it's grey and opaque, it needs to be replaced.
- Get an Air Purifier. Your HVAC system does a decent job of filtering your home's air, but that's not its main function. If you want better IAQ, invest in a whole-house air purifier. The High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters used in these systems are too thick to use in a regular HVAC system without causing damage. They also remove 99.97% of contaminants, including milled flour and cigarette smoke, which your regular filter might miss.
- Add Houseplants. There are several plants that can remove contaminants from the air and convert them to clean, breathable oxygen. Aloe vera eliminates harmful VOCs, such as from cleaning products. English ivy absorbs formaldehyde and benzene. Peace lilies can get rid of carbon monoxide and other harmful gases. And they all make beautiful decorative statements for your home.
- Get a Dehumidifier. Your home's humidity levels should always be between 30 and 50 percent. Unfortunately, during the Atlanta summers, moisture levels can get much higher than that, fostering mold, mildew, and other contaminants. A whole-house dehumidifier allows you to set your preferred humidity level and keep your home's air in the sweet spot. Not only will this improve your IAQ, but it can also make you more comfortable and save energy.
- Duct Cleaning. When your air ducts are dirty, those contaminants get blown through the rest of your home. You can give them a makeshift cleaning yourself. Once a year, remove all vents and registers and wash them with soap and water. Then use a microfiber mop with a long handle to reach into the ducts and clean out any dust before replacing the vent covers. However, every three to five years, you should invest in a professional duct cleaning to ensure good air quality.
These are just a few ways you can improve the air in your new home. Our real estate agents can recommend various other improvements, from quick fixes to long-term investments, to make your home more breathable. Contact us to find the home for you.