February 4, 2021
There is something magical about being able to feel a soft natural breeze on the beach here in the Bay Area—but does that outdoor breeze really belong inside your home all year long? The allure of the outdoors tempts us even inside, and many homeowners try to infuse their homes with a breath of fresh, outdoor air. Unfortunately, the tactic of opening your doors and windows for fresh air is not a long term solution! Here are the things you can do to prevent bad air quality in your house by increasing the ventilation without opening your windows or doors.
But First, Why Would Opening Windows Be Bad?
Outdoor air is actually two to five times less contaminated than the air inside a home, so why would it be considered “bad” to open your windows for some of that fresh air? In the short term, opening a window probably wouldn’t cause any huge indoor air quality (IAQ) issues. However, that outside air does contain some air contaminants, like:
Dirt and dust
When any contaminants are brought into your living space, those contaminants have a tendency to get sucked up into the intake of your heating and air conditioning system, where they can then settle in the ductwork of your home and recirculate your air. This gives the same particle multiple chances to enter your lungs and make you potentially affect your overall health.
Your DIY IAQ Strategy
There are some things you can do yourself to keep outside contaminants out of your home as winter approaches, as well as some home improvements that Hassler Home Services can assist you with that will increase the overall health of your indoor air by reducing the number of contaminants in your home.
Reduce VOC Use
If possible, cut down on using any chemicals that include harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) as much as possible. These can include:
Paints, stains, or finishes
Fuels and solvents (including nail polish and remover)
Cleaners and room deodorizers (including aerosols and personal hygiene products)
Utilize Your Existing Ventilation
Now that all the doors and windows are closed, make sure you are using your existing ventilation fans to remove any moisture or contaminants. This is especially important in areas like the bathroom, the kitchen, and the laundry room.
Change Your Air Filters
Your air filters are the first line of defense once a harmful particle enters the home—when was the last time yours was changed out for replacement filters? Air filters should be replaced at least once or twice a year, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications and usage of your HVAC system.
Need a Hand with Your Indoor Air Quality?
For some homes, even the indoor air quality tips we just listed aren’t quite enough to solve problems stemming from unhealthy indoor air. Home improvement upgrades like air purification, air sealing, and ventilation can help get your home’s air quality where you need it to be. Upgrades we offer that help improve indoor air quality include:
With professional air sealing, your home is sealed off from the outside air, including those tiny or near-invisible holes in your attic, around recessed lighting, or even around your doors and windows. This nearly eliminates unwanted outdoor air infiltration from areas you wouldn’t be able to see or feel!
Air Filtration & Purification
If your home is air sealed, properly insulated, and you aren’t keeping your windows or doors open, yet you are still dealing with indoor air quality issues or a heightened sensitivity to respiratory triggers, the contaminants in your home should be actively removed or rendered harmless through upgraded air filters or even an air purifier.