Tips For Better Indoor Air Quality
We all have very busy lives and would rather not worry about air in our homes. A few simple steps, however, can make a dramatic difference in how healthy our air is. We say "healthy" rather than just clean because most of us can look around our homes and say that it looks clean. The rooms are straightened up and there's not a lot of unnecessary clutter around. To us this is clean, but with air it is what is unseen and floating in the air that can hurt you. Below are some tips to help make your home healthier.
The first thing that you need to do is purchase the Dylos Corporation's DC1100 Air Quality Monitor so that you can "see" these invisible particles floating in the air. When used properly the DC1100 will provide readings of both small (fine) and large (coarse) airborne particles. Once a baseline has been established, you will be able to tell when an appliance in your home (HVAC, vacuum, air cleaner, or any product using a filter) is not working effectively. The DC1100 will also help you determine when you need to change the air filters in your home as you will see the particle counts increase when they are dirty or clogged. You will also see an increase in the counts when there is excessive large or small particles in your home perhaps due to increased pollen, pet dander, dust mites or bacteria. You will be able to correlate any changes or actions you take with a change in air quality.
With the Dylos DC1100 you will be able to tailor your efforts to achieve the air quality you desire. You will see that your air quality varies greatly even in the course of a single day as activity changes, windows/doors are opened or closed, the air conditioning comes on or any number of other factors. You will also see that there are large differences even between rooms in a single home. Let's say a typical home reads anywhere from say 200 to 2000 or more on the DC1100 small channel with an average reading of 1000. If you can reduce this average reading to 100 then you air breathing 1/10th of the particles (in the DC1100 detection range) than before. Even greater improvement is possible, especially in a single room where you will be spending most of your time. How clean you get your air is up to you, but the DC1100 will give you the information to do it.
Our next recommendation is to make sure the filter in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit is clean. Wash or replace the filter if they are dirty and clogged. If using replaceable filters make sure to change them often and check them frequently to make sure they stay clean. If using reusable filters make sure that they are cleaned according to the manufacturer's instructions. Both types of filters need to be checked frequently for any clogs. Be sure to select a filter which can effectively remove smaller sizes of particles.
You will probably also want to purchase an air purifier or air cleaner. Although we love air purifiers and cleaners you will soon discover with the DC1100 that they have their limitations and all are not created equal. Air purifier/cleaner placement is very important. The air within one or two feet is going to be pretty clean of course, but as you get farther away this clean air rapidly mixes with dirty air and so unless you are literally breathing right next to the air purifier/cleaner you are going to be breathing a mix of dirty and clean air. How dirty is going to be determined by a variety of factors. You might think that if you ran the air purifier continuously that eventually the whole house would become clean, but unfortunately this is not the case. New particulate pollution will constantly be entering from the outside through drafts, windows, and doors. Also, new particles will be generated by virtually any kind of activity in the house such as cooking, getting up off the sofa, or walking across the carpet. Even air movement itself will pick up particles off seemingly clean surfaces and cause then to become airborne. It may require multiple air purifier/cleaners and careful placement to achieve your air quality goals.
Some further tips ....
When dusting use microfiber towels and dusters as they attract dust and cause the dust to cling to the fibers instead of being moved around or dropped to the ground like conventional towels do.
Clean blinds weekly with microfiber dusters or run a lamb's wool duster across the blinds (sold at hardware stores) to get any dust sitting on top of the slats. For drapery, use the crevice tool attachment from your vacuum cleaner on the folds and pleats.
Vacuum your house frequently (preferably daily if you have heavy foot traffic and/or indoor animals). Do not forget to use an upholstery brush on your sofa and chairs, and remember to remove cushions and pillows, and clean these with the upholstery brush as well. To clean hard surface floors, use a vacuum made for hard surface floors. These vacuums suck up the dirt, there is no spindle to spit dirt out from under the vacuum cleaner.
Bathe pets often, or better yet, keep them outside. Animals have a lot of dirt and dander in their coats, especially if they are kept outside while you are away. If they do come indoors, brush their coats before letting them inside. Wash their bedding weekly and do not let them sleep on your beds. Dogs and cats, when shedding, can leave large quantities of hair and dander throughout your home and mites, ticks and fleas can lay their eggs in your carpet. This can be transferred to anyone in your home, especially small children or infants playing on your carpet or floors.
Wash bedding weekly with hot water to eliminate the possibility of dust mites living in your linens. Only use foam pillows and replace them every six months. It is recommended that feather bedding and pillows not be used. Use plastic zippered mattress covers for protection from dust mites and for those who have allergies.