How To Improve Indoor Air Quality In Seattle Homes
9 Steps To Improve Indoor Air Quality In Seattle Homes.
1. Clean all vent covers in your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry rooms annually, this will help prevent excess moisture or smells in any of these rooms.
2. Avoid locating furnaces or air conditioners in garages or other spaces if they can inadvertently draw contamination into your home.
3. Properly vent wood stoves, fireplaces, and other hearth products; use type doors and outdoor air intakes where possible.
4. Vent central vacuum cleaners and clothes dryers directly outdoors.
5. Store toxic or volatile compounds such as solvent and paint outside your living spaces or anywhere you may come into contact with these harmful chemicals.
6. Minimize or avoid unvented combustion store sources such as cigarettes, indoor barbecues, or vent-free heaters.
7. Install only operable windows to accommodate unusual sources of high polluting events such as the use of home cleaning products, hobby activities, etc.
8. Install a good particulate filter or air cleaner on your air handling system of your furnace. Maintain them annually and keep dirt out of your ductwork and all the heating and cooling components.
9. Make sure that you have some form of airflow year-round and throughout the entire house so that you have a good source of clean air.
Can I really improve the Air Quality in my Seattle home?
The short answer is yes of course you can improve the air quality in your Seattle home. In the winter months, it's fairly easy. You can crack a window and with all the rain that we get in the northwest, the air that comes in is going to be fairly pure. However, in the summer months and with global warming, we are seeing a different scenario.
Our new normal for summer has been extremely dry in the past few years so it's more prone for us to have wildfires in Washington state than ever before. In fact, the state of California is saying wildfires are now year-round and fighting wildfires is a big part of California’s state budget.
In the summer of 2020, the unprecedented fires in California Oregon, and Washington created a unique disaster. The fires from Oregon were so vast that some of the fires connected to each other and engulfed hundreds of thousands of acres. With a severe drought and winds blowing North, Washington State, and the Seattle / Puget Sound area were engulfed in Smoke for much of the summer.
Short of leaving the state of Washington and heading east as far as Utah, there was no relief for Seattle homeowners. In this article, we're going to try to help you figure out the most effective ways to keep your home’s indoor air quality as clean as possible and show you unique and innovative ways to purify the air inside your home for the next Seattle air quality event.
Can I get sick from my indoor air quality in Seattle?
Absolutely there are many types of cleaning agents and indoor pollutants from deodorants, disinfectant sprays, insecticides, paint, and many more chemicals that can all affect your health. We also work hard to improve our heating systems in our homes by making them more energy-efficient and as a result, we get less fresh air in our homes and we breathe unhealthy air.
It's not a stretch to realize that asthma and allergies are increasing along with other types of ailments that are caused by pollutants in the air we breathe. Not only can you become sick but your home could become sick, using natural products to clean your home, having good filtration in your HVAC system, and letting some fresh air in it can go a long way to improving your indoor air quality. Later in this article, we'll talk in-depth about other steps you can take to improve the overall air quality in your home.
What are 4 common types of indoor air pollutants?
1. Pollutant: carbon monoxide (CO)
Most people know that carbon monoxide is an invisible and odorless gas and it's produced from fossil fuels not completely combusting. This is a very dangerous pollutant and we highly recommend you get a CO detector and put it in your home.
Some smoke detectors also have carbon monoxide detection built-in, if you're not sure it's worth the small investment. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen in just an hour or two, we put a couple of links below so that you can purchase 1 or 2 if you don't have one of these detectors.
2. Pollutant: secondhand smoke
The United States Surgeon General estimates that being in a household with a person who smokes increases your probability of lung cancer by Twenty to 30%. It's also known that second-hand smoke exposure can increase the risk of other cancers by at least 30% isn't clear cervical cancer kidney cancer rectal cancer brain tumors and nasal nasopharyngeal cancer.
Second-hand smoke also causes other health problems including asthma and heart disease. people such as pregnant women children older adults or people with breathing conditions or heart disease can also be adversely affected by second-hand smoke. Secondhand smoke exposure causes lung inflammation and lowers the levels of important vitamins these effects can increase a person's likelihood of developing health problems.
3. Pollutant: mold
Most people do not have difficulties when they are exposed to mold or mold spores but it is estimated that approximately 10% of the US population is highly allergic to mold spores. The symptoms can vary from nasal and sinus congestion respiratory problems watery eyes coughing skin irritations and sore throat Vulcan also Traeger asthma and in some cases, reactions can be fatal.
Elderly person's pregnant women and children with any type of respiratory problem and people who have compromised immune systems are at a much higher risk from mold and mold exposure everybody should avoid mold spores at all cost.
4. Pollutant: nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
Nitrogen dioxide poisoning is very harmful to humans and other forms of life. It is easily absorbed through the lungs and inhaling it can result and heart failure and in some cases death. People that have the highest exposure are military personnel or firefighters and people that are exposed to explosives. Another high-risk group of people that are exposed would be welders Aerospace people miners and any occupations that are connected with nitric acid.
How do I know if my air quality is harmful?
Without an actual monitoring device, it's hard to tell if your indoor air quality is safe. However, you can tell if the outside air quality is safe by looking at Washington's AQI report.
AQI stands for air quality index and was created by the US Environmental Protection Agency so we can monitor air quality and understand what the possible impact could be on your help. Here is a link to Washington State's AQI report.
How do I monitor indoor air quality in Seattle?
That's a great question that many people have, so we put together a list of three household indoor air quality testers that will help you understand the quality of your indoor air.
These portable air testers can be placed anywhere in your home so it's a good idea if you have a two-story home to move the tester around just in case you may have areas of your house that are not as healthy as they could be not knowing if your air quality is healthy means you can't do anything about it.
If there is an issue the air quality tester will notify you what either an alarm text or email. it's really nice to have peace of mind when it comes to your indoor air quality in Seattle.
|Montex Air Quality Tester Real Time Data Air Quality Monitor 5 in 1 with AQI, PM2.5, PM10, HCHO(Formaldehyde), TVOC, Indoor Air Quality Monitor for Home Office Car School etc||GZAIR Model 2S Indoor CO2 Meter, Temperature and Relative Humidity Carbon Dioxide Detector, Air Quality Monitor, NDIR Channel Sensor, Data Logger, 0~9999ppm Range(Battery Included) (Black)||ATPro Indoor Air Quality Monitor, HCHO Formaldehyde Detector, Temperature Reader, Pollution Tester & Sensor, Measure TVOC Volatile Organic Compound, PM1.0 PM2.5 PM10 Particulate Matter|
What symptoms are often linked to poor indoor air quality in Seattle?
Symptoms could include sinuses sinusitis allergic reactions coughing and sneezing dryness of the Eyes, Nose, Throat, or Skin. Sometimes it can be as simple as just a headache. Your indoor air quality in Seattle is important to the Vitality of your health and the health of your family. If your home doesn't have good circulation or if there is a ventilation issue, that also can cause problems. It’s always a good idea for your local heating and air conditioning company to come out and do an inspection annually, they can replace the air filters and if needed clean the ductwork. These steps alone can help mitigate any issues regarding your HVAC system or pollutants inside of your furnace ductwork.
How can I naturally purify the air in my home?
1 Make sure you use cooking oils with a higher smoke Brady so your kitchen doesn't get filled with smoke and the smell of burnt oil throughout your entire house use cooking oils that smoke at a much higher temperature. Most olive oils have a low smoke point compared to Corn peanut avocado or sunflower oil. if you prefer the taste of olive oil purchase one that has a smoke point between 390 degrees Fahrenheit and 470 degrees Fahrenheit compared to Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This information provided by the North American olive oil Association.
2. Anytime you buy new furniture, carpeting, or other household items you can smell what's called a volatile organic compound or (VOC) these are chemicals that linger in the air and are everywhere in your home. If you've ever purchased a new set of weights for weight lifting, all you have to do is smell the black plastic and you'll get a whiff of some very strong VOC’s. If you can, I'd highly recommend that you store these in an open space like your garage so that these VOCs are allowed to escape. Same with painting any room in your house, if you can paint the room and then shut the door, but open the windows to allow the dryers and the VOCs in the paint to off-gas for a few days. It's going to be a lot more comfortable sleeping and spending time in the room. Well, you probably won't suffer any long-term damage, you certainly can get a headache, have a dry throat, or even a sore throat from paint fumes.
3. We've talked a little bit about mold and how it can trigger allergy symptoms and as you probably already know, it likes to grow in places like a bathroom, laundry room, basement, or other higher moisture areas. in Seattle, in Puget Sound, we get so much moisture that it's easy for these moles to grow since there's not a lot of sunlight, so it's a perfect scenario for mold growth. Bleach will, of course, kill the mold but chlorine is also a harmful chemical some of the things you can use that are more natural or items like vinegar tea tree oil Citrus seed ass extract 4 hydrogen peroxide. even baking soda is effective at removing mold and cleaning surfaces.
4. Using an air purifier to be a very effective way to reduce any harmful particles in the air if any of your family members have asthma or other types of allergies may be a worthwhile investment to have one in a room or a whole-house air purifier. at Fischer heating and air we have several that we recommend.
5. When cleaning your home it's a great idea to use non-toxic chemicals these are typically ones that perhaps your mother or grandmother used and can be very safe. Rather than go into a lot of detail about the different types of recipes you can use to clean your home we'll put a link here to some great handy green cleaning recipes you might want to use.
6. Here's a great idea how about open the windows once in a while or even just a crack for a few minutes a day can help circulate clean fresh air from outside and especially in the Northwest in the winter months and even spring is about as clean as you'll get anywhere in the world.
7. Keeping your pets groomed may not seem like an obvious one but considering many people are allergic to pet dander and pets can bring in fleas mites and other insects it's a good idea to brush your pet's outdoor frequently so that pet dander, etc is left outside. It's also not a bad idea to vacuum your floors with a HEPA filter when you have indoor pets.
8. Most people don't know this but running your air conditioner can also purify your home. You already have a built-in ait filter inside of your air conditioner and running it on a low setting can help to clean the air in your home. It doesn't take long for you to cycle all the air in your entire house in just a few minutes.
There you have it, eight unique ways that you can get cleaner air without chemicals in your home. And the great part is if you try some of these ideas you'll not only have cleaner air in your home but you'll save some money at the same time, you're welcome!
What are the best types of indoor filtration systems?
The Air scrubber by Aerus is one of our favorite air filters and we have installed hundreds of them in the Northwest. We would be more than happy to have a salesperson chat with you about what it costs, how long it takes to install, and the effectiveness of this great air filter. You can start by watching this video on what it does and how it works.
We Install the Air Scrubber by Aerus on existing and new furnace systems! - Call today for a free estimate.
In most Seattle residences, the quality of indoor air needs attention and professional installation of home air filters. It’s a fact that indoor air quality in Seattle is even worse than the quality of air outdoors, so many residents and homeowners are concerned about their health.
Poor indoor air quality can aggravate the conditions of people with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory ailments. Humidity, dust, pollen, and other allergens in the air, including those contributed by clogged, dirty, and unmaintained HVAC systems are the usual suspects for the low quality of air indoors.
Fischer Heating and Air Conditioning technicians are fully trained to help you achieve a safe and comfortable environment indoors with home air filters and purifiers. If you are worried about your health due to the possibility of having poor indoor air quality, call us for an assessment. We are qualified to install, repair, maintain, or replace various types of air purification or filtration system to ensure that your home will not become a health risk. Give us a call anytime as we are available 24/7, all days of the week.
Indoor air pollutants that affect the indoor air quality in Seattle
Indoor air pollution is one of the five environmental health risks, which is why it is best to address this issue immediately. The usual way to solve indoor pollution is to eliminate or control pollutant sources and proper ventilation, allowing clean outdoor air to circulate around the home. But this is not recommended in Seattle where the outdoor and indoor air qualities are questionable. The best thing to do therefore is to have an air-cleaning device installed, so indoor air pollutants can be removed.
Homeowners have a few options in devices to clean the air. Some can be installed in a home’s ductwork for central heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system or HVAC. This is meant to clean the air inside the entire house. For cleaning individual rooms or particular areas, there are portable home air purifiers.
Particulate matter in the air inside the house that can be removed by air filters and air purifiers include:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Volatile organic compounds or VOCs
- Smoke (including tobacco smoke)
- Particles produced by combustion appliances like stoves
Gaseous pollutants include:
- Vehicle exhaust
- Building materials
- Products like paints, varnishes, adhesives, pesticides and cleaning products
Air filters and air purifiers
Air cleaning devices fall into two types, electronic air cleaners, and mechanical air filters. The latter removes particles by catching the particles on its filter materials. In this category falls the high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA filters. Electronic air cleaners like the electrostatic precipitators trap particles through their ionization section where they are charged. The charged particles accumulate on a row of flat collector plates that are charged differently.
Ionizers or ion generators do not have collectors but also release charged ions into the air. These ions attach to particulates and charge them so they can attach to one another or to furniture and walls so they can settle quickly.
The other type of air cleaner is called a gas-phase air filter. This type removes odors and gases with the help of a sorbent such as activated carbon, which absorbs the air pollutants. There is a limitation to this type of air cleaner though because it’s able to remove specific gaseous pollutants only. It cannot capture carbon monoxide released by various burned fuels like gas, oil, wood, charcoal, or kerosene.
Maintaining high indoor air quality
Given the above, it clearly shows that HEPA filters are better at trapping indoor air pollutants. But that is not the ultimate solution for cleaning indoor air quality in Seattle. There are definite benefits you can get from air filters. They help prevent air pollution indoors to lower the incidence of allergy and asthma attacks. Air filters can trap illness-causing allergens. They are cost-effective, too. However, to ensure that you have a better quality of air indoors, a comprehensive air cleaning method is needed. It involves the help of a qualified technician to install a HEPA filter, repair, and regularly maintain your air purification or filtration systems. The systems should be kept clean since these are the ones that trap the air pollutants in your home. If allowed to get dirty and clogged, then they will contribute to the distribution of more air pollutants inside your home.
See to it that you call Fischer Heating and Air Conditioning, which serves the needs of Seattle residents to have good indoor air quality in Seattle at any time of the year. Our technicians are all professionally trained and experienced to give you top-quality service. We have the right equipment to handle various issues and ensure that we leave our customers fully satisfied. Give us a call today.