With the summertime now officially underway, we will all likely be spending more time outdoors. But, even when we decide to stay indoors, the warm weather will often encourage us to invite the air from outside to come in. It’s as simple as opening the windows. And this simple task can do a lot to improve the indoor air quality of our homes. Then again, keeping the windows open can also invite air pollutants into our homes.
So is it better to keep the windows opened or closed during the summer? According to Greenguard.org, it all depends on what the weather is like outside. “Open doors and windows when temperature and humidity levels permit,” advises the website, “However, be mindful of outdoor allergens during spring and fall seasons.” There are, of course, other things to be mindful of during the summertime.
Here are four summertime steps to improved indoor air quality:
1. Do a thorough cleaning of your home. It’s a lot easier to improve the air quality of your home when it is kept clean. With limited dust and other allergens to spread around, an open window can do a lot to freshen things up. Of course, if your home isn’t kept “fresh”, an open window can only serve to swirl around the dust and other allergens in your home. Make dusting, vacuuming and mopping among other clean up tasks important to-do’s this summer.
“Though it’s tempting to put off chores, it’s important to clean regularly to reduce allergens and irritants,” informs MyHomeIdeas.com, “Dust with a damp cloth rather than a feather duster — and don’t forget hard-to-reach areas such as ceiling fans and the top of the refrigerator. To avoid potentially harmful vapours, purchase nontoxic, non-aerosol, unscented cleaning products…And use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for the best results.”
2. Minimize your use of chemicals. It’s tempting to use cleaning products with fresh scents. However, they often contain harsh chemicals and volatile organic compounds. While they may help your home to look and smell clean, using such cleaning products can actually negatively impact the air that you breathe. Not to mention, many non-cleaning products also contain harsh chemicals. Beware of certain paints, for example, which may be harmful to your respiratory system.
“Choose low-emitting products that have been third-party certified and labelled by reputable organizations such as GREEENGUARD and Green Seal,” recommends Greenguard.org, “Be wary of manufacturer claims of ‘no VOC’, ‘natural’ or ‘alternative.’” As well, the site reminds us to do the best we can to “minimize the use of harsh cleaners, solvent-based cleaners or cleaners with strong fragrances.”
3. Pander to your pets. If dogs really are man’s best friend, the summertime is the best time to prove it! Keeping your pets clean will go a long way in minimizing all of the fur, hair, dander and dirt that they may be getting left behind in your home. During the summertime, your pets are likely to spend more time outdoors, which will only result in them tracking more of the outside in. Summertime pet grooming is a key ingredient to homes with good indoor air quality.
4. Check your air conditioner filters. The summertime often sees a lot of air conditioner use. But it’s important that your A/C isn’t contributing to the spreading around of dust particles. “Regularly check and replace the filters in your heating/cooling system to minimize contaminants in the air,” advises MyHomeIdeas.com, “Consider installing an electrostatic filter, which employs an electric charge to capture more airborne particles than standard filters.”
AT DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Air Quality Services that work to improve your home’s indoor air quality. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.