29 Jul. 19

How to improve the indoor air quality of your Toronto home

Improving the air quality in your Toronto home should be a priority. It is one of the real perks of a good life you can afford yourself and your family. We live in times where the average air quality in a place is contaminated with various particles or pollutants. Various factors are responsible for the decline in the quality of air. However, there are so many things you can personally do to improve the quality of air in your home. There is no limitation to what you can do to keep your family safe and breathing pollution-free air. 

There are various tips on the improvement of the air quality in the home. These solutions are bound to bring about freshness and an overall increase in quality to the air in your home. With these solutions, you will be able to reduce the incidence of pesky household contaminants. Household contaminants contribute to the reduction in the quality of the air in the home. 

According to research, it is stated that people spend about 60% of their time indoors. You spend the bulk of your time in your Toronto home. It is therefore important that the indoor air quality of your home is at the highest level possible.

This is an in-depth guide on the various ways you can get rid of pollutants and generally improve the air quality in your Toronto home.

Related article: Is Air Conditioning Healthy?

 

Tips for improving the air quality of your home

There are numerous tips for improving air quality in your Toronto home. Below is a culmination of the very best methods you can employ when it comes to improving the indoor air quality of your time.

Bring nature indoors for clean air

You cannot overemphasize the role plants play in the home. Plants grown indoors are known as “houseplants,” and they are effective when it comes to cleaning up your air. Just like every other plant, houseplants also breathe. Due to photosynthesis, plants are known to take in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. 

However, we as humans take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. When we bring plants into the home, we are creating a beneficial relationship, where we exchange gases.

By virtue of this relationship, the air in your home is filtered, which results in the fresh air. Other than this, plants add more aesthetic value to the home.

There are various plants you can consider in this regard. 

  • Aloe Plant: This is one of the best plants you can have in your home. This plant is very easy to maintain, and it is alluring to the eyes. Other than the intended benefits of having an aloe plant in your home, it can also be used in the curing of burns, cuts, and general detoxing of the body.
  • English Ivy: According to NASA, this is the best plant that can help you filter the air in your home. It is also the best when it comes to filtering formaldehyde. 
  • Rubber: This is also a great plant to serve in this case. These plants are great with the removal of toxins from the air. Also, they can survive with minimum care. Hence, if you are a busy one, this is the plant that meets your needs
  • Snake plant: This plant is somewhat different, in that it exhales oxygen at night. This is unlike other plants that exhale oxygen in the day. It also does not need much light or water
  • Bamboo palm: This plant is attractive. It is also a highly recommended purifier plant. With this plant, you can be sure that your home would be devoid of any trace of benzene and trichloroethylene particles.
  • Red-eyed dracaena: This plant also has some great aesthetics, and it is effective in the removal of pollutants from the air.

Crack the windows and keep the floor clean

If your home is a new one, you need to pay attention to this. New homes are known to breathe poorly. Hence, there is a need for the extra effort. If your home breathes poorly, there is a circulation of the same air in the home. There is no proper ventilation in the home.

To solve this, you need to start by cracking your windows. By doing this, there will be an influx of air into your home. Also, you need to keep the floor in your home as neat as possible. You can clean it, mop or vacuum it. Reduce the amount of dirt that comes in with shoes, you can place a foot mat at your door. These are the basic steps you should take in improving the air quality in your Toronto home. 

Switch on your furnace blower

This is one trick that always works – turning on the furnace blower in your home. With this blower, there is a more effective re-circulation of air in your home. This circulation occurs in the supply duct of the home. 

There is, however, one thing you should do; you should ensure the presence of a filter system in the furnace blower. Preferably, the filter system should be fitted with some UV lights. These UV lights are known to kill bacterial organisms and other mould spores. Therefore, before you make use of your furnace blower, you should confirm that the UV lights are working. This will make air filtration better. 

You should also ensure that the furnace is working optimally if not, it will not effectively clean the air. If you use your furnace when the conditions are not optimal, the furnace blower can get damaged.

Change your air filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendation

If you want to enjoy good and quality air in your home, the very first system to be checked is your HVAC system. Specifically, there is a need to do a proper check on your air filters. The air in your home passes through the filter so many times in a day. Hence, it would be best to know that it is in top condition.

With every change in season, it is very important to change the air filters in your HVAC. You should also make sure that your system is fitted with a quality air filter. Always ensure that the air filter is not clogged. This is because if it is clogged, there will be an increase in the amount of work to be done by your HVAC system. This will cause you to incur more running utility costs. Apart from this, there is every possibility that the system will overheat and shut down completely.

If there is a clog in your air filter, it can also contribute to the bad air in the home. Therefore, to improve the air quality in our Toronto home, there is a need to ensure a clean air filter. Every HVAC model has the frequency required for the changing of the air filter; you should adhere strictly to recommendations by the manufacturer.

Related article: How often should I service my air conditioner?

Make sure your ventilation system remains clean

There are cases where you cannot simply open your door or window to ensure proper ventilation. An example is during cold weather. Irrespective of this, there is a need to maintain proper ventilation if you are going to maintain your air quality. 

The goal of ventilation is the maintenance of balance. To remove all forms of stagnant air, and replace it with an equal volume of fresh and refreshing air. For apartments, the standard recommended ventilation systems are the Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs). 

An HRV is designed to remove stale air from home, by making use of a small dedicated ductwork system. This ductwork is connected to a central controller, which allows the HRV to perform its functions. This system allows you to use the HRV for your kitchen, bathroom, and other utility rooms.

This machine is also effective in ensuring that there is fresh outdoor air available in your living room and bedroom. Right in the middle of the controller, there is the presence of a heat exchange system. This heat exchange is designed to preserve indoor temperatures. It does this by preheating the fresh air. This process occurs during winter. When it is summer, the air is warm enough. If there is not enough ventilation in your home, it can result in various infections, which include; lung cancer or asthma. 

Reduce humidity and mould using dehumidifiers and exhaust fans

Activities like cooking, bathing and even breathing can increase the humidity of spaces in the home. According to the environmental protection agency, the humidity in your home should be between 30% and 60%. If there is an increase in the humidity of your home, your home is susceptible to mould or bacterial infections.

Also, thanks to humidity, it will not be easy to maintain the neatness of your home. However, if you make use of a dehumidifier, you regain control over the quality of air in your home. Once you have optimum humidity levels that suit you and other items you have in the house, you can easily keep your home neat.

A dehumidifier can be connected to the HVAC ductwork of your home. The dehumidifier has a control called the humidistat. This is similar to the thermostat of the air conditioner. With this connection, it can keep your home humidity levels at proper levels all through the day. 

Related article: Benefits of using a Dehumidifier

Install and monitor carbon monoxide levels

Carbon monoxide compounds are very toxic, and they are colourless and odourless. Hence, if this gas is in your Toronto home, it is very difficult to tell. In the same vein, this gas can be lethal. There is just one way to tell the presence of this gas in the air in your home, the use of a carbon monoxide alarm. You should prioritize this. 

Burning of fossil fuels releases this gas. It can also be released by boiler or gas fires that have not been properly maintained. When released, if they are unable to escape from within the home, they can cause problems. Hence, you need this alarm. 

Vacuum regularly to reduce dirt and dust mites

This precautionary procedure sounds very simple, and shouldn’t be so much work for you to do. By doing this every week, you reduce the risk of allergens in your home. You also get to do away with dust and mites that pollute your home. 

You should ensure proper vacuuming, in a bid to reduce indoor air pollution, as it has been identified as a leading cause of pollution in the environment. You shouldn’t just assume that your home is clean, because there are numerous microscopic particles in the atmosphere of your room. Vacuuming regularly might not eliminate all the microorganisms in your home, but it will surely keep them at bay. 

Have your home properly and frequently checked by HVAC technician

If you want to optimize the quality of air in your home, then you should ensure that an air quality test is performed. When you have your HVAC properly checked by a technician, they can detect if there are airborne problems your home might be susceptible to. These technicians are also able to enlighten you on what to do in handling the situation. 

Related article: How often should I service my air conditioner?

Use a whole air home purification system

It is better to have the air in your home at high quality. This is not just to ensure comfort in the home; it is basic for a healthy living. Especially for those with one lung infection or the other, having contaminants and other pollutants in the air can be daunting. It is not easy to find a balance when it comes to air quality in the home.

Purifiers are best recommended, as they are effective in the trapping of pollen and mould spores. If these moulds are not trapped, they can result in them growing in our sinus cavities and lungs. Moulds have a way of adapting to humidity, dampness, leaks, and condensation. If left in the home, they can grow anywhere, under any condition. With a purifier, you can avoid all of these issues.

Try a duct cleaning service

There are HVAC companies that provide duct cleaning services. As a homeowner, there are two possible issues you might have with your HVAC ducts. These issues include; a significant volume of dust, and also the obstruction of the ductwork. 

You should remember that it is very important to ensure the free flow of air through the air ducts in the HVAC system. This ensures that there is an easy delivery of air to your living space. Maintaining a proper check on your HVAC is important. You can contact a reputable HVAC service to carry out checks on your HVAC system. 

Related article:  When to clean your HVAC air ducts?

Make your home a no-smoking zone

Smoking indoors is not advisable at all. In tobacco, there are pollutants. According to research, it has been stated that there are about 4000 different chemicals in tobacco. Tobacco is a great contributor to indoor pollution. To keep the indoor air quality of your home at an optimum, avoid smoking indoors. 

Test your home for Radon

In some areas in Toronto, there is every possibility that Radon is emitted from the ground. This gas is invincible and can cause cancer to the lungs. You never can tell, there are cases in which radon can be found in the soil and rock on which your home has been built. 

When warm air rises, it can cause negative pressure in the basement of your home. This negative pressure can suck in gases such as radon. Be sure to call in a professional to test your home for Radon emissions from time to time.

Use non-toxic household cleaning products

There are so many petroleum byproducts used in the production of synthetic fragrances that you use. This is not good for your home. As such, you should choose laundry products that are not scented and are devoid of fragrance. 

Indoor pollution is known to result from traditional household cleaning products. If you are going to make use of fragrances at all, you should make sure they are plant-based. In the case that there are odours already, you can eliminate it with baking soda. 

Beware of the furniture your purchase

When you get new furniture, you should ensure that they are not made with adhesives that have elements of formaldehyde in them. In the home, there are quite a number of items that give off formaldehyde. 

This gas is toxic, and it can be found in furniture, walls, carpeting flooring and decorations. Formaldehyde is mainly found in adhesives and is used extensively in products that are alternatives to wood. Such products include plywood and chipboard.

Purchase Eco-friendly paint

These paints are devoid of or low in volatile organic compounds. These compounds are very volatile and can even be emitted after the paint has dried up. When these compounds are used in paints, just about half of the compounds are emitted in the first year. The rest are slowly released years later. These gases can result in headaches and dizziness. Hence, it is better to steer clear of them. 

Groom your pets more frequently

Most pets have furs and frequently, they shed some of their fur. When these furs are shed, they become airborne and can clog your filters. You should carry out the corrective measures as stated in the earlier tip regarding air filters. 

Also, pet hair can bring about dander. Dander is made up of tiny, microscopic flakes of skin that have been shed by cats and dogs. These can cause allergies for some people. If your air filter is not properly cleaned, your living space may become home to dander. To prevent the spread of pet hair in your home, you should groom them more frequently. 

Related article: How to keep pests away from my HVAC system?

Clean your ceiling and floor fans

Fans collect much dust, just as your air filter does, and they can also circulate this dust. Hence, you should spend ample time cleaning the blades of your fan. 

Give your stuffed toys and pillow a deep freeze

You might not know this, but the pillows you use daily, and the teddy also carry harbour mites. If you want to get rid of these mites, it is best to wrap them in a laundry bag and then place them in a freezer. As a result of the low temperature, the dust mites will be killed, resulting in cleaner air.

Adopt a shoe-off policy

Shoes can be an avenue for bacteria to get in your home. This can result in various types of infections. You might think that carpets and doormats can reduce dirt, but they don’t completely get rid of the dirt on your shoes. Instead, it is better that you avoid wearing shoes into your home.

 

Conclusion 

The improvement of the air quality in your home is very important. There are so many airborne particles that can result in ill-health. Getting rid of these particles requires some effort from you.

Follow the tips in this guide and you will be able to improve the air quality of your home. Additionally, our HVAC experts can help you make sure that your cooling and heating systems meet quality requirements. Call us today!

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