It's important to monitor and improve your home's indoor air quality during the coronavirus pandemic and into the future. Below are several tips that should help you breathe easier inside your house.
Keep the HVAC Fan On
When everyone is staying home, air at home becomes stale faster. One effective and easy improvement is to leave your HVAC fan running. Even if the temperature is just right, keep the air circulating in your home. This keeps air running through the HVAC system's air filter and many home systems continue to pull in some air from outside as well.
Air remains fresh longer if you keep it circulating through the house, the filter, and air exchange system.
Upgrade and Change the Air Filter
Speaking of the air filter, change it. Most homeowners skip a few filter changes because it's easy to forget a monthly or biennial chore. But during the coronavirus pandemic, your HVAC air filter is an important resource. Right now, commercial HEPA air filter brands are testing their filters for coronavirus resistance. Current best results are trapping the virus until isolates cells die - between 2 and 9 days.
Make sure you are working with a clean air filter. Even normal allergy-grade air filters will ensure that your home air quality remains fresh. Consider upgrading the quality of your air filters.
Open Doors and Windows Daily
The stay-at-home mandate does not actually require you to keep the house closed. Unlike bad weather, there's no need to shutter up. In fact, fresh air will help to keep your family healthy while avoiding contact with members of other households. It's safe to go outside, play in the yard, and even go for walks or a run around the neighborhood.
It's also better for your house to open and close the doors regularly. The normal activities of jobs and schools do this naturally. But when you're staying home, be sure to air out the house for a few hours over each week. Encourage airflow and use this as a reason to enjoy the outdoors with safe distancing.
Spring-Clean the House
Your air quality is also affected by the ambient dust in the home. The dust on your carpets and curtains, in your upholstery, and hiding in tight spaces can puff up into the air at any time. The best way to reduce dust in your home is to clean-house. Because it's safe to open your windows, air out the house and vacuum everything. Shake up rugs and wash all the bedding in the house. Re-wash stockpiles of laundry that may have been collecting dust.
Your house will briefly become much dustier. Then the air quality will improve significantly as that floating dust is filtered through the HVAC intake or cycled out the open doors and windows.
Clean the Oven and Bathroom Vents
The vents in your home are also more important to improve airflow and air quality. These are parts of the home that are easy to forget, so there is a good chance they need cleaning. The vent above your stove and the vent in each bathroom are there to help cycle fresh air through the home and remove things like hot grease and steam.
Take the time to clean the filters, screens, fans, and vents inside your home. If the fans are broken have them fixed. Ensure that your home vents are working well and keeping the air in your house fresh.
Install Smoke and Carbon-Monoxide Detectors
Another important detail is to prevent invisible air pollution. Carbon-monoxide detectors are essential when your home is closed up. Certain appliances and vehicles emit carbon monoxide, which is an odorless and tasteless poisonous gas. Detectors ensure that the family wakes up and airs out the house before danger occurs.
Likewise, smoke detectors protect your family in the early stages of smoke inhalation. Together, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors ensure no built-up toxins in your home's air. Place detectors in every section of your home, and in rooms with high risk like the kitchen or workshop. If you already have detectors, take them down and make sure they all have fresh batteries.
Keep an Ear on Your HVAC
The performance of your HVAC unit also influences your home air quality. If your AC needs to be serviced, get it fixed. When the AC is running, keep an ear on the system. Listen for unusually loud whirring, rattling, or constant re-setting. Pay attention for signs that the vents are blowing air of the wrong temperature. These are the early signs of HVAC failure.
Keep your HVAC units in good repair so that they continue cycling good quality air through your home.
Call for No-Contact Repairs If Necessary
If your HVAC system fails or start making a racket, it's time to call for repairs. Believe it or not, it is possible and safe to get repair services in the age of coronavirus. Businesses are adapting in every industry to provide services while following the virus-containment rules. Between online logistics, no-contact services, and masks when necessary, it becomes possible to manage your home maintenance needs safely, even when outside technicians are needed.