Common Air Quality FAQs
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is by far the most important factor when it comes to our health. After all, this is the air that we breathe for the majority of our lives. This is also by far the most overlooked aspect of a building's HVAC system. Since we cannot "see" the quality of the air, we tend not to think about it.
When was the last time you stopped and thought about your air quality? Has it been checked recently by a professional? Have you ever invested in a duct cleaning? The Tom’s Heating Service experts are covering popular air quality FAQs, including what home humidity levels should be, how to reduce static electricity, and much more.
What is indoor air quality and why is it so important?
My family suffers from allergies—which products can help reduce our symptoms?
How can I improve the air quality in my home?
- Change your air filter regularly and at the right intervals.
- Use your exhaust fan when cooking or open a window for better ventilation.
- Vacuum and dust regularly to minimize dust and dander buildup. Higher-quality (and typically more expensive) vacuums usually have better filtration systems and are better at trapping contaminants.
- Buy indoor plants like a dragon tree, bamboo palm, or English ivy—all are exceptional at purifying the air naturally.
- Limit or eliminate use of aerosols and sprays.
- Try to reduce the softer items in your home where possible—these include carpeting, rugs, and window dressings. Softer items will break down over time and release VOCs into the home, especially those made from recycled plastic.
- Limit the burning of candles. If you choose to burn them, higher-quality candles will typically burn cleaner.
- If you have/use a fireplace, be sure that the venting is adequate and cleaned as necessary to allow proper ventilation of contaminants.
What are the benefits of a programmable thermostat?
- Save money by programming your heating and cooling systems to operate as efficiently as possible.
- Maintain a consistent temperature instead of adjust the heat or AC every time you come and go, if for shorter periods of time.
- Spend less time trying to manage temperatures and more time enjoying a comfortable home.
- Help your system run properly and you’ll also protect it from breakdowns and early replacement.
How can I tell if there’s carbon monoxide in my home?
How do I know if my home is getting enough ventilation?
- Signs of too much air ventilation include feeling drafts, having overly dry or humid indoor air, and experiencing static electricity shocks during winter. You may also notice inconsistent temperatures.
- Signs of too little air ventilation include stale odors, excess dust, and a stuffy, humid feeling. Similar to too much ventilation, you’ll also notice inconsistent temperatures which could leave you adjusting the thermostat too often.
What should the humidity level be in my house?
What are volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?
- Furniture/aging carpet
- Air fresheners
- Aerosol sprays
- Cleaners and disinfectants
How can I reduce static electricity in my home?
- Invest in a whole-home humidifier to add moisture to the air
- Add dryer sheets to your laundry to remove static from your clothing
- Use lotion to keep your skin from getting too dry
What are the benefits of a humidifier/dehumidifier?
- Reduce allergy and asthma symptoms
- Alleviate dry, cracked, itchy skin and scratchy throats
- Eliminate static electricity
- Lower heating bills by helping you feel warmer at lower temperatures
- Help protect woodwork and wood flooring from drying out and cracking
Dehumidifiers are your go-to system in overly humid spring and summer months. These systems:
- Lower humidity levels and make your home less hospitable to allergens like dust mites and mold
- Reduce odors that cause musty or stale smells
- Decrease dust so you won’t have to clean as often
- Lower air conditioning bills by helping you feel cooler at higher temperatures
- Help protect woodwork and wood flooring from swelling and getting damaged