You are probably familiar with many indoor pollutants that might make breathing difficult or cause you to sneeze, such as smoke, dust and pet dander. However, you should also be aware of outdoor pollutants that may penetrate your home if you don’t take steps to combat them.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), outdoor pollutants contribute to millions of premature deaths each year, often causing cancers and diseases of the respiratory and circulatory systems. You may be at a higher-than-normal risk for being affected by outdoor pollution if you live in an urban, densely populated area with many factories and vehicular traffic. You could also be at a higher risk if your area is prone to forest fires.
Now that you realize outdoor pollutants are a concern, let’s take a look at some of the surprisingly easy ways you can keep them out of your home.
Install an Efficient Central Air Filter
Putting a high- or medium-efficiency filter inside your central air system is a good way to reduce exposure to outdoor pollutants that make their way into your home. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions about how often to change the filter and how to tell if it has become excessively dirty.
Be Aware of Local Air Quality Reports
In most places around the United States, local newspapers and news websites publish air-quality reports to give residents an idea of how bad the pollution is on a given day. If you’re not sure where to find that information, start by checking the section that covers the weather forecast.
When reports indicate that the exterior air is especially polluted, be sure to keep windows and doors closed as much as possible, and try to avoid going outdoors unless it’s essential. Also, remind members of your household of the importance of compliance and precautions during periods of high pollution.
Ask an HVAC Specialist to Install Alternative Ventilation Options
Your existing air conditioning vents may be permitting too much outdoor air to come inside, especially if they are very old or have not been serviced lately. Get in touch with a local HVAC expert and ask him or her about installing different vents to help combat your outdoor pollution problem. One possibility is a trickle vent, which allows you to still get small amounts of natural air from the outside through very small openings that are not as large as a door or window.
These are just some of the practical things you can do to stop outside air pollutants from entering your house. To learn more, contact a HVAC company in your area today.