Poor indoor air quality in your Savannah, Georgia, home along with hot, humid air outside can increase asthma symptoms for your kids. If your child has frequent summer colds or if he or she is coughing or wheezing frequently, especially at night, you could have poor indoor air quality. You can ease asthma symptoms for kids and improve your indoor air quality by cleaning often, avoiding VOCs, adding a dehumidifier, and maintaining your HVAC system.
Cleaning often keeps asthma triggers like dust, dirt, pet dander, pollen, and mold out of your home, improving your indoor air quality. Cleaner air also reduces unpleasant smells and makes your home more welcoming for guests. You should vacuum and dust at least twice per week and use a damp cloth to clean your ceiling fans and air registers. Remove the covers of your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans and wash them off with soap and water. When they enter your home, ask family members and guests to take off their shoes so they won’t track in pollutants.
You should also rinse off the outdoor air conditioning unit with a garden hose to remove grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and other debris. Change your HVAC system’s air filter once per month to keep your indoor air quality high and save energy by improving airflow.
Volatile organic chemicals, or VOCs, can also trigger asthma. These chemicals evaporate or off-gas at room temperature, and many paints, varnishes, pesticides, air fresheners, hair products, and cleaning products contain them. Common VOCs include formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, acetone, and toluene.
You can avoid many VOCs by using natural products whenever possible. Potpourri or an essential oil in a spray bottle with water makes a great air freshener. You can also simmer cloves or cinnamon sticks on your stove or make your own furniture polish with olive oil and lemon juice. Healthy cleaners like baking soda work well on most surfaces, and you should avoid furniture with particleboard or synthetic materials that could contain VOCs.
Adding a Dehumidifier
Lower indoor humidity can help your child breathe easier and prevent mold growth and pests. Cockroaches and other household pests can cause allergy and asthma symptoms, and some molds contain harmful mycotoxins. A whole-home dehumidifier connects to your home’s ductwork to remove moisture from the air, and many models also have air filters. Lower humidity also makes your home feel cooler, so you won’t have to use the air conditioner as much. This saves energy and lowers your utility bills.
You should also use exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen to remove moisture from showering and cooking. Remove the covers and clean them with soap and water once per month. Have even minor leaks in plumbing repaired immediately, and don’t put more than one or two houseplants in each room to avoid mold from excess moisture.
Maintaining Your HVAC System
Your air conditioner won’t be able to keep the air in your home clean without regular maintenance. You should also have a professional check the heater and air conditioner for problems at least once per year. The system could keep running if there’s a minor problem, but it will use more energy and lower your indoor air quality. Eventually, the problem will cause an expensive breakdown.
Contaminants in the ductwork can force your home’s HVAC system to work harder, shortening its life and wasting energy. They often spread to the rest of your home, making your child’s asthma symptoms worse. You can check ductwork for dirt, dust, mold, and other pollutants by removing an air register and wiping the side of the duct with a damp cloth. If it’s dirty, have an experienced technician clean the ductwork and check it for leaks.
Byrd Heating and Air Conditioning is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, and we have more than 30 years of heating and air conditioning experience. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of HVAC equipment. Call us anytime at 912-373-8447 for great service and more help improving your indoor air quality.
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