For many homeowners, indoor air quality often falls into the “out of sight, out of mind” category. But just because it’s not as visible a payoff as washing floors or putting away laundry doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Here’s how to reset your air quality habits and achieve peace of mind all year long.
Be proactive about cleaning: Aim to dust, vacuum, wipe down bathrooms and wash bedding on a weekly basis. Along with regular air filter changes, this can help keep surfaces clear of dust, pet dander, mold, bacteria and other allergens.
Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors play an important role in home safety, alerting you to the presence of harmful—even fatal—pollutants in your air. They don’t do much good if they’re out of order. In fact, roughly 3 in 5 home fire deaths are the result of fires in homes with smoke alarms that don’t work—or no smoke alarms at all.* Faulty carbon monoxide detectors can be just as dangerous, since carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas. The best practice is to test both detectors on a monthly basis and change their batteries once or twice a year.** Scheduling these battery swaps around daylight saving time is a good way to remember.
You likely already know that frequent filter changes can decrease heating and cooling costs, as well as prevent damage to your air conditioner, furnace or HVAC system. But professional checkups should also be part of your home maintenance checklist for year-round peace of mind. It’s recommended that you call in a professional twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall—to make sure your heating and cooling systems are ready for the season ahead.*** Not only will this help prevent a pricey emergency maintenance call when your furnace conks out during a future polar vortex, it can also prolong the life of your appliances and conserve energy.
HVAC contractors have been deemed an essential service amid the outbreak, though some businesses may choose to only schedule emergency visits. If you have concerns, check with your local HVAC professionals to see if they’re willing to help you via email, phone or video chat.
Select retailers offer Filtrete™ Filters through a “subscribe and save” option, which makes purchasing new air filters as convenient as clicking one button. Simply choose your delivery frequency—every three months is recommended, since you should be changing your 1” filter at least every 90 days—and wait for your new filter to arrive at your door. Plus, depending on the retailer, this free auto-ship feature may net you additional discounts, saving you money and time.
For many of us, screen time on our phones is way up, so why not add another handy helper to your go-to device? The free Filtrete™ Smart App sends you notifications for filter changes, displays outdoor air quality information, offers tips to improve indoor air quality and keeps track of your filter type and size to make ordering replacements easy. You can either connect a Filtrete™ Smart Air Filter to the app through an embedded sensor that monitors airflow and usage, or you can scan the UPC barcode of any of our other HVAC filters to see a time-based filter-change countdown.
If you’ve been contemplating an upgrade to your home’s interiors, take this time to research solutions with long-term indoor air quality in mind. For example, swapping carpet for hardwood can do wonders to reduce allergens; replacing a gas stove with an electric unit can cut down on the amount of pollutants that are released into the air while cooking; and installing new windows may improve ventilation. Major projects may be on hold, but depending on when your home was built, consider adding tests for lead paint and asbestos to your to-do list to ensure harmful particles aren’t disturbed when projects resume.
One of the simplest ways to improve indoor air quality year-round is to infuse your home with plants—seriously! Many types of blooms and greenery have natural air-cleansing properties, not to mention they instantly spruce up a space. If you’re looking to support small businesses, local shops and nurseries may be doing curbside pickup. A fresh plant may do wonders for your mood, too.