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  4. The New Homeowner's Guide to Indoor Air Quality
  • Indoor Air Quality Basics for New Homeowners

    Becoming a homeowner for the first time can be overwhelming. Here are four tips to help you take charge and take care of your home’s air quality.

    Four air maintenance tips for new homeowners.

    • Responsible homeownership isn’t just about paying your mortgage on time—it’s also about taking good care of your dwelling, and that includes your home’s indoor air quality.

      Start with learning about your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. A majority of your energy bill each month will go toward your HVAC, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.* Understanding its components and knowing how to keep it in top working order is essential to keeping your costs as low as possible—and also for keeping your air quality as clean as possible. Here’s how.

      Make sure your thermostat is functioning optimally.

      A thorough home inspection should have detected any problems with your home’s thermostat prior to you signing the purchase agreement, but is it operating optimally? When thermostats don’t function properly, they aren’t efficient at heating and cooling your home—that can lead to heftier-than-normal energy bills. If you purchased an older home without a programmable thermostat, explore your options for buying one. Ask an HVAC expert, or simply visit your local home center and ask questions to determine which thermostat is right for your home.

      Watch out for a dirty HVAC blower.

      Your HVAC’s blower is a key component of the overall system because it’s responsible for circulating cool or warm air throughout your home. A dirty blower operates inefficiently, requiring more energy to operate. That means your energy bills go up. While it’s possible for homeowners to clean blowers themselves (but only when the home’s power and the gas line are turned off!), this task is best left to HVAC pros, especially for new homeowners.

      Change the furnace filter.

      Be sure to change HVAC air filters at least every three months (for one-inch filters) or more often if you see that it gets dirty quickly. The Filtrete™ Smart App conveniently pairs via Bluetooth® to Filtrete™ Smart Filters to send real-time notifications when it’s time for a replacement filter. Even if you use a standard Filtrete™ Filter, you can set a timer by scanning the UPC in the Filtrete Smart App.

      Adjust the seasonal settings.

      Often, homes will have ductwork that serve as both heating and air conditioning ducts, in which case they may have dampers that need to be adjusted for winter and summer. The seasonal settings should be marked, even if they’re simply written in permanent marker by the person who installed your ductwork. Check to see if your home has a damper handle, and adjust it accordingly


      *U.S. Energy Information Administration