How “fresh” is fresh air, really? Stepping outside may be the go-to solution when breathing stale, recirculated indoor air. But that can also seem counterintuitive when you consider most air quality issues you’ll hear about involve the outdoors: smog from traffic in Southern California, smoke in the Pacific Northwest from wildfires, harmful byproducts from factories all over the world pluming into the atmosphere.
The big question for Oklahoma homeowners is, are you helping your indoor air quality (IAQ) by opening your windows to let in all the fresh air? Here in Oklahoma, the humidity and heat combine with airborne allergens and pollutants to make summertime a particularly poor time to open your windows, even though the high temperatures make it so tempting!
SHOULD I OPEN MY WINDOWS TO LET THE FRESH AIR IN?
The truth is, yes, outdoor air is cleaner than most indoor air— an estimated 2 to 5 times cleaner. This is because contaminants, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and off-gassing chemicals are often not properly filtered out through the home cooling system or ventilation system.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still pollutants outside. Opening your windows to “let the fresh air in” may provide a temporary feeling of relief, but you are also opening your home to more of those pollutants—which will continue to circulate around your living space with nowhere to go. Gaining true fresh air in your home is much better achieved by cleaning your ducts to remove the dust and contaminants that have built up, and through proper air filtration, purification and ventilation.
KNOWING IF YOU HAVE POOR IAQ
It can be hard to know if those invisible outdoor pollutants have infiltrated your home, but there are signs. Mold particles, pollen, previously mentioned VOC’s and other contaminants can cause a number of symptoms to look out for:
- SINUS IRRITATION
- ITCHY EYES/REDNESS
- FREQUENT HEADACHES
- INCREASED ALLERGY-LIKE SYMPTOMS
- AGGRAVATED ASTHMA SYMPTOMS AND RESPIRATORY ISSUES
INCREASING YOUR HOME’S IAQ
Removing all of these tiny particles from the air you breathe in your home isn’t up to just one particular piece of equipment or process. Our DeHart air quality specialists have found that most homes around Duncan and Chickasha can benefit from a thorough duct cleaning to remove the dust buildup that has accrued over years of neglect. This process can also uncover any other leaks or holes in your ductwork that are affecting your home’s filtration and ventilation.
Regularly replacing the air filters in your heating and cooling systems is also vital. If you find that your air filter is dirtier and dirtier each time you replace it, it may be time to look at upgrading your heating and cooling system with an air purification system. In our nearly 100 years upgrading the IAQ of homes in southwestern Oklahoma, we have come to trust Lennox air purification systems to remove 99.9% of the contaminants.
100 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE YOU CAN TRUST
Running a business for nearly a century means you pick up a few things. DeHart has seen Duncan and Chickasha grow over the years, and we know the challenges our local climate poses to homeowners that are simply looking to stay comfortable and breathe easier. If your home has you sneezing and coughing, and opening your windows doesn’t seem to make it any better, then it’s time to call the pros.