Ahhh… it’s summertime. Sunshine, lounging in the pool, rounds of cornhole, and afternoon barbecues. Doesn’t everybody love the summer months here in Northeast Ohio?
Unfortunately, though you may not realize it, many beloved outdoor summer activities contribute to higher levels of indoor air pollution. As the heat and humidity last late into the season each year, it’s essential to know how to enjoy the best summer air quality indoors.
The air quality pros here at Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling explain why air quality is worse outside in the summertime and how to improve the air quality in your home.
So, why is air quality worse in the summer?
The overall air quality outside doesn’t immediately worsen just because summer has arrived. Instead, it’s those long, hot days that we all love and our activities and other factors that impact air quality inside and out during the summer.
Summertime = outdoor time
Bonfires and fireworks – two of summer’s great pastimes – both have a detrimental effect on air quality. Also, the higher numbers of people driving for vacations and other trips result in greater pollution levels.
Naturally, we all spend more time outside in the summer and keep our windows and doors open longer. Unfortunately, the former can trigger your allergies, and the latter allows allergens and pollutants to increase air pollution in your home.
Seasonal changes bring much warmer weather and lower precipitation levels during the summer in much of the USA. However, Ohio is an exception to the rule, with high humidity and extreme heat often creating evening thunderstorms.
Sunshine and high temperatures aren’t just ideal for getting a deep tan. The heat raises the levels of some pollutants, like ozone and airborne particulate matter. Air quality alerts are common during summer heat waves. In addition, late summer’s lower precipitation levels allow polluted air to remain in the area longer, leading to poorer air quality, similar to the stagnant air in a poorly-ventilated indoor space.
Air conditioning concerns
Did you know that over 90% of homes in the United States now have air conditioning, and over 60% of those homes rely on central air conditioning? It’s true! But, while air conditioning has many benefits, from increasing our comfort to keeping us safe when it’s sweltering outside, it isn’t without its faults.
Since air conditioning systems recirculate your home’s indoor air, it doesn’t bring in fresh outside air. In the summertime, frequent AC usage means that you’re redistributing contaminants throughout your living space. So, indoor air quality solutions are vitally important – not just during the summer, but all year-round.
Indoor air quality tips for maximum summer enjoyment
Follow these helpful air quality tips to improve your home’s indoor air this summer!
Schedule an HVAC tune-up. It’s crucial to have your cooling system professionally maintained annually. This includes cleaning dirt and debris from your outdoor condenser unit and the indoor components of your system, as well as inspecting all parts for signs of damage and excess wear. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that your condenser needs space around it for ideal airflow. This means keeping plants and shrubs trimmed throughout the summer.
Seal those gaps and cracks. Leaky windows and unsealed doors will dramatically reduce your AC’s efficiency and inflate your monthly cooling costs. Fortunately, summer’s great weather makes it easy to caulk and seal these problem areas.
Let your home breathe now and then. Once you’ve tightly sealed your home for high energy efficiency, remember that keeping the outside air out also means you’re trapping the inside air in. While this is terrific for your utility bills and the overall comfort of your home, the reduced ventilation isn’t ideal for indoor air quality.
Replace your air filter. We’re always reminding you about your filter, and that’s because it’s so important. Doing this simple task will improve your indoor air quality and helps your air conditioner run efficiently – and it’ll help prevent breakdowns, too. Put it in your smartphone’s Calendar app to remind you every 30-60 days – change your air filter!
Reduce summer air pollution
Worries about your home’s indoor air quality really should be the last thing on your mind this summer. Relax and have fun! Enjoy the summer, but be sure to schedule a summer AC tune-up with one of our neighborly service technicians. We’ll make sure your HVAC system runs smoothly all summer long!
Give us a call today to schedule seasonal HVAC maintenance with Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling – 844-HEY-NEIGHBOR!