Sacramento, CA, is one of the cities that is seeing a number of new multi-unit buildings and condos erected at a fast space. Living in an apartment or condo offers several advantages, especially if you have not started your family yet. These living accommodations are often situated near restaurants, entertainment venues, and public transportation, which eliminates the need for a car and promotes walking. While you are living your best life, you still have to take some responsibilities into account, like ensuring that you are breathing the cleanest air possible while indoors. At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we help our customers in Sacramento to achieve a healthy indoor air quality. In the meantime, here are some indoor air quality tips to consider when you live in a smaller space.
When you live in an apartment or condo, there is less space for poor indoor air to go, so if the air in your space is questionable, you are breathing it in more frequently because there are not many places for you to go while inside. Ventilation, therefore, becomes extremely important.
One advantage of living in an apartment or a condo that was built within the last five years is that it is extremely energy efficient. The fact that there are no cracks or crevices in the doors or window frames means that your cooled-off indoor air is not escaping and that the bad outdoor air is not entering. So, when you cool off your space, once the desired temperature is achieved inside, you do not have to run the unit longer than necessary. Plus, the air remains at the desired temperature longer.
The only downside is that because the air is trapped in at such an efficient rate, it will become stale. Stale air can become humid, for example, which means that there is extra moisture floating around. The excess moisture allows bacteria and spores to thrive once they land on any of your home’s surfaces.
The solution, therefore, is to ventilate the space. Opening a window every so often is a great way to ventilate an apartment or condo, especially when there is a nice, cool breeze blowing outside. This allows the trapped indoor air to exit while bringing in some of the fresh outdoor air inside. This is a great way to improve air circulation, which disturbs any other pollutants, such as pet dander, that are currently sitting on your home’s surfaces.
Another way to ventilate is to install a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans are energy-efficient, straightforward to install, and simple to use. They provide an easy way to ventilate your space because you are promoting the constant circulation of the air.
Cooking is another time when you should definitely open a nearby window. The combination of the gasses caused by the stove and the smoke coming from your food is hazardous to your health in large quantities and constant exposure. In small doses, you are not going to feel the negative effects unless you are someone who suffers from respiratory issues. By opening a window while you are cooking, you are providing an escape path for the pollutants created by this activity. The heat can also escape instead of spreading through your unit. If you have fans over your stove, you are encouraged to use those as well.
To maintain a healthy indoor air quality level, you must clean on a consistent basis. You are encouraged to clean at least once a week. This should involve dusting, washing, and vacuuming. The more pollutants you can trap and throw away, the less there are in the air you are breathing indoors. Those who suffer from seasonal allergies or asthma can ease their symptoms by thoroughly cleaning their spaces on a regular basis. If you do not suffer from allergies and do not experience the negative impact of questionable indoor air quality, you should still clean on a consistent basis so that you keep your lungs healthy.
When you clean, you should open a window. There are several cleaning products on the market that have less chemicals, and therefore, a less potent smell. Most cleaning products, though, still produce VOCs. It is a good idea to limit your exposure to these compounds. When you get a good whiff of a household cleaning product, you can feel it all the way into your lungs, which is not a good thing, so while you are cleaning with products, regardless of the brand that you use, open a window and leave it open for a couple of hours afterward. Since there is going to be dust flying around, you want to give it as much chance as possible to exit your space.
Some bathrooms have exhaust fans. Those that do not often have at least one window in them. So, to keep the indoor air quality of your apartment or condo at a good level, utilize the fans or open a window after you have showered or bathed. Your goal is to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. The bathroom is a top spot for bacteria and spores thanks the water droplets. Plus, the excess moisture does a number on the flooring and paint. Excess moisture in the bathroom due to the humidity is inevitable, but it can be controlled.
Be Mindful of Your Furniture and Furnishings
When you clean, you should do your best to remove any clutter that is starting to pile up. Clutter gives dust and other pollutants a place to live quietly. So do knick-knacks and trinkets. If you are going to keep up with the dusting, then you should be good to go. If you are not, it is best to re-think your interior decorating. Even books on shelves are going to gather dust, which is unfortunate, but true. You should also be mindful of the type of furniture you use in your space. Wood is known to release formaldehyde fumes into the air, which is bad for the quality, so when you go shopping, consult with a salesperson. They will be able to make some better recommendations based on your living situation.
Invest in an Air Purifier
There are several types of air purifiers on the market now. They range from small devices that start at $30 to whole-home air purifiers that cost hundreds of dollars. For your situation, you need to assess your budget and the product that is going to provide the maximum benefits. You may benefit from an ultraviolet air purifier that is attached to your ductless AC unit as well as a standalone purifier that you can place next to where you sleep. The best indoor air quality is achieved through a combination of methods. For a smaller space, you benefit from opening the windows, cleaning often, and utilizing fans.
To receive an indoor air quality assessment for your apartment or condo, contact us at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule an appointment in Sacramento. We also offer ductless mini-split installations, water purification, and maintenance plan services.