There is nothing more exciting than bringing home a new baby! One of the most important things you can do to prepare for your little one is to create a healthy, safe environment for your child (and yourself) to come home to. Want a scary statistic? Indoor air is up to five times more contaminated than outdoor air! Babies are particularly susceptible to indoor air pollution because their immune and respiratory systems are underdeveloped. Constant exposure to contaminants can lead to health issues such as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, dizziness, fatigue and asthma. As a parent, you’ll do anything to keep your baby safe. Fortunately, there are several ways you can protect your children from indoor pollutants by implementing a few simple steps towards healthier indoor air.
Purify indoor air. One of the best ways to reduce indoor-air pollutants such as pet dander, mold, pollen and other contaminants is to install an air purifier in the nursery. The market is overflowing with a wide variety of options, so do your homework to find out which one best fits your needs and budget. Just make sure it consists of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, as these are the most effective.
Use No VOC and No Odor paints. Once you’ve found that perfect color for the nursery, make sure the paint you’ve chosen does not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or harmful odors – both of which can expose your newborn to harmful chemicals.
Avoid thick pile carpeting. Carpeting harbors many environmental allergens such as mold and dust mites. The safest option is to avoid carpeting altogether, but if you insist on carpet, choose a low pile option. Just make sure to vacuum regularly and invest in yearly professional carpet cleaning.
Manage indoor humidity. Florida humidity is no fun. Not only does it make the air heavier, it also leads to the growth of unwanted fungus, yeast and bacteria. The most cost effective way to decrease indoor humidity levels is with a dehumidifier. Just make sure to clean it daily to keep it in excellent working condition.
Purchase natural, chemical-free furniture and bedding. Avoid purchasing new furniture that contains pressed woods or heavy lacquers as they may give off cancer-causing gases such as formaldehyde. When it comes to bedding, choose a latex foam mattress instead of a fibrous one. This will help protect your little one from air contaminants such as dust particles, pollen and mold. Also make sure to use organic linens, washed in fragrance-free laundry detergent formulated for infants.
Use chemical-free cleaning products. Many cleaning products that have that “clean smell” – such as pine or citrus – can expose your baby to hundreds of potentially harmful airborne chemicals. Choose ECOLOGO Certified cleaning products, or try cleaning with a little baking soda or vinegar.
Maintain your HVAC and regularly change air filters. If you have central air conditioning or heating, which most of us do, make sure to change your air filters on a regular basis and schedule regular semi-annual cleanings of the HVAC unit. At Northeast Florida Heating & Air, we offer a maintenance plan that includes 24/7 service, regular tune-ups, preferred pricing on parts and lots more! Click here for more info.
Consider a duct cleaning. If you don’t know when the last time your ducts were cleaned (especially if you live in an older house), it may be time to invest in a complete cleaning of your duct work. Irritants including dander, pollen, dust and more can accumulate in the ducts over time and this can have a major effect on your indoor air quality. Not sure if you need your ducts cleaned? Call us today to schedule your free inspection!
Clean the windowsills. Windowsills often absorb excess moisture which can lead to fungal growth. To prevent this, regularly clean nursery windowsills and make sure to remove any excess debris.
Invest in UV lights. A great way to significantly improve indoor air quality and help your HVAC unit run more efficiently is to install ultraviolet technology. Installed directly into your ductwork, UV lights work to remove unwanted contaminants. For more information, please click here.
At Northeast Florida Heating & Air, we are your Jacksonville AC maintenance experts and we maintain a large service department staffed with best NATE certified technicians in the industry. If you’re concerned about your indoor air quality, please call us today at 904-783-7003 to set up a free consultation.