Improving My Indoor Air Quality

I had my carpet professionally cleaned last week. Before the Chem-Dry technician arrived, I vacuumed my floors thoroughly. But after the technician arrived, he insisted on vacuuming the floors again with his own equipment – a commercial-grade vacuum with a HEPA filter. I’d never heard the term, HEPA, before, so I was curious about it.

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, and if you’re anything like me, you have no idea what this means. What HEPA does is more efficiently pull particulates out of the air. That’s something I can understand. A typical vacuum will suck in tiny particles like dust or dander, and then expel them out again through the filter. But a HEPA filter is fine enough to capture all of these particles and more.

I have heard the term, indoor air quality, quite a few times. I’ve also heard that indoor air quality can be much worse than the air outside. A HEPA filter can greatly improve the air quality in your home. In fact, a true HEPA filter can remove all of the common allergens found in your home – even particles you can’t see like some, dust mites, and even bacteria and viruses.

As the technician and I chatted about air quality, it occurred to me that even the best vacuum can only do so much. Was there anything else I could do to make the air in my home cleaner – and give me a little more relief from my allergies? The technician had a couple of good suggestions:

Use a quality air filter and change it regularly

I’ve changed my HVAC air filter enough to know that it pulls a lot of bad stuff out of the air I breathe. But truth be told, I always get the cheap air I can find at my local supermarket. A better option is to go to a home improvement store, like Lowes or Home Depot, and purchase a finer (albeit more expensive) filter. Unlike my old filters, a premium air filter will remove mold, smog, and odors as well as bacteria and viruses.

Remember that even the most expensive filter will stop working once it fills with enough material. So regardless of the filter you get, change it once a month.

Schedule a professional carpet cleaning

Did you know that carpet functions like a giant air filter, pulling particulates out of the air so you don’t breathe them in? Like an air filter, a carpet loses the ability to keep particles out of the air once it gets dirty. If you want clean air in your home, keeping the carpet clean is an important part of the process.

While vacuuming is important, it will always leave particles behind – not to mention ground-in dirt and stains. To keep your carpet truly clean, you should schedule a professional cleaning. My go-to carpet cleaning service is Dr. Chem-Dry.

Get your own HEPA vacuum

While Chem-Dry will always have a more powerful vacuum than I do, I did purchase a new vacuum with a HEPA filter. These vacuums are becoming more popular as more and more people become mindful of their indoor air quality, and you can find them just about anywhere for a reasonable price.