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What’s the Worst for Air Quality? (Hint: Not the Furnace!)

homeowner-300x224If you’re a regular reader of Smiley’s blog, you already know how important indoor air quality issues can be for your family’s health, and you know that regular maintenance of your HVAC system is the key to maintaining high air quality in your home. One thing you may not know is that many air quality issues in homes originate not in the HVAC system, but in the kitchen!

Kitchens are major sources of indoor air quality issues because of the conditions that tend to exist in cooking environments and the types of appliances that are commonly used there. Moisture from the sink and dishwasher and even the water vapor produced by simmering liquids on the stove all contribute to a moist environment, which helps encourage mold, fungus and bacterial growth. The stove or gas oven can also release carbon monoxide, which can build up to dangerous levels without proper ventilation, and stoves are also sources of smoke and airborne particulates that make air very unhealthy.

Quick Kitchen Fixes

There are several quick and easy kitchen fixes you can do yourself that will lead to noticeable increases in air quality around the rest of the house.

Seal it up tight. Because of the unique concentration of cooking and cleaning in room, kitchens tend to be very humid environments compared to other rooms. Take the time to carefully seal any cracks and crevices in walls and ceilings, and you can prevent these areas from gathering moisture and incubating mold and bacteria growth.

Ventilate properly. A ventilation system that keeps air moving throughout the kitchen at all times is a must for air quality. Kitchens generate good smells and terrible ones, but in either case, you don’t want them hanging around the kitchen or long. Typically an exhaust fan or a range hood will suffice to remove dirty air and contaminants.

Check your pipes. Ensuring that kitchen plumbing is in good condition will reduce the incidence of leaks and the possibility of water collecting in unseen areas, like under the sink, where mold and bacteria can take hold.

Change those filters! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – regularly changing the filters on your heating and air conditioning units with new, high efficiency filters is the single most effective step you can take to protect your home’s air quality.

Cleaning up the air quality in your home can be a big project, but the benefits to your family’s health and well being can be well worth the effort. If you’re thinking of remodeling your kitchen, pay attention to the above areas to make sure you’re setting yourself up to enjoy clean, healthy air in your house for years to come. If you have any questions or need advice about the best way to preserve your indoor air quality in Atlanta, give R.S. Andrews a call today.

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