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5 Tips to Improve Air Quality in an Older Home

By August 31, 2020Uncategorized

Historic or older homes offer unique settings in which to create a life. Whether it’s a bay window seat or a wainscoted dining room with a built-in sideboard, these details make your house feel like a home. But as much as quaint features uplift your experience, if your older home’s indoor air quality is poor, your comfort and well-being will suffer.

Luckily, there are improvements that you can make to your home to reduce allergens and increase fresh airflow. Read on to learn about how you can work with experienced Austin remodelers to bring a breath of fresh air to your period home.

1. Get on Solid Ground

One of the easiest ways to improve air quality is to replace the carpet or damaged flooring with solid floors made of hardwood, bamboo, tile, or polished cement. Not only do new floors improve the look of a room, but they are also free of fibers and gaps that can house mold, dander, and pollen.

2. Clear the Air

The air in your home can only be as clean as the ducts in your system. There are a few steps you can take to help your forced air or central air system keep your home healthy:

  • Inspect and clean your air ducts.
  • Install HEPA, extended media, electronic, or UV filtration into your current system.
  • Upgrade to a new system if your current unit diminishes or is not suited to enhancing air quality.

If you do not have a forced heat or central air system, or if you just want to improve air quality in a particular area of the house, you may be able to use a portable room air purifier unit.

3. Out with the Old, In with the New

Even if your home has a central air and heat system, you may not be using air exchanges that bring in the fresh air and exhaust stale air. A ventilation system (the “V” in HVAC) ensures that the air in your home is refreshed with air from the outdoors. 

When you install an air exchange system, it keeps the air moving and reduces issues with mildew and mold. There are several factors to consider when deciding whether an exhaust, supply, balance, HRV, or ERV system is the best for your family’s needs, such as:

  • Climate
  • Cost
  • Energy needs
  • Home layout

Austin home remodeling contractors can help you configure a system that will keep your home fresh and energy-efficient. When you utilize smart home technology with your HVAC system, you maximize your gains and ensure that your house is ready for the future.

4. Eliminate Window Pains

Windows often serve as the jewels of your older home, but they also might be a contributor to poor air quality. Because aged windows have withstood years of wear and tear, including high moisture levels and temperature shifts, they frequently are drafty and prone to mold. Modern window systems provide better insulation from allergens and are made from moisture-resistant materials like vinyl and fiberglass. They may even have low-E coated glass that can further reduce energy costs.

Additionally, some older homes contain small or few windows, limiting the amount of natural light that can enter. Installing new windows will not only improve the air quality but also enhance the look of your house inside and out. 

5. Keep It Sealed

Though ventilation is important for a healthy home, unintentional leaks can lead to a reduction of air quality, since allergens and other irritants may come into your home unfiltered. Leaks are also costly for temperature management. If you have concerns about drafts in your home, you can hire a specialist to perform an air seal audit to identify your home’s trouble areas. 

Some older homes may have degraded insulation that can be replaced with newer insulation systems, such as Icynene spray foam. You may even be able to get energy rebates for enhancing your home’s air seal.

Our expertise as Austin remodeling contractors and green builders makes us uniquely suited to improve the breathability of your older home. Contact us at Mangum Builders today to learn how we can help you make your home a healthy haven for years to come.