Making Changes to Your Energy Usage

How Appliances Can Affect Indoor Air Quality

You may have heard that common activities such as showering can affect your indoor air quality by increasing humidity and encouraging mold growth. But did you know that many common appliances can have an impact on your air quality as well? Here are a few ways this can happen.

Fans can kick up dust

Whether it's a box fan, a fan integral to a window AC unit, or something else, any fan that moves air around can stir up dust into the air. You can prevent this issue by keeping your home scrupulously clean so there's no dust to kick up. In addition, you can use high-quality air filters in your HVAC system to ensure any air that moves through the fan is clean and not contaminated with dust already.

Stovetops and dishwashers can raise humidity

Using your stovetop to cook food tends to release humidity into the air. If you live in an overly humid climate already, this can become a problem since excess moisture in the air encourages mold growth. You may be able to reduce the amount of humidity produced here by cooking food at lower temperatures so it doesn't boil and by keeping the pan covered so evaporated moisture will condense on the underside of the lid.

Dishwashers can also release considerable humidity into the air in the form of steam. And if you're using conventional cleaning chemicals, this steam may be very contaminated. Try a non-toxic dishwasher detergent to reduce this issue, instead. You may also want to avoid the heat dry cycle and ventilate your kitchen well while the dishwasher is running so steam can escape.

Washer and dryer can harbor mold and damp

Your clothes washer naturally gets quite wet on the inside during operation. If it's not cleaned and aired out, this could allow its interior to become a great mold habitat. Leave the machine open to air dry after use, and clean the seals and interior regularly to avoid any mold and mildew problems.

Your clothes dryer can also cause moisture problems if you're not careful. A loose dryer vent duct could allow the wet, hot air to escape into your home rather than venting it correctly to the outdoors.

These are just some of the ways that appliances could affect your indoor air. As you can see, staying on top of appliance care and maintenance can be useful in keeping your indoor air quality high. You should also have your air quality tested regularly to ensure you don't have any significant pollution problems. Contact a company that provides indoor air quality testing for more information.