Indoor Air Quality Report: Lakeland, FL

Most homeowners think of their home as a safe space where they can create a healthy and relaxing environment no matter what is going on outside. However, the pollutants and particles in your outdoor air can start to impact your indoor air quality. Though your air filter plays a role in keeping your indoor air clean, it doesn’t always catch everything, not to mention it cannot help with home comfort factors like humidity.

It’s important for Lakeland homeowners to better understand air quality in the area and how it can impact their home comfort. Below, we’ve put together a quick guide to Lakeland air quality and provided some simple tips for improving your indoor air quality throughout the year.

Lakeland, FL Air Quality Report

Air quality is measured using the Air Quality Index (AQI), which allows governmental agencies to measure how polluted the air currently is in a geographic area. The AQI is reported within a range of 0 to 500, which different levels indicating air quality conditions and health risks.

In Lakeland, Florida, the AQI is currently measured at a 44, which indicates a good air quality with no health risks. This means that residents can breathe easy knowing that the outdoor air is clean and safe to breathe.

Air quality can vary from day-to-day, especially during a change of seasons. You can check out a daily air quality report on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website: www.airnow.gov. On this site, you’ll find data and forecasts gathered from Florida agencies regarding the air quality index and particular pollutant details, such as levels of ozone and particles. Check this website frequently to see what the air is like during different times of the year.

Tips for Improving IAQ

Here are just a few ways that you can combat pollutants in your home to maintain clean and healthy indoor air quality:

  • Keep up with your air filter changes. Make sure that you are checking your air filter once a month and changing the filter when it gets dirty or clogged.
  • Use natural cleaning products. Believe it or not, you may be bringing pollutants into your own home. Cleaning product chemicals can affect your ability to breathe free and easy, so next time you clean, opt for natural cleaning products.
  • If you have pets, don’t forget to dust and vacuum regularly. Homes with pets tend to collect even more dust and debris as pet hair and dander can start to circulate within your home. Combat these allergens by vacuuming and dusting regularly.
  • Purchase a dehumidifier. The climate in Florida is often warm and humid. If the humidity levels inside your home are too high, this can cause breathing issues for some. A dehumidifier can help you better control humidity levels throughout the year.

If your indoor air quality is making it hard for you to breathe easy in your own home, it’s time to call in the professionals. Payne Air Conditioning & Heating is here to help you keep the air inside your home clean and healthy to breathe for you and your family. Call us today to find out more about our indoor air quality products: (863) 686-6163.

When Gardening and Indoor Air Quality Become Rocket Science

Back in the 1980’s NASA was looking for ways to improve the air quality in the microenvironments of the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station but in a way that was very cost-effective. When it costs up to and over $1,000 to send one pound of material into orbit, it makes a lot of sense to try and keep things as light and small as possible. The air scrubbers, filters, and pumping equipment that is on the Space Shuttle and installed in the International Space Station is both heavy and voluminous. So NASA being the smart folks they are, started looking into ways  to keep the air up there both healthy and clean at a substantial improvement in cost and space.

What NASA Learned About Indoor Air Quality

When NASA started looking into improving the air in the vehicles in space, being the clever folks they are, they did so in a way that might not seem like the obvious first choice; NASA enlisted the North American Landscape Association. At this point you’re probably asking yourself, “What does landscaping have to do with space flight?” And that’s a very good question. To which the answer is, “Not a whole lot.” But they were tapped on the shoulder for good reason – NASA wanted a list of plants that they could take into space to improve the air in the orbital vehicles.

The people at NALA being rather clever too, came up with a list of plants that would be efficient at filtering toxic chemicals out of the air, absorbing lots of CO2, releasing lots of 02, and the ability to withstand low light conditions and less than optimal environments — much like what they would find in a cramped space shuttle or space station. The plants on their list weren’t anything special, either. All were common houseplants that came from tropical or semi-tropical environments. The sort of plant that had to make due living under the jungle canopy, in low light, with little nutrients, and with unpredictable water. The very sort of environment an orbital vehicle might have.

With the list of plants in hand they set about testing their ability to clean up the atmosphere in enclosed spaces. They found that the plants were able to significantly reduce the amount of benzene and formaldehyde in the air. They were able to effectively filter our other chemicals from the air, too, but they focused on those two as they were known carcinogens. They also did well in helping to manage the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels.

So while they didn’t ditch the C02 scrubbers and oxygen tanks, they did conclude that having houseplants in a spacecraft would be a cheap and effective way to manage the air quality in a supplemental manner. However, they also found that watering plants in space was problematic as was containing the soil. You can image the mess zero-G soil would make inside a small space like that.

Improving Your Indoor Air Quality with Rocket Science

Among the results of the experiments was the optimal number of plants to have per square foot for effective air quality improvement; about 1 plant per 10 square feet. Which, while a totally doable number technically speaking, it’s not exactly practical to have twenty or thirty house plants even spaced throughout your home. However, the addition of a couple houseplants in a room will make a marked increase in the air quality of that room, and of your home when several rooms have them. Having houseplants working in conjunction with indoor air quality equipment in your home is a great supplemental method to create fresh, rejuvenating, and invigorating air in your home.

So while plants are great at supplementing an indoor air quality regime, you’re still going to need other, mechanical, electrical, or radiological (It’s just UV light, don’t worry.) methods to create high quality air in your home. At Payne Air, we carry a full line of indoor air quality equipment and can help you to choose the best products for your specific needs and home, to create a system capable of handling the air in your home. If all this sounds great and you want to find out more about indoor air quality equipment, give us a call. We’d love to sit down with you and go over your options and help you to create an efficient IAQ system for your home.