Unfortunately, many homes often have more polluted indoor air than the air outside. This indoor pollution comes from a number of sources, such as allergens such as pet dander and dust, volatile organic compounds, dirt, pollen and even mold spores. If you live in the Florida panhandle and are looking for ways to improve the air quality in your home, there are some solutions to consider.

Changing Your Furnace Filter

Your furnace filter is a simple yet effective solution for reducing the number of particulates that circulate in your indoor air and make their way into your HVAC equipment. Furnace filters are typically made from materials such as fiberglass, polyester and cotton. They should be removed and replaced once every 30 to 90 days, with some filters lasting as long as 6 to 12 months. Refer to the instructions on the filter you’ve chosen to determine the recommended frequency of replacement.

If you leave dirty filters in your furnace for a long period of time, they won’t be as efficient. Your indoor air quality will decrease, and your furnace may experience more repair needs because of reduced airflow.

You can upgrade your filters to a higher MERV rating to improve your home’s IAQ. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, which is the effectiveness of a filter to trap particles before they can pass through the rest of your HVAC system. Just be careful that you don’t immediately go for the highest MERV rating available. Some furnaces simply can’t handle these filters because not a lot of air can pass through them. On average, a furnace filter with a MERV rating of 7 is recommended for most heating and cooling equipment.

Investing in Air Purification Products

While the filters in your heating and cooling equipment provide some protection against indoor air pollution, you have other options. Some of these other options are installed into your ductwork, while others simply get plugged into your home’s outlets.

Air Cleaners and Air Purifiers

The terms air cleaner and air purifier are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two different types of air quality products. Air cleaners function as a whole-house unit, whereas air purifiers can be used as a standalone unit or as part of your HVAC system. An air cleaner will remove things such as smoke, VOCs or gases from your indoor air. Air purifiers focus more on the removal of particulates.

UV Light

UV light technology can be used to effectively remove airborne contaminants, such as mold spores and bacteria, from your indoor air. Air simply passes through the UV light before being recirculated into your home. This is an excellent product to use if someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma. It’s also beneficial during cold and flu season when you have a lot of germs traveling through your home and HVAC system.


A lot of homeowners focus on the potential particulates that are in their indoor air, but humidity is also something to take into consideration. The optimal level of moisture inside your home should be somewhere between 40–60%. If you have more moisture than that present, this can quickly lead to a problem with mold. Mold can grow when moisture is above 60%, with growth rising substantially when levels reach 80% or higher.

To remove excess moisture from your home, you can have a dehumidifier installed on your HVAC system. As air is drawn through your return ductwork, warm and moist air is cooled. This results in moisture condensing into droplets that can accumulate rather than remain in the air.


If you are experiencing dry air inside your home, a humidifier can add moisture back in. Unlike a stand-alone unit that must be filled with water, a whole home unit is hooked up to your internal plumbing system as a source of moisture. You can control how much moisture is added to your air. Just make sure you’re monitoring your indoor air quality using a humidistat. You don’t want to add too much moisture back in, as this can expedite bacterial growth.

Improving Ventilation

It’s important to keep air flowing through your home. This removes pollutants and contaminants while adding fresh air back in. Ideally, you should open your windows for at least 10 to 15 minutes per day. However, if inclement weather prevents you from doing this, you can also turn on exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchens to expel stale air. If your HVAC system isn’t running much, you can turn on the fan function for circulation without altering the temperature.

Indoor Air Quality Assessment

If you’re not sure where you stand with the quality of your indoor air, an HVAC professional can perform an indoor air quality assessment. This process checks for particulates, chemicals, mold spores and more. The air will be assessed in various areas of your residence, helping you determine what kind of changes need to be made to protect your health.

You may want to have an air quality assessment performed if you’ve recently moved into a new home or have had a lot of work done in your residence. Knowing your baseline air quality is a great place to start. It’s likely things will change over the course of a year. It’s ideal to monitor your own air quality with things like a humidistat or air quality monitor.

Proper Maintenance of Your Equipment

Regarding your HVAC system (including your air quality equipment), routine maintenance is incredibly important. By having a professional technician check your equipment periodically, minor repairs and service can be performed. This often saves you from catastrophic repairs and malfunctions. A professional will clean interior components, inspect them for signs of wear and tear or damage, and keep you informed of when you might be in the market for a new furnace, air conditioner or air cleaning device. This is a service that you should schedule on an annual basis for optimal results. Most people choose to have their routine service performed at the start of the fall or winter season.

Taking appropriate steps to improve the quality of your indoor air can help reduce allergies, asthma, respiratory illnesses and so much more. Better air quality can actually make your home in the Florida panhandle area feel more comfortable as well. You’ll notice a difference in how your home smells when you walk in the door. If you are interested in having an indoor air quality assessment performed or would like to inquire about products and solutions that can help upgrade the quality of the air you’re breathing, reach out to Paradise Home Services for more information. We can also take care of the installation, maintenance and repairs of your furnace and air conditioning equipment. We offer ductwork cleanings, drain cleanings and leak repair.

Give Paradise Home Services a call today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced technicians.

company icon