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5 Tips for Better Indoor Air Quality

If you experience seasonal allergies, a home with clean air can be a sanctuary from the outdoors. Photo: Kerri Landscape Services (2017)

Spring has arrived once again to the Bay Area—the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and, as a result, many local inhabitants are sniffling and sneezing. If you’re one of them, going outdoors during this time of year can be an unpleasant experience. Fortunately, even though you can’t control the outside air, there’s plenty you can do to improve air quality inside of your home. Here are five tips for creating an allergy-free haven:

1. Get a good air filter (and replace it regularly). This is the cornerstone of indoor air quality. For most homes, a mid-grade MERV 9 filter will do nicely, but if you have extreme sensitivities, consider upgrading to a MERV 13 filter: a four-inch pleated model that removes airborne particles down to the level of viruses and bacterium. Of course, air filters don’t last forever, so be sure to replace yours regularly. Most HVAC professionals recommend replacing air filters every three months, but depending on how quickly yours get dirty, you may need to do it more often. Continue reading “5 Tips for Better Indoor Air Quality” »

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Spring Cleaning: Simple Ways to Brighten, Freshen and Rejuvenate Your Home

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Spring cleaning provides an opportunity for you to make the most of your home’s aesthetic qualities. Photo: Sara Hunt Malone Design (2015)

April is here, which means it’s once again time to engage in the longstanding domestic ritual known as spring cleaning. In addition to tackling annual maintenance tasks like cleaning your carpets and flushing your water heater, spring cleaning offers a chance to optimize your home for enjoying the temperate weather and extended daylight. Here are some simple things you can do to brighten, freshen and rejuvenate your home.

Brighten
During the sunny season, you’ll want to bring as much light as possible into your home. Start by washing your windows. Regardless of the tools or methodology you employ (most professionals recommend using a squeegee and a 100 percent cotton cloth), there are a couple of important rules to follow. First, don’t clean your windows in direct sunlight—they’ll dry too fast. Also, when it comes to hard-to-reach windows, your safest bet is to hire a professional. Continue reading “Spring Cleaning: Simple Ways to Brighten, Freshen and Rejuvenate Your Home” »

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