The nose knows, they say. And they say that because our sense of smell is often more powerful and sensitive than we give it credit in our day to day lives. For example, did you know that the sense of smell has been said to be the one sense that is most connected to our memory? In other words, we associated certain people, places, and times with specific smells and we do this all the time, often without realizing it. That being said, bad odors can also leave a significant impact on our comfort in the home.
That’s why in this tip of the day we’re going to go over certain problems with air conditioners and heaters that maybe aren’t disastrous for the units themselves but that end up causing a smell that will permeate the house and throw off your enjoyment of time spent in the home. Also in this tip of the day will be creative ways of making your home smell better all the time. Try out some of these tips if you want to freshen up the air in your home and leave it smelling absolutely wonderful, utilizing your Austin air conditioning in ways you may not have thought possible.
Odors and Scents
So let’s start with the basics shall we? Let’s talk about what exactly odors and scents are, and their relationship to the quality of the air in your home. Odors are nothing more than gaseous molecules floating around in the air that our noses can detect. Something in your home is producing so many molecules that they're becoming airborne. But your nose is useless in telling you whether the odor is hazardous or not. Well, completely useless, maybe not. Sometimes foul smelling things are foul smelling because it is your brain trying to ward you from eating that thing, such is the case with rotten food. But a lot of times this rule doesn’t hold true. In fact, some nice odors, like some air fresheners, are chockfull of chemicals, which may be irritating.
On the other side of things, good smelling smells can also positively benefit you from a psychological standpoint. In fact, that’s part of the reason things like air fresheners sell so well. In fact, psychological studies have shown that 75 percent of emotions are triggered by smell, including pleasant childhood memories and feelings of well-being. This is why brands use scents (and the emotions they create) to sell products, but you don’t have to be a big-name brand to take advantage of this. The effective utilization of fresh smells can make your home a more comfortable and comforting place to be. But like was just stated, a lot of these unnatural air fresheners can have subtly harmful effects on your health. So take a look at some of these healthier ways to create a better smelling home instead. That’s coming up. First, let’s look at how to remove unpleasant odors that may be lingering in your home for various reasons.
The Important of Ventilation
Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint the cause of a smell. Your house is a web of interconnecting ducts and rooms that are all circulating the same air constantly. If there is a smell lingering in the air it can be difficult to find its source amongst all this circulation. That’s why if you notice something of a stale or subtly unpleasant scent sticking around in your house the first thing you should do is to make sure your home is well ventilated.
Many odor problems are actually ventilation problems. A smell becomes airborne, and the millions of offending molecules can sometimes just linger. So how can you improve your ventilation? Well, there are a couple of ways. Try using your windows for fifteen or minutes or so a day, but do it the smart way. That means try opening both the top and bottom of a double-hung window about halfway. This provides a natural circular airflow, with warm air escaping out the top and cooler air coming in the bottom. You can further improve this technique by creating a cross-breeze in the larger rooms in your house. Make a wind tunnel by opening opposite windows of a room. Air will enter through one side of a room and exit the other.
One likely reason for a lingering stale smell in your home is the absence of a running air conditioner. Some days you may find air conditioning in Austin isn’t necessary. If you notice a strange odor in your home on days when the weather is perfect enough to switch the AC completely off this might be the culprit. As nice as it is to not have to run the air conditioner and to save money on electricity by doing so, your AC actually plays more roles than just cooling you down. Air conditioners with a HEPA filter, which removes 99.97 percent of airborne particles, are fantastic air cleaners. When you filter out the particulates, you get rid of some of the smell. This is because odor molecules can attach to particles in the air; when you get rid of the particles, you get rid of many odor molecules too. Air conditioners without a HEPA filter will also work, just not as efficiently.
So on days when you can get away with just some cracked windows and the natural temperature of the day, try running your air conditioner on low for a little while to help filter some of the odors out of the air. Use fans in conjunction with the above methods to further boost the odor eliminating effect. Fans only work in combination with one of the above three tricks, otherwise, you're just moving smelly air around. One side of the fan pulls air into the fan, and the other side pushes it out around the room. (If you can't tell which is which, dampen your hand and hold it in front of the fan. It will be obvious whether that side is pushing or pulling.) Position the fan so it's blowing the dirty air out a doorway or toward an air conditioner.
So now you’ve learned a little about how to use superior ventilation to clear your house of unpleasant lingering odors. Let’s move on to the opposite side of the smell spectrum, creating positive smells that improve your indoor air quality and comfort.
Essential oils in conjunction with your air conditioner can be a powerful tool. How so, you may ask? Well, the technique is simpler than you may expect. And the best part is there aren’t any harmful or irritating chemicals involved as there are many overpriced air fresheners. Essential oils are natural products that have a variety of uses, including adding a fresh scent to your home.
Some people use specialized devices called defuses to spread essential oil scents across their homes but many people don’t know that you can achieve the same effect with just the power of your heater or air conditioner and your air filter.
The method is incredibly simple. When it comes time to replace your air filter, which should be every month or two if you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions, drop a few drops of essential oil of your choice on the air filter before installing it. The natural circulating effects of the air conditioner or heater you keep running will pull the scent of this essential oil out of the air filter and spread it throughout your home. Depending on the number of drops, the size of your house, and how often you run your heater or air conditioner, this simple step could last a few weeks. And then when the essential oil runs out you can replace the drops to keep the fresh scents going.
This method is completely safe and will not affect the quality or service life of your air filter. Using essential oils applied to your furnace filter is a chemical-free alternative to commercial air fresheners, and utilizing the central air system is a great way to spread the scent throughout your entire home. Vanilla extract is another natural product that can be used in the same way to scent your home.
No one wants a smelly house. In fact, there is a highly profitable industry that focuses on keeping your house smelling fresh. Candles, sprays, and other air fresheners may leave your home smelling nice, but they’re also contributing to the problem by diminishing your indoor air quality.
The food you cook, your pets, the pile of accumulating laundry, all these things are stinking up your house. Burning candles and using air freshener sprays mask these odors while adding more contaminants to your indoor air supply, which can be just as harmful to your indoor air quality as cooking fumes, pet dander, and other pollutants. Give this extremely simple and effective trick a try if you want to improve the quality of your air and make your home a more pleasant place to be.
Ventilation, Essential Oils, and Air Conditioning Repair in Austin
It takes a lot to make a house feel like a home. Part of that includes how comfortable that house is to live in, and a big factor in that is the smell of the home as a whole. Luckily you aren’t destined to deal with whatever your home smells like at any given time. There are ways to eliminate negative odors and ways to create positive and long-lasting ones. Hopefully with the help of some of tips presented above you can improve your own homes signature scent and make your home a little homier.
And if you ever need any kind of heater or AC repair in Austin, consider AC Express. AC Express is an Austin AC repair company whose service area includes everything from Cedar Park and Georgetown to Lago Vista and Lakeway and beyond. For air conditioning service in Austin of any kind, call today!