Now, more than ever before, indoor air quality is a major point of concern for renters. Unfortunately, many rental properties here in the United States—including condos, apartments, and single-family homes—have poor indoor air quality, which can include the presence of airborne mold particles, allergens, and germs. As a property owner, tackling indoor air quality (IAQ) improvement projects can make your home’s air significantly cleaner and easier for your tenants to breathe. That means happier and healthier renters.
In this article, we’ll review six ways to improve your rental property’s indoor air quality, and why you should work with an IAQ specialist in your area to clear the air in your place.
1. Clean carpets and furniture
While most people don’t like spring cleaning or routine cleaning, it is an essential part of reducing allergic reactions. Pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens collect on porous and non-porous surfaces, releasing into the air over and over as you go about your day. Using cleaners, dusting pads, and vacuums with HEPA filters is an excellent way to eliminate many pesky and residual allergens.
Our recommendation is that you bring in professionals to clean the property between renters. Ensure that the carpets receive a deep cleaning and that you have an air conditioner repair services expert out to clean the HVAC systems and ducts. If your property is furnished, have an upholstery cleaning specialist out to clean couches, chairs, and more. All rental properties need some degree of cleaning, but the intensity of this work will be higher if your previous renters (or any renters before them) had pets.
2. Maintain consistent humidity levels
Excessive humidity (or not enough of it) can cause comfort issues inside of the property. As we all know, high humidity makes a room feel that much warmer. This can lead your tenant to run the air conditioner non-stop, putting more wear-and-tear on the apartment’s HVAC systems. Dry air, in contrast, makes noses bleed and skin crack. It can also make cold air feel that much colder, which means your renter will run the furnace more. Back-and-forth swings in humidity can make things really uncomfortable for your renter, and will probably make them feel dissatisfied with the place.
Our recommendation: have an HVAC professional install a whole-home humidification/dehumidification system. These systems can balance out the year-round humidity of the property, keeping it at a level—and comfortable—state for your renters. It’s a subtle change, but one that will make them all the happier with the property.
3. Schedule a Duct Cleaning
Your property’s air ducts can trap allergens, mold particles, dust, and other indoor air pollutants. Every time you turn on the air conditioner or furnace, these materials get recirculated in your home’s air. By having a professional clean the air ducts, you can greatly improve the indoor air quality of your rental property and even help boost its energy efficiency.
The National Air Duct Cleaning Association recommends that homeowners have their ducts cleaned every 3-5 years. However, if your rental property’s tenants have pets—namely, cats and dogs—you may want to increase the frequency of cleanings, especially between renters.
4. Replace Air Filters
The property’s air filter serves as the primary line of defense against poor indoor air quality. Its main purpose is to prevent air contaminants (again: dust, dirt, pollen, and more) from getting into the HVAC system by way of the ducts. But, the air intake filter can also play a key role in removing these contaminants from the home’s air as a whole. In most cases, property owners leave it up to renters to replace or clean these air filters. However, you may want to encourage them to do so. Here are two ideas:
If you have some kind of automated notification system that reminds renters about upcoming bills or maintenance, add air filter replacement to that list.
Since HVAC air filters are relatively inexpensive when bought in bulk, you may want to consider just buying these and dropping them off for the renter to install. The minor cost is often worth the improved indoor air quality and protection for your air conditioner and furnace.
5. Install an Air Purification System
To give your rental property’s air a filtration boost, consider using air purifiers. These devices come in a variety of styles and sizes, and the prices can vary significantly between manufacturers. Finding a purifier with a HEPA filter is often a good start for people with allergies. You may want to consider systems that use UV light to kill bacteria and viruses in the home’s air. While these systems do not capture airborne particulate matter, they can address renter concerns about the property’s air making them feel sick.
6. Schedule an Air Quality Test and HVAC Inspection
Sometimes, it is best to get a full-scope view of your property’s air quality before spending any money on purifiers and cleaning services. A professional indoor air quality test can provide tremendous insight into problems or areas for improvement. Beyond an air quality test, consider scheduling an HVAC inspection to ensure the filters are clean and everything works properly.
Looking for even more ways to improve your rental property’s indoor air quality? Be sure to check out this new infographic for IAQ tips and cleaning advice.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.