We spend a significant part of our lives indoors, particularly at home. Unfortunately, the air quality within our homes often leaves much to be desired. Chemicals, toxins, molds, fungi, and other allergens can hang heavy in the air. This all can affect our health and comfort. Poor ventilation, dampness, excess humidity, and dusty and dirty conditions within the home can exacerbate problems. See how the benefits of actively managing your indoor air quality can reap rewards for you, your family, and your bank account.
What’s Involved in Managing Indoor Air Quality?
Actively managing your home air quality means being aware of the significant causes of degraded air. These include:
- residue from smoke, whether from cigarette smoking or burning wood in open fireplaces
- airborne particles that make their way indoors, such as pollen, and
- mold and fungi growing in damp areas of the home that release spores into the air.
Many of these airborne culprits increase due to poor air circulation or degraded filtering by home HVAC systems. Other home environment factors include damaged chimney stacks and external wear and tear, resulting in gaps in walls and windows that let moisture into the home.
You may find that you need to be something of a detective in monitoring and determining the causes of dank air or the reasons behind respiratory health problems experienced by yourself or your family members. Indoor air quality monitors can assist you in this task, and another expert source of advice is your local HVAC company.
What are the Benefits of Managing Your Indoor Air Quality?
You can achieve several benefits from keeping your HVAC equipment at peak efficiency, but the greatest benefit is to you and your family’s overall health. You may realize secondary gains from improved comfort and in reducing HVAC costs.
Here’s More Detail on How to Get These Benefits:
The Benefits of Reducing Allergens
Many people suffer from respiratory conditions such as hay fever and asthma, triggered by airborne particles such as pollen, dust in the air, fungal spores, or tiny nasties such as dust mites. Hay fever sufferers have a miserable time, with symptoms similar to a constant head cold. Asthma attacks can be brought on by exposure to allergens, with deadly consequences if not treated in time.
Over time these symptoms can lower the body’s immune system response and develop long-term health conditions such as sinusitis or worsening asthma. Clearly, reducing airborne allergens in the home positively benefits respiratory illness sufferers.
How to Manage Allergens with a Three-pronged Attack:
- Clean or replace all HVAC filters regularly and upgrade to higher quality equipment such as HEPA filters if necessary.
- Implement a thorough cleaning routine: wash pillowcases and sheets every two to three weeks; vacuum rugs and carpets with a HEPA filter machine.
- Reduce opportunities for pollen and other microbial spores like mold and fungi to get inside by keeping windows closed on high pollen days.
The Benefits of Reducing Exposure to Smoke
Whether you’re exposed to smoke from wood fire burning or secondhand cigarette smoke, you’re inhaling toxic substances. Wood burning releases carbon monoxide, soot, creosote, and other harmful chemicals, while cigarette smoke produces hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and other poisons. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, and worsening asthma are all associated with inhaled smoke, so the less exposure, the greater the health benefit.
How to Manage Health Risks by Ensuring Regular Maintenance:
- HVAC filters are regularly changed, with annual maintenance and immediate repair of any leaks in the system.
- If using open wood-burning fires, annual chimney inspection, and sweeping.
- Cigarette smokers are banned from smoking indoors.
The Benefits of Programmable Thermostats for HVAC
With new technology, HVAC systems can run longer for less cost. Digital thermostats can automatically lower the temperature when no one is home or sleeping at night. The Department of Energy states that 10% a year can be saved on energy bills by simply lowering temperatures for eight hours a day.
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality with Briggs HVAC in Northern Virginia
Our homes should be places of respite, providing breathing space from the hectic pace and barrage of modern life. However, long-term exposure to degraded indoor air can lead to severe and chronic health conditions, while even short bursts of exposure to air laden with carbon monoxide can kill.
Regular HVAC maintenance is a primary way to have clean and fresh indoor air and ensure toxins are not reaching deadly levels. Let us assist you in managing indoor air quality and keeping your HVAC equipment in tip-top condition.