Indoor Air Quality Affects Comfort and Health
With colder weather, there’s an increased chance that your windows and doors are closed, and your HVAC unit is cycling air to heat and ventilate your home. Since the winter months include flu and cold season, it’s important that the air in your home is free of major pollutants and allergens that could make health problems worse. Good indoor air requires homeowners to eliminate sources of allergens or pollutants, maintain HVAC systems with scheduled maintenance, and keep indoor spaces clean.
Change Your HVAC Filters Regularly
HVAC filters trap particulates as indoor air cycles from indoor intakes and out vents. Filters should be checked and replaced regularly. When an air filter is clogged with dust, debris, and and other dirt, your HVAC system works harder to push air through to maintain the temperature set on your thermostat. This is not only bad for your HVAC system (it could overheat or worse), but it also does a poorer job of ventilating your home. All of these things can lead to a stuffy house and possibly make you more prone to existing allergies or illness.
We’ve reviewed air filters before, and for most, an inexpensive, 1" fiberglass filter changed regularly will suffice. For those with allergies, you may consider a HEPA-rated filter capable of trapping smaller particles.
Avoid Smoking Indoors
It’s obvious and pretty much goes without saying, but smoking inside is the leading cause of poor indoor air quality. More importantly, indoor smoking may affect the health of those you love the most, leading to everything from asthma and respiratory infection to cancer from second-hand smoke. In fact, clean air supply is one of the most important factors of human health and wellbeing.
While vaping and e-cigarettes seem to be odorless, the long-term health affects of them are still pretty unknown. Play it safe and smoke or vape outside. Indoor smoking also increases chances of home fire, so do you and your family a favor and take it outdoors.
Keep Your Home Clean
The more dust, dander, and debris in your home, the worse the air quality and the more your HVAC has to work to compensate for clogged vents and overly dirty filters. Keep floors swept and vacuums, and be sure to dust frequently. Using microfiber cloth or even a damp paper towel can help gather dust so you can remove from your home. This is better than simply pushing it around and into the air with a wand. Keep pet hair under control by brushing your pets to remove loose fur, or by using a vacuum cleaner designed to handle pet fur.
Keep counter tops, sinks, and bathrooms clean and dry to combat the growth of household mold. Cleaning your home will make you and your HVAC happier.
Open Windows, But Be Aware of Outdoor Allergens
Every now and then Myrtle Beach will be blessed with a winter day in the mid 70s. Opening windows and creating some cross-ventilation is a great way to bring some fresh air into the house. Pollen is usually not bad during the winter, but be mindful out outdoor allergens that may come in as well as a change in indoor humidity.
Indoor air quality is important for comfort and health. If the above steps don’t help to improve indoor air quality, call Cooper Mechanical Services for a professional inspection of your HVAC system.