By: ARS Air Conditioning and Heating, San Diego
Many of us are very aware of the less-than-pristine air quality that surrounds us here in San Diego. However, have you ever thought about the air quality inside of your home? According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality can often be worse than the air outside. The EPA estimates that poor indoor air quality is one of the top five leading factors affecting respiratory health in the country.
In honor of National Care About Your Indoor Air Month taking place this February, here are a few surprising facts and tips to be aware of when it comes to your in-home air quality:
- There are many sources of indoor air pollution in homes: dust, wet or damp carpet, pressed wood products, cleaning products, animal dander or fur, pollen, gas stoves and pesticides, to name a few.
- According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 50 percent of all illnesses are aggravated or caused by polluted indoor air. According to the American Lung Association, poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to asthma, headaches, nasal congestion, dry eyes, nausea and fatigue.
- In many parts of the country, excess humidity can cause problems such as mold, which adds to indoor pollution.
- HVAC service technicians frequently find filters that have not been changed for years, or sometimes ever! These dirty, overloaded filters can become a source of air contamination in your home. Depending on the unit and your home’s location, it is recommended to change your filter anywhere from once a month to once every three months.
Are you beginning to question how clean the air is in your home? Every home has indoor air pollutants varying in potency, each affecting your home in its own way. Here are some ways you can help reduce pollution and improve your own home’s indoor air quality:
- By just cleaning your ducts, the air quality in your home can improve tremendously. Make sure your ducts are insulated and sealed, which prevents air from leaking out and stops particles from getting in. As a result, clean air can help reduce symptoms for those with asthma and allergies.
- Mold is common on HVAC vents, which simply means there are areas of excessive moisture or humidity, ideal breeding grounds for mold spores. Those sources of water, combined with collections of dust and dirt within your ductwork, are problem spots that can cause a musky smell to circulate throughout your home and should be dealt with as soon as possible. Keeping those vents clean can go a long way when it comes to maintaining air quality.
- Install a whole-house air cleaner to help keep the air inside your house as clean as possible. These cleaners are designed to help minimize the indoor air pollutants and allergens so you and your family can breathe easier.
- Installing an ultraviolet (UV) light in the ductwork or air filtration system can help capture and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses. The light breaks up the molecular structure and destroys microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi in your HVAC system.
- Annual routine maintenance and changing of your HVAC unit’s filters help to ensure that your system, which is in charge of moving air throughout the home, is completely clean resulting in a reduction of buildup.
Most importantly, if you’re not having a heating, air conditioning and indoor air professional maintain your system and filters at least twice a year, you and your family could be experiencing poor indoor air quality and the proven associated side effects. Find a licensed, reputable HVAC professional in your area to keep your family breathing cleaner air.
For more tips or to make an appointment for your HVAC maintenance or service needs, visit www.arssandiego.com