Guest blog post written by Amanda Lee, IAQ Writer https://www.kingheating.com/blog
Peak allergy season will be here before you know it, and we’re still in the midst of cold and flu season. If your home has poor indoor air quality (IAQ), it could be contributing to you feeling sick and uncomfortable. As it turns out, IAQ plays a significant role in how happy and healthy we all are indoors. In this article, we’ll review why poor IAQ is an issue and the steps you can, and should, take to improve your home’s air quality.
Improve your home’s indoor air quality
Indoor air quality is a significant issue here in the United States. In fact, in most American homes, the air quality inside is worse than that outside. That may seem difficult to believe, but—upon closer examination—it makes sense. Your home’s air likely contains dust, dirt, pet dander, pollen, and other airborne contaminants that are trapped in the air supply, constantly recirculating through your indoor air.
You can’t really address the issue until you know what the problem is. That’s why the best place to start is with an indoor air quality test. This is a professional and scientific evaluation of your home’s air, taken in different rooms, that provides homeowners with a detailed look at what their air contains and what the recommended steps are for purifying and cleaning the air.
Care for your air conditioner and furnace
Your cooling and heating systems play a vital role in your indoor comfort and welfare. Having either your air conditioner fail in the summer or your furnace stop working in the winter is bad news for your home and its indoor environment. For example, air conditioners help to dehumidify your home in the summer. If your AC quits on you, that means your home is getting both warmer and more humid.
The good news is that you can take steps to prevent cooling and heating trouble ahead of time. Talk to a locally trusted HVAC company to schedule a spring cooling tune-up and fall heating checkup. Preventative HVAC maintenance is a win-win for you and your home: not only will a tune-up help prevent major system breakdowns, but it will also ensure that your air conditioner and furnace work more effectively and efficiently.
While all HVAC maintenance should be handled by a professional, there is something you can do to keep your cooling and heating running right and improve your indoor air quality. Replace or clean your home’s air filter at least every three months to keep it from becoming clogged with dirt, dust, and allergens. By doing this, you’ll ensure that your HVAC systems get the adequate air intake they need to operate properly.
Balance the humidity
Humidity—or, in some cases, the lack thereof—is one of the keys to your indoor comfort. You may not think about your home’s humidity as often as you pay attention to its temperature, but a home that’s either too humid or too dry will have an impact on how cold or warm you feel in the home. For example, humidity makes air feel warmer, while dryness makes air feel cooler. This is why a bone-dry home in the winter can feel freezing, even when the furnace is running.
Indoor air that is too dry or too humid can also have a number of negative health impacts. Humid indoor air promotes the growth of mold and mildew, which can add to your IAQ problems. Dry air, on the other hand, causes skin and lips to crack and bleed. Dry air can even play a role in you getting sick: as your sinuses become drier and drier, they are no longer able to filter out viruses and diseases as effectively as before.
Your IAQ test should contain a measurement of the humidity in each room of your home. Keep in mind that humidity often varies by season, but that both air conditioners and furnaces generally make your home drier. Your IAQ expert may recommend that you install either a humidifier or dehumidifier to bring balance to your home.
Clear the air in your home
If your indoor air is aggravating your allergies or giving you trouble breathing, there are steps you can take to improve your IAQ and make your home healthier. Check out this new infographic from the team at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for a comprehensive look at IAQ issues and how to best address them: