Indoor Air Pollution and Your Allergies
So, you found your dream house. The one where you’ll make a home, start a family and grow old. Everything in the inspection seems up to par, including the new appliances and hardwood floors. You buy the house and move in, your mind brimming with decorating plans and ideas. But then, a month later, you realize your allergies have been going haywire. Runny nose, itchy eyes, scratchy throat—it’s impossible to be comfortable. You clean and clean, but your allergies worsen. What are you missing?
In this scenario, many people would just make a doctor’s appointment and get treatment. While that’s a good place to start, they’re often missing the source of the problem: indoor air pollution. If you or your loved ones are struggling with allergies, your best next call is to your local HVAC company. Because improving your home’s indoor air quality is what we do best.
Gross Facts About Indoor Air Pollution
Jeopardy question for $100: What makes up the majority of dust in our homes?
“What is ‘dead skin cells’, Alex?”
That’s right! And I hope we can all agree, that’s pretty gross. In addition, all that dust can carry other asthma and allergen triggers, like mold spores, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, bacteria and viruses. Where do all those indoor air pollutants come from? There are a number of possible sources, including oil and gas stoves, furniture and carpeting, HVAC systems, potted plants and personal habits like smoking.
EPA research has shown that the air inside our homes may have two to five times more pollutants than the air outside. And guess what? Most people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors.
The Importance of Air Filters
Let’s remember that you don’t know the family that lived in the house before you. Were they smokers? Did they have pets? Was the HVAC system maintained in the last few years? Depending on the system you have, your air filters should be changed at least once a year. If not, they can get clogged with smoke, allergens and dust.
Aside from getting clogged and causing your system to not work as it should, dirty air filters can cause a lot of health issues. That’s why, if you have allergies, your filters may need to be changed more frequently. Good news is that there are filters made specifically for those with allergies. (Not the filters you see advertised at the big box stores—but that’s a story for a different blog.)
Another Option: Air Cleaners
Let’s play another game: Dirty filter or clean filter?
[OR: How long did it take for this filter to get so dirty? – if we have a reasonable estimate, maybe based on customer experience]
Remember that fun tidbit about indoor air being way more polluted than outdoor air? As the CPSC points out, most homes have multiple sources of indoor air pollution. And the cumulative effects can pose a serious risk to your health.
In addition to regular maintenance, another option is air purification systems, which help ensure the air in your home is as clean as possible. Whole-home systems like Aprilaire Air Cleaners can be completely integrated into your existing HVAC system. You can even control when and how the air cleaner runs, at the touch of a button. These cleaners are 98% effective at removing micron particles. Anything that measures 1/100th the diameter of a human hair, or larger, is toast.
Take Care of Your Air
There’s one more good reason to keep your HVAC system properly maintained. Manufacturers have the right to deny any warranty claims made on systems that aren’t maintained at least once a year. That means some hefty repair costs could come out of your pocket.
So, with all these great reasons to maintain your HVAC system, why put it off any longer? Would you ignore the check engine light on your car, or that cough that hasn’t gone away in a week? You can make it easy on yourself with a planned maintenance program, which even includes emergency repairs.
We all need to remember that the HVAC system is an important part of our homes and our families’ well-being. It’s time we started treating it that way.
We offer a variety of solutions to make the air quality in your home cleaner and safer. Call us today to schedule a visit with one of our comfort consultants. Be sure to mention that you have a “Trissue” to receive $___ off your service call!