Indoor air quality is vital to your family’s health. Were you aware that the air inside the average home is much more polluted than outdoor air? It is—about five times more. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks. Mold, pollen, pet dander, radon and even formaldehyde are usually found inside homes.
Humidity is also a concern when it comes to indoor air quality. Air that is too humid or too dry can have harsh effects on your health and damage your home. Let’s check out three of the ways Contra Costa Heating & AC can help you improve the indoor air quality in your the Bay Area home.
A Clean System is the First Step to Good Indoor Air Quality
A dirty HVAC system can harbor and circulate allergens throughout your indoor space. Your first line of defense is to keep your system clean and well maintained. The easiest thing you can do is assess your air filter regularly and replace it when it becomes dirty. In many households, the air filter needs to be changed every two or three months, but Contra Costa Heating & AC recommends that you check them every month—especially if you have indoor air quality problems. Annual furnace, heat pump and/or air conditioner maintenance is beneficial, too. Your technician will confirm your system is clean and not circulating dust and debris through your the Bay Area home.
Enlist the Help of an Air Purifier
An air purifier can help improve indoor air quality and provide some relief from seasonal and indoor allergies. For optimal allergy control, look for an air purifier that filters out at least 95 percent of particles as small as .3 micron (a micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter). Even if your household doesn’t have allergies, filtering out pollutants is significant. The EPA has stated that the long-term effects of poor indoor air quality include potentially debilitating or deadly respiratory and heart diseases and cancer (https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/introduction-indoor-air-quality). A good air purifier, like the Lennox® PureAirTM, will remove 90 percent of germs and bacteria from your indoor space—down to .01 micron.
Another way an air purifier can make your house more comfortable is by eliminating household odors. While not as serious as pollutants and germs, bad odors are typically unwelcome in people’s homes. Odors from things like pets, cooking, and sports gear can cause your home to smell unclean. Cleaning your air with an air purifier is a healthier way to get rid of these odors than trying to cover them up. Cleaning products, air sprays and scented candles might actually pollute your indoor air more. The right air purifier will destroy household odors, offering you clean, healthy air.
Control Humidity for Health
The EPA advises maintaining your indoor relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent. When your air is too dry it can cause health problems like upper-respiratory issues, dry throat and nose, and itchy skin. Remember that viruses generally thrive in dry air, and dry air is known to aggravate symptoms for allergy and asthma sufferers. And, chances are likely that your home’s air is too dry—the average heated home has a relative humidity between 13 and 16 percent in the winter months. That’s drier than the world’s driest deserts! So what can should you do?
A whole home humidifier can deliver up to 50 percent more humidity than portable humidifiers. Plus, you don’t have to repeatedly adjust most models—just program in your desired humidity and you’re set. Proper humidity levels will not only help keep you and your family in good health, but they can help defend your home from damages caused by dry airlike shrinking and cracking wood. What’s even better is that humid air feels warmer, so with a whole home humidifier on board, you could fix your thermostat a little lower to save on energy bills without sacrificing comfort.
These are just a sampling of the ways Contra Costa Heating & AC can help you enhance your indoor air quality. Give us a call at 510-343-9841 to find out even more options.