With pollen season in full swing and the ongoing health crisis, having an understanding of the issues pertaining to indoor air quality is more important than ever. Our homes are supposed to be safe havens. But is the air we breathe inside our homes really safe?
For many of us, spring is a time of year associated with sneezing fits, coughing, runny noses and watery eyes. Most will simply take an allergy pill and try to go about their day, not realizing that the issues they are experiencing could be due to poor indoor air quality.
In fact, the EPA has published findings that show indoor air typically has two to five times more pollutants than the air outside. This sheds light on the importance of getting outside for some fresh air, doesn’t it?
Of course, this also reinforces the idea that indoor air quality is something that cannot be ignored. There are many additional reasons for taking steps to improve indoor air quality, as illustrated by a variety of other credible sources, including:
- The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology – Up to 50 percent of all illnesses are either caused or exacerbated by poor indoor air quality.
- The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine – Controlling dust mites in indoor air can reduce asthma cases by 55 to 60 percent.
- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – Businesses accrue up to $168 billion in costs each year due to problems caused by poor indoor air quality, such as chronic absences and medical care.
- The DOE also found that improving indoor air quality could result in a 10 percent increase in worker productivity.
One of the main factors contributing to poor indoor air quality is a lack of regular maintenance on HVAC systems, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The organization points out that a host of problems can result, issues such as concentration problems, headaches, rashes, ear, nose, and throat irritation.
Luckily, there are a number of easy, practical solutions for maintaining HVAC systems. These steps can deliver an immediate, quick return, a drastic increase in the quality of the indoor air.
Of course, one of the easiest ways to make an improvement on indoor air quality is to change the filter regularly. This should be done a minimum of every three months, more so if you are a pet owner. If possible, a HEPA filter should be used, as these are more effective at trapping allergens.
Cleaning the duct work is also important. If this is something that has been neglected for a while, the ductwork should definitely be inspected, as many contaminants and other nasty critters can make their home there.
Humidity control is another important strategy for improving indoor air quality. Over time, drain lines and condensate lines can get clogged with sediment. If cleaning isn’t done on a regular basis, the moisture that your HVAC system is trying to remove from the air can be trapped. Having too much moisture can bring about a slew of problems such as mold, mildew and bacteria, and these issues can replicate extremely quickly if left unchecked.
There are other strategies for improving indoor air quality, but that will have to wait for a future article. To find out more about how to improve the air inside your home, or to learn about the extremely cost-effective Service Club Memberships we offer, which include ongoing HVAC maintenance features and three tiers to match the needs of our clients, please reach out to us at 910-791-0480 or email [email protected]
Chris Jones and the team at Green Dot HVAC are committed to provide their clients with a consultative, transparent approach, driven by innovative technology and a diligent work ethic. With a team of highly trained and versatile technicians, a focus on helping clients make informed decisions, and a commitment to deliver substantial value, Green Dot HVAC is a leader in the Southeast North Carolina marketplace. To arrange a free at-home consultation, a repair/installation or simply find guidance about the nuances of modern heating and air conditioning systems, call 910-791-0480.