Most people are surprised to learn that the air quality inside the average home is far worse and more polluted than the air outside the home. Nonetheless, numerous studies from the EPA and other agencies have proven this to be true. The fact that most homes remain tightly closed up during the colder months means that indoor air quality is usually even worse during the winter. Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to improve your home’s air quality and ensure you can breathe easily all winter long.
Clean or Replace Your HVAC Air Filter
Your HVAC system’s air filter is designed to trap dirt, dust, and other allergens and pollutants to prevent them from being spread throughout the home. However, the filter can’t properly do its job if it is overly dirty or clogged. The result is that more of this dirt and dust gets spread around your home. Not only that, but a dirty air filter also drastically reduces the efficiency of your heating system. For these reasons, it is recommended that you check the condition of your air filter and either clean or replace it if needed.
Have Your Ductwork Cleaned and Inspected
Dirty, damaged, or leaking ductwork can have a drastic effect on indoor air quality. Dirt, dust, pet hair, and other allergens tend to build up inside a home’s ductwork over time. When this happens, these materials are then spread throughout the house every time your heating system comes on. Making sure to regularly change your air filter can help to slow down this process, but even this isn’t enough to prevent it from happening eventually. This is precisely why most HVAC experts recommend having your ducts professionally cleaned every three to five years or more often if needed. In this way, you can ensure that your ducts are free from allergens and pollutants that could otherwise affect your home’s air quality.
Damaged or leaking ductwork tends to result in far more dirt and dust collecting inside the ducts. These issues also create the ideal conditions for cockroaches, mice, and other pests to take up residence inside your ducts. Any air leaks can also cause condensation to form inside the ducts and thus create the ideal conditions for potentially toxic mold to start growing. Pests, mold, and other similar issues will only further degrade your indoor air quality.
Ductwork cleaning will obviously help to solve these problems by ensuring your ducts are free from pests or mold. However, it is also important to have your ducts inspected and any leaks or damage repaired. Otherwise, it is likely that the problems will quickly return.
Consider Investing in an Air Purifier or Air Filtration System
Installing an air purifier or whole-home air filtration system is another great way to improve your indoor air quality. These systems can work to filter out any pollen and other pollutants from the air, which can be a huge help for allergy sufferers or anyone with respiratory problems. Air filtration systems can also prevent airborne germs and viruses from being spread through your HVAC system. This can be a huge help whenever someone in the family is sick by helping to minimize everyone else’s exposure to any airborne pathogens.
Manage Your Home’s Humidity Level
Excess moisture can be a huge problem for those who live in more humid areas. High humidity levels can both damage your home and furnishings and also make it much harder to breathe. Not only that, but it can also lead to mold growth that can further degrade your air quality. This is precisely why many people living in more humid areas opt to install a whole-home dehumidifier as part of their HVAC system.
Excessively dry air is usually more of a problem during the winter. When humidity levels drop too low, it can dry out your skin, cause your eyes to be itchy and runny, and worsen any sinus or respiratory issues. Generally speaking, the optimal humidity level for your home is between 30% and 50%. This means that you might want to consider installing a whole-home humidifier if your humidity level is under 30% or a whole-home dehumidifier if it is above 50%.
Your Indoor Air Quality Experts
Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning offer a wide range of solutions to help you improve your home’s indoor air quality. Duct cleaning, air purifiers, and filtration systems, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers are just some of your options. As one of Athens’ leading HVAC companies, we also offer the whole range of heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance services for both residential and commercial customers.
Don’t suffer from poor indoor air quality this winter. Contact Clockwork Heating and Air Conditioning for more information on how we can help you improve your home’s air so you can breathe more easily.