It’s January and in Middle Tennessee, we’re beginning to see the colder weather creep in. Although it’s been an unseasonably warm winter this year, the cold always rears its ugly head eventually and it looks like that time is here to stay. While we haven’t seen any snow yet this season, the arrival of winter weather seems to be pushing itself slowly but surely into blossom. And with those colder days, brings more time we spend inside our homes. Wintertime is the time of year people don’t typically venture outdoors except for when they have to, such as for work, the grocery store, and other essential reasons. If you’ve been caught by surprise with the recent colder temps, hopefully your heat pump or furnace is operating at peak ability. If not, you’ve been suffering from an uncomfortable couple of weeks! If you are having a heating issue, of course you can give us a call and we can help get that fixed. But, that’s not the main reason for this article. We wanted to take a few minutes of your time to talk about how the winter and poor indoor air quality go together like 2 peas in a pod. Your home may likely be suffering from poor indoor air quality, and it’s just as important as staying warm, that you’re breathing healthy air inside your home. Take advantage of the great tips in this article to remediate poor air quality issues that may be quietly hiding out in your home. There are many important steps you can take to minimize pollutants and allergens that exist in your home. Achieving a healthy level is not as hard as it may seem.
Naturally, we realize that opening windows and doors in the wintertime doesn’t seem to make much sense, but that is actually part of the problem. When your doors and windows are closed, pollutants have no way to escape the walls of your home—essentially trapping them inside. These contaminants that live alongside you include pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and even mold spores. Another dangerous pollutant that may be creeping inside your home is carbon monoxide. These fumes are caused by the operation of space heaters, fireplaces, dryers, gas furnaces, and hot water heaters. Other allergens and pollutants are also contained in the air you breathe in the form of dangerous chemical vapors from cleaning products, cooking, and other products we use in our home. These elements all combined can lead to some pretty rough breathing conditions. And the scary part about it is, we never even see them there. They’re completely invisible yet ever present, tarnishing the air we breathe in our own homes. Couple all that with a higher than usual humidity level, and you have the perfect climate for bacteria and allergen growth. That can lead to dangerous and toxic substances in not only the air you breathe but also in items you may use everyday such as your kitchen table, fan blades and other places where particles from the air settle in your home. This nasty stuff can be harmful to you and your family’s health. We have some tips you can try that will help you win the battle against poor indoor air quality.
Firstly and most importantly, at least once a year, you should have a heating and air conditioning inspection and maintenance program visit. Preventative maintenance—especially for your heating unit—can help find any issues that may exist. A skilled technician from PJ’s HVAC Repair can look at your entire system, check for leaks and fine tune your unit for peak performance. A thorough cleaning of your unit may be necessary to make sure no toxic air pollutants are entering your home through your HVAC unit. Ensuring all the components of your furnace are operating as they should by testing the heat exchanger and the ventilation system is a big step in improving your indoor air quality. You may also be able to do this next task yourself: Vacuum and clean out your vents and registers in your home on a regular basis. Any extra dust and particles you can remove from your vents and returns will help remediate some of the air quality issues. Make sure you’re cleaning the blades of ceiling fans on a normal basis and get rid of dust that naturally collects throughout the house. Of course, changing out your air filters at a minimum of once every 3 months is also a way to cut pollutants from re-entering the air in your home
Having a technician from PJ’s HVAC Repair perform an assessment of the ductwork in your home is also recommended every couple years. There could be damage to your ductwork that isn’t visible to you because it’s out of sight and out of mind in your attic or crawlspace. We’ve seen, on many occasions, animals and rodents dig into ductwork and leave toxic waste behind. When that blows into the air you breathe, there can be some really life-altering health issues that are caused as a result. Leaking or torn ductwork is a huge concern as any air that is pulled in from those tears or leaks is being passed directly into your home and into your lungs. A wide range of pollutants live in crawlspaces and attics. These are elements you won’t want to leave unchecked. Our professional team can properly diagnose and remediate any of those issues. We can also provide you with great products for sealing ductwork and services that will slow the advance of any future problems such as this.
Other tips we recommend to improve your home’s indoor air quality include looking at the humidity levels present in your home. A home with high levels of moisture is susceptible to growth of bacteria and pollutants. To help fix that issue, we recommend a dehumidifier. In combination with your HVAC system, a dehumidifier will help keep humidity levels in your home under control
Finally, with the goal being to cleanse the air in your home, we recommend a high quality air purifier that attract and contain allergens and pollutants. A good air purifier will trap most of the fine particles that fill the air in your home, helping to keep them at bay an improve your home’s indoor air quality
We hope this has been a useful article for you. We always strive to educate customers and help them solve their own unique issues. Unfortunately, this is one of those issues that all-too-often gets overlooked. If you would like to schedule a consultation and have our expert indoor air quality technicians perform a full assessment, please get in touch with us by calling 615-337-2345 or by simply filling out the form at the bottom of this page. We will get back in touch with you shortly!