How Does HVAC Maintenance Improve Indoor Air Quality?
Keeping the members of your household healthy is likely a top priority. Dust, dander, pet hair and other debris in the air can aggravate asthma or allergies. Scheduling regular tune-ups for your HVAC system can actually improve your home’s indoor air quality and help keep the people who live in your home healthier.
Why Indoor Air Quality Is Important
We spend a lot of time in our homes. Making sure that the air we breathe when we are indoors is safe and healthy is very important. About 25 million people suffer from asthma. About 17 million of these individuals are children. Indoor air contaminated with pollutants can lead to asthma attacks as well as other health concerns including headaches, eye irritation, allergies or even cardiovascular disease.
There are a number of pollutants that may be found in a home. Improving your indoor air quality will help remove the dangerous substances from the air and protect you and the other members of your household. Some of these pollutants include dust, pollen, pet dander, mold and secondhand smoke.
Components of HVAC Maintenance That Can Improve Indoor Air Quality
Air Filter Replacements
As its name suggests, an air filter is designed to filter out substances to keep them from recirculating in your home. They are specially designed to trap small particles of dust, dirt, pollen and other pollutants.
However, if an air filter is not changed at least every 30 to 60 days, it will become clogged. Once the air filter is clogged, it won’t be as effective at trapping pollutants. This will allow more dust, dander and other pollutants back into your home’s air.
When you take your air filter out, if you see that it is coated with thick, gray dust, it is definitely time to replace it. Rather than letting your air filter get overly full and decreasing its effectiveness, set up a reminder to check it and replace it about once a month.
When you sign up for an HVAC maintenance plan with a professional, one thing they will do is to inspect your filter and make sure it doesn’t need to be replaced. However, since professional HVAC tune-ups are only necessary twice a year, you should make sure the filter gets replaced during other parts of the year as well.
Removal of Dirt and Debris From the HVAC System
In addition to the dirt, dust and other debris that your air filter catches, other debris can escape and collect within your HVAC unit itself. When your air filter is full, this is more common, but some debris can still find its way into your system even when you regularly replace your air filter. When these particulates build up in your system, not only can it have a negative impact on your home’s air quality, it can also make your HVAC system work harder to heat or cool your home. This can result in increased energy costs and can shorten the life of your system.
When you schedule an HVAC tune-up, the technician can inspect your unit for signs of dust and debris and remove them to both improve the air quality in your home and make sure your HVAC system isn’t enduring unnecessary stress.
Managing Humidity Levels
An efficient HVAC unit can also help manage the humidity level in your home and keep it from getting too humid or too dry. This is an important job, as environments that are too humid can become a breeding ground for mold and other bacteria. Mold can cause serious damage to your home and can also irritate allergies, worsen asthma or cause other breathing problems.
Having your HVAC unit and attached humidifier serviced can help make sure everything is functioning as it should be. This can help put your worries at ease about potential issues with mold in your home.
Air Duct Cleaning
Air duct cleaning is separate from an HVAC tune-up, but it is an important piece of maintaining your system and improving your home’s air quality. An HVAC system recirculates the air in your home. As we mentioned above, that air includes tiny pollutants such as mold, dust, dirt, dander and other debris that isn’t always caught by your air filter.
Over time, these pollutants settle in your air ducts and will recirculate in your home when your system is turned on. Having your air ducts cleaned can remove any settled pollutants to reduce the number of contaminants and improve your home’s air quality.
Other Ways to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
In addition to keeping your HVAC system well-maintained, there are a few other things you can do that will have a positive impact on your home’s indoor air quality.
Vacuum any carpeted areas in your home at least once every week. This will help remove any dust, dander, pet hair or other debris that has fallen to the carpet and will keep them from getting kicked up and circulating in the air. Consider investing in a vacuum with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters will trap very small contaminants and keep them out of your air much better than a standard vacuum.
Purchase an Air Purifier
An air purifier can help remove some allergens and pollutants from your air. You may choose to put them in the rooms your family spends the most time in, including bedrooms, to improve the air in these spaces.
Install a Whole-Home Air Purifier
Since most air purifiers you can purchase at the store are only designed to be used in one room of your home, you would have to purchase a lot to purify the air in your entire home. Alternatively, you can consider having a whole-home air purifier installed. A whole-home air purifier connects with your HVAC system to purify all the air that passes through it, cleaning it before it recirculates into your home.
Purchase a Dehumidifier
If your basement or any other rooms in your home are too humid, it can facilitate the growth of mold. Dehumidifiers are designed to pull moisture out of the air to lower humidity levels. This will make it much less likely that you’ll face a problem with mold in your home.
Allow Fresh Air to Circulate
When possible, try to open up your windows to allow air to circulate. This can freshen up the air and eliminate any stale air that has just been sitting. Fans can also aid with circulation and can be especially useful in the kitchen to get rid of fumes or smoke from cooking.
If you are ready to schedule an HVAC tune-up for your system to help improve your home’s air quality, contact Black Lion in Kirkland today. We’ve been providing quality service to Seattle, WA, and the surrounding area for over 20 years and would love to add you to our list of satisfied customers. We also offer a full range of heating and cooling services.