As a homeowner, you probably give a great deal of attention to how well your furnace and air conditioner operate and keep each room of your home comfortable. But heating and cooling systems do more than raise and lower room temperature; they can also regulate or impact the quality of the air we breathe. Indoor air quality affects our comfort and our health.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor pollution sources that release gases or microscopic particles into the air are the primary causes of indoor air quality problems in homes. Poor ventilation could increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to reduce emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels could also increase concentrations of some pollutants.
Primary Sources of Indoor Air Quality Problems
There are many sources of indoor air pollution in homes. These include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood, and tobacco products, all of which could produce carbon monoxide and other invisible and potentially deadly gases. Carpets, household cleaning products, insulation, and building materials can produce high levels of toxins. Dust, mold, and allergens can easily and invisibly accumulate and spread through the air and throughout your home. Even outdoor sources such as radon and pesticides could potentially get in your home.
Amount of Ventilation
If there is not enough fresh outdoor air entering your home, pollutants could accumulate to levels that can pose health and comfort problems. Newer homes that are designed to minimize the amount of outdoor air that can leak into and out of the home may potentially have higher pollutant levels than older homes that are normally considered “leaky” or “drafty.”
Indoor Pollution and Health Effects
Sometimes the effects of indoor air quality take time to show up. Initial symptoms could include unexplained headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and irritation of eyes, nose and throat. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be debilitating or fatal. Have you changed the batteries in your detector or tested it recently?
Indoor Air Quality Solutions
Fortunately, homeowners have many options to ensure that the air quality of their homes is healthy and pollutant-free.
Source Control: Eliminate individual sources including smoking, wood or coal burning stoves. Keep cleaning products outside and remove harmful asbestos and insulation products.
Ventilation Improvements: Open your windows and doors. Run the bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans. Operate window or attic fans when weather permits.
Air Cleaners and Filters: There are many add-ons and modifications to your heating and air conditioning system that can be used to filter out contaminants and improve air quality. Changing your filter according to your system’s recommended maintenance schedule can keep your home allergy and pollution-free and can keep your heating and cooling system in fine working order for just a few dollars a year. On the higher end, there are some outstanding filtration systems that can remove up to 98% of all household contaminants.
The Right Systems and Equipment for Your Home
If you have an older model heating or air conditioning system, chances are that the quality of the air you and your family are breathing is not as good as it could be. After about 10 years of operation, many heaters and air conditioners can turn into breeding grounds for germs, allergens, and mold. Air conditioners and heaters manufactured before the year 2000 produce far more pollutants than today’s cleaner, more efficient models. Today’s heating and air conditioning systems also include advanced temperature and humidity controls and filtration systems to maintain ideal conditions and remove airborne contaminants.
If you’re concerned about the quality of air in your home, contact Tiger Heating and Air Conditioning. Our comfort advisors can perform a FREE In-Home Energy and Comfort Analysis to assess your indoor air quality and determine if your existing heating and cooling system poses any health risks. They can also work with you to design a heating and air conditioning solution that can deliver maximum comfort and optimal air quality.
Call Tiger Heating & Air Conditioning Services at 1-866-TIGER70 or visit TrustTiger.com to schedule an In-Home Energy and Comfort Analysis Today!