Indoor air quality is key to the health of your family. Were you aware that the air inside the average home is much more polluted than outdoor air? It is—about five times more. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental risks. Mold, pollen, pet dander, radon and even formaldehyde are usually found inside homes.
Humidity is also a concern when it comes to indoor air quality. Air that is too humid or too dry can have ill effects on your health and damage your home. Let’s review three of the ways Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning can help you improve the indoor air quality in your Omaha home.
A Clean System is the First Step to Good Indoor Air Quality
A dirty HVAC system can harbor and circulate allergens throughout your indoor space. Your first line of defense is to ensure you maintain your system and keep it clean. The easiest thing you can do is take a look at your air filter regularly and replace it when it becomes dirty. In the majority of homes, the air filter needs to be changed every two or three months, but Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning recommends that you check them every month—especially if you have indoor air quality concerns. Annual furnace, heat pump and/or air conditioner maintenance is beneficial, too. Your technician will ensure your system is clean and not circulating dust and debris through your Omaha home.
Enlist the Help of an Air Purifier
An air purifier can help improve indoor air quality and provide some relief from seasonal and indoor allergies. For maximum allergy control, look for an air purifier that filters out at least 95 percent of particles as small as .3 micron (a micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter). Regardless of whether allergies are an issue with any one in your home, filtering out pollutants is beneficial. The EPA has stated that the long-term effects of poor indoor air quality include potentially debilitating or deadly respiratory and heart diseases and cancer (https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/introduction-indoor-air-quality). A good air purifier, like the Lennox® PureAirTM, will remove 90 percent of germs and bacteria from your home—down to .01 micron.
Another way an air purifier can make your home more comfortable is by reducing household odors. While not as serious as pollutants and germs, bad odors are normally unwelcome in people’s homes. Odors from things like pets, cooking, and sports gear can leave your house smelling unclean. Cleaning your air with an air purifier is a healthier way to remove these odors than trying to mask them. Cleaning products, air sprays and scented candles might actually pollute your indoor air more. The right air purifier will obliterate household odors, giving you clean, healthy air.
Control Humidity for Health
The EPA suggests maintaining your indoor relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent. When your air is too dry it can cause health problems like upper-respiratory issues, dry throat and nose, and itchy skin. Remember that viruses generally thrive in dry air, and dry air is known to intensify symptoms for allergy and asthma sufferers. And, chances are high that your home’s air is too dry—the average heated home has a relative humidity between 13 and 16 percent during the winter. That’s drier than the world’s driest deserts! So what can help?
A whole home humidifier can deliver up to 50 percent more humidity than portable humidifiers. Plus, you don’t have to constantly adjust most models—just program in your desired humidity and you’re set. Proper humidity levels will not only help keep your household in good health, but they can help defend your home from damages caused by dry airlike shrinking and cracking wood. What’s even better is that humid air feels warmer, so with a whole home humidifier on board, you could fix your thermostat a little lower to save on your utility bills without sacrificing comfort.
These are just a sampling of the ways Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning can help you improve your indoor air quality. Call us at 402-509-5940 to find out even more options.