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The HVAC System: Your Home’s Lungs

Posted in Air Quality, on March 09, 2017

The air ducts in your home or business are a critical part of the heating and cooling of your building as well as a major factor of your indoor air quality. Air ducts move heated and cooled air throughout your building to provide a ventilated and comfortable indoor environment - think of them as the circulatory system! With time your ducts can become contaminated which can lead to a number of problems with your indoor air quality. Since they are most often out of sight, it’s easy for them to be out of mind as well - but a little attention paid to your ducts can improve your indoor air quality and prevent long term problems from taking hold.

The biggest aid in keeping a high level of indoor air quality is to have a high efficiency air filter installed. Keeping the filter clean and clear of debris and dust can keep your system running smoothly and increase its longevity. The dust that is getting sucked up is redistributed around your home by your heating and cooling system, creating poor indoor air quality and spreading the impact of pollen or other allergens that can be detrimental to you and your family’s health. Having the air filter cleaned and replaced regularly can have a huge impact on your indoor air quality and is a relatively easy way to greatly improve your indoor air quality. Make sure the seal around the outside of the filter is tight and any loose spots are taped off so that your system is sealed.

If moisture is present in your home, these dirty ducts can create bigger problems than dust or pollen build-up - toxic mold can begin to grow, and the spores from these growths can affect your whole family as your indoor air quality is contaminated from within. Symptoms related to poor indoor air quality include: sneezing, headaches, hypersensitivity, and dizziness, amongst other things. If you or someone you know notices these symptoms appearing only after they spend time in your home or business, it’s a good idea to do a visual inspection of your ducts, vents, registers and filters to rule that out. It could be that your filters are in need of cleaning or replacement, but it could also be inadequate temperatures, high (or low) humidity, and poor ventilation. Your indoor air quality can also be affected by contaminants such as chemicals, dust, molds, and VOCs, which can come from recent construction, household or business appliances and off-gassing furniture or paints.

The easiest ways to visually inspect your system and fix poor indoor air quality are:

  • Opening one of your vent covers and inspecting the inside for dust and debris
  • Examining your air registers for dust buildup on both the inside and outside
  • Check your filter and have it cleaned or repaired if necessary!

Maintaining your air duct system is one of the first steps in having excellent indoor air quality and creating a safe indoor environment for you and those around you. By having your system cleaned and maintained, you not only have better indoor air quality, but you will have better overall performance, less costly repairs, a more efficient heating bill, and a cleaner home. Your indoor air quality is a key part of your and your family’s health, and taking a few easy steps to make sure all parts of your ventilating system are running smoothly can have a big impact on your overall indoor air quality.

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