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 classified indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental hazards. Mold, pollen, pet dander, radon and even formaldehyde are regularly found inside homes.
You also need to think about humidity when it comes to indoor air quality. Air that is too humid or too dry can have unpleasant effects on your health and damage your home. Let’s take a look at three of the ways Heartland Heating & Cooling can help you enhance the indoor air quality in your Des Moines home.
A Clean System is the First Step to Good Indoor Air Quality
A dirty HVAC system can harbor and circulate allergens throughout your house. Your first line of defense is to keep your system clean and well maintained. The easiest thing you can do is check your air filter routinely and replace it when it becomes dirty. In most homes, the air filter needs to be changed every two or three months, but Heartland Heating & Cooling recommends that you check them every month—especially if you have indoor air quality problems. Annual furnace, heat pump and/or air conditioner maintenance should also take place. Your technician will confirm your system is clean and not circulating dust and debris throughout your Des Moines home.
Enlist the Help of an Air Purifier
An air purifier can help improve indoor air quality and give some relief from seasonal and indoor allergies. For the greatest allergy control, look for one that filters out at least 95 percent of particles as small as .3 micron (a micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter). Even if no one in your home suffers from allergies, filtering out pollutants is significant. 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 house—down to .01 micron.
Another way an air purifier can make your house more comfortable is by eliminating 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 have it smell like your home is 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 recommends maintaining your indoor relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent. Dry air can cause health problems like upper-respiratory issues, dry throat and nose, and itchy skin. Don’t forget that viruses generally thrive in dry air, and dry air is known to heighten symptoms for allergy and asthma sufferers. And, chances are good that your home’s air is too dry—the average heated home has a relative humidity between 13 and 16 percent in the winter months. That’s drier than the world’s driest deserts! So what can should you do?
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 everyone in your home in good health, but they can help protect 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 set your thermostat a little lower to save on energy bills without sacrificing comfort.
These are just a sampling of the ways Heartland Heating & Cooling can help you improve your indoor air quality. Give us a call at 515-344-3579 to find out even more options.