Indoor air quality is central to the health of your family. Did you realize 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 dangers. Mold, pollen, pet dander, radon and even formaldehyde are commonly found inside homes.
Another concern as it relates to indoor air quality is humidity. Air that is too humid or too dry can have unpleasant effects on your health and damage your home. Let’s check out three of the ways Honke Heating & AC can help you increase the indoor air quality in your Gresham 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 make sure your system is kept clean and well maintained. The easiest thing you can do is take a look at your air filter regularly and replace it when it becomes dirty. In many households, the air filter needs to be changed every two or three months, but Honke Heating & AC 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 also important. Your technician will ensure your system is clean and not circulating dust and debris through your Gresham 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 an option that filters out at least 95 percent of particles as small as .3 micron (a micron is one-thousandth of a millimeter). Even if your household doesn’t have 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 reducing household odors. While not as bad as pollutants and germs, bad odors are typically unwelcome in people’s homes. Odors from things like pets, cooking, and sports gear can cause your home to smell unclean. Cleaning your air with an air purifier is a healthier way to eliminate 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 destroy household odors, giving you clean, healthy air.
Control Humidity for Health
The EPA recommends 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. 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 likely 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 help?
A whole home humidifier can provide up to 50 percent more humidity than portable humidifiers. Plus, you don’t have to repeatedly adjust most models—just program in your desired humidity and you’re set. Proper humidity levels will not only help keep you and your family 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 your utility bills without sacrificing comfort.
These are just some of the ways Honke Heating & AC can help you increase your indoor air quality. Contact us at 503-663-8033 to find out even more options.