In the HVAC world, we spend a lot of time talking about temperature. Just as important is the quality of your indoor air. Poor indoor air can lead to discomfort, stagnant air, bad temperature control, germs and can even increase the likelihood that you get sick. As we progress through spring and into the summer, things like pollen and air quality become more prevalent and that’s what we’re here to discuss today.
Here are a few things that might surprise you about your indoor air quality and the effects it can have on both you and your system.
Do you have a room that no matter what – seems like it’s always being overrun by dust? Well in houses with central air, it’s a sure-fire sign that you have a dirty air filter. Dirt and grime build up, the stuff that needs to be filtered out isn’t. Then it sits in your room. It’s as simple as that. The solution is also pretty simple. Just change that air filter.
And speaking of air filters….
It’s important to change your filters year-round. The honest answer is that we know that most don’t change them as much as they should and it’s probably the furthest thing from your mind over the course of time. The filters themselves usually don’t get changed until the air is gross and they begin to notice the odor.
That being said, changing the filter isn’t that big of a deal and is absolutely something you can do yourself. We recommend changing your filters twice a year- once right before you heat your house and then right before you start to run your air conditioning. Filters can be purchased for a relatively reasonable price and it’s always good to buy them in bundles just to save yourself the running around. Even better – if you have an ongoing maintenance plan – make sure this is included. It’s just one less thing that you have to do
Open windows seem like a great idea, but they’re usually not. While it’s a great way to relieve stagnant air., you really don’t want to leave your windows open more than you have to. Unfiltered, untreated air can make its way into your home – and when it does, it deposits dust, dirt and all sorts of other allergens all over your indoor surfaces. Don’t be afraid to air out your house now and then – but be judicious about it.
We absolutely recommend airing out your house after a long, cold winter – especially right after you’ve turned off your heat. And while it might get chilly now and then – it’s not a bad idea to do it in the later fall months – especially right after you’ve turned your heat on after a long lay off. That way you can burn off a lot of the dust, etc that accumulates over time.
The conditioning of the evaporator coil usually drives purification. Make sure you’re scheduling regular cleanings with your contractor. If you don’t, you’ll get stuck with what they call ‘dirty sock syndrome’ – when mildew grows on the evaporator coils and leaves an… odor.
Just take our advice on this and give your nose a break! Like air filters – this should be included in an ongoing maintenance plan and can be something easily taken off your plate. While you COULD do this yourself, getting at the coil can be a pain for those who don’t know what they’re doing, so in this particular case – we recommend that you get a pro to come in on either an ongoing basis to do it – or as part of an annual checkup.
Looking to get a better handle on the air in your home? Give us a call today to schedule maintenance or have us walk you through a customized, ongoing maintenance plan.
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