How Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Home12/15/2017Indoor air quality is key to your household’s health. 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 ranked 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 harsh effects on your health and damage your home. Let’s review three of the ways Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. can help you increase the indoor air quality in your West Columbia 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 assess 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 Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. 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 make sure your system is clean and not circulating dust and debris all over your West Columbia 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 optimal 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). 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 indoor space—down to .01 micron. Another way an air purifier can make your home more comfortable is by eliminating household odors. While not as bad 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 get rid of these odors than trying to cover them up. Cleaning products, air sprays and scented candles can actually pollute your indoor air more. The right air purifier will obliterate household odors, offering you clean, healthy air. Control Humidity for Health The EPA suggests maintaining your indoor relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent. Air that is too dry 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 in the winter months. That’s drier than the world’s driest deserts! So what can help? A whole home humidifier can offer 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 guard 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 energy bills without sacrificing comfort. These are just a few of the ways Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. can help you enhance your indoor air quality. Contact us at [[phonenumber]] or book an appointment with us online to find out even more options.