Why is Indoor Air Quality Important? Today’s homes are well sealed and insulated. They are highly energy efficient, but low airflow could cause uncomfortable air conditions inside as the same air is continuously re-circulated throughout your home. This recirculation can upset your home’s humidity balance and could cause damage from mold. Don’t worry, though, because Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. in West Columbia can help you have the best of both worlds: an energy-efficient home that is also comfortable! Keeping a continuous flow of fresh air in your home is key. Minimize health-threatening pollutants and make your home as comfortable as possible by bringing in a constant flow of fresh air. Opening windows is an option, but that only works in nice weather. What’s worse, open windows can allow more allergens into your home. So what is the solutions? A whole home ventilation system mixes fresh outside air in with your conditioned air. Control humidity for your comfort and health. We recommend setting your home’s relative humidity levels between 30% and 60% for your best comfort and health. Here are some signs that your home is too humid: Frequently damp areas Musty odors Condensation stains on the ceiling Condensation or frost on windows Sticky or clammy feeling in the air Peeling wallpaper You have to run your air conditioner more to maintain a comfortable environment You can also experience problems with your health and home when the air is too dry. During winter months, indoor relative humidity can be as dry as some of the world’s driest deserts. If you notice any of these symptoms, the humidity in your home could be too low: Excessive allergies or respiratory illnesses Scratchy, sore throat or excessive cough Dry, irritated nasal passages Dry, itchy skin Chapped lips Static shocks Cracked, peeling wallpaper Warped or cracked wood Damage to household furnishings What are your options if your home has a humidity imbalance? Call Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. in West Columbia at 803-265-4208 or arrange for an appointment online. We’ve got dehumidifiers and humidifiers that will help ensure your home is a comfortable home. Allergies and Other Health Problems in West Columbia could be a Result of Poor Air Quality Is your home healthy? There’s a real chance it’s not as healthy as you think. Invisible particles and chemicals circulating through your home’s air may result in headaches and allergy flare-ups. And mold and mildew can cause a variety of health conditions. How can I prevent indoor air quality problems? Lucky for us all, preventing indoor air quality problems can be relatively simple. Just follow these tips: Radon is the top cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, according to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Test your home for radon. Go to www.epa.gov to find out more information and to see if your state provides free or discounted test kits to the public. You should have carbon monoxide alarms set up by all sleeping areas. Demand that your home remains smoke free. Dust mites can aggravate allergies and asthma, particularly in children. To get rid of them, keep your home clean. While even regular cleaning can’t get rid of all dust problems, you can minimize them by making use of a whole-home filtration system with a MERV 16 rating, the highest capture efficiency among air cleaners. Anything that burns gas should be vented outside of your home. Don’t use scented candles or aerosol sprays to mask odors. Rather, you should find the source of the odor and get rid it. supplies for cleaning, painting and hobbies should be low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compound), which are safer for you and the environment. Ozone is a known lung irritant, so it’s best to avoid using products that produce it. You can help keep humidity levels comfortable using a humidifier or a dehumidifier, depending on your climate. Maintain humidity under 50% to inhibit mold and mildew buildup. Fix all leaks and cracks in your home. Make sure your home is properly ventilated, to prevent moisture problems. With a ventilation system, stale, contaminated indoor air is replaced with fresher outside air. Scheduling an appointment to have your HVAC equipment inspected to greatly reduce buildup of contaminants or moisture is an additional easy way to keep your home healthy. You can call Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. in West Columbia at 803-265-4208 or simply set up your appointment online.