The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks poor indoor air quality among the top 5 environmental health risks. The EPA states that indoor air can be as much as 100 times more polluted that outdoor air.In the last 15-20 years, homes have been built more energy efficient, meaning air tight. The tight construction creates an environment that traps or contains contaminants, and prevents escape. This air tight environment acts as a virtual incubator for microbial contaminants in the ventilation system. If a person is susceptible to allergens, he or she has a much greater chance of being aggravated.individuals with severe mold allergies in you home.
VENTILATION SYSTEM MAINTENANCE
HVAC systems cool/heat and circulate the indoor air in your home. House dust, the worst offender for causing indoor allergy and asthma symptoms, gets trapped and collects inside ventilation systems resulting in decreased efficiency of your system (causing more run time) and the increased possibility that your system is circulating and adding to the indoor air pollution in your home.
High humidity increases the build up of dust and contaminants in your system. Additionally, HVAC ventilation systems that become damp because of high humidity are perfect environments for molds, mildew and other microbes and microorganisms to flourish.
If left uncleaned for a long period of time, your ventilation system could be the largest cause of your house dust and allergy problems, not to mention the leading cause of HVAC system failure. A buildup of less than 1/16th of an inch on a heating or cooling coil can cause a 21% decrease of efficiency (EPA). 9 out of 10 system failures are caused by dirt and dust on components.
A clean system restores capacity and lessens running time -translation: clean systems run more efficiently saving money on heating and cooling costs. A well-maintained cooling system can substantially lower your monthly utility costs.
By simply cleaning and maintaining your HVAC system on a yearly basis (your dryer vent too) you can significantly reduce house dust and microbial contamination. For particularly sensitive individuals and those living in high humidity environments, the system should be cleaned every six months.
A clean HVAC system can actually be used to help decrease allergy and asthma symptoms. Air conditioning can be used to keep the humidity in your home to 50% or less to significantly slow the growth of dust mites, molds and mildews.
Electrostatic filters, UV lights and HEPA filters used and maintained (cleaned or replaced often) in your HVAC system also helps lower allergy and asthma symptoms as well as better maintaining an overall healthy system.Poor filtration is most often caused from using standard throw-away filters. Standard filters are only 10-20% effective because they are not typically replaced often enough. These filters should be changed every month or two. Change more often if you have recently done some construction or someone in the home is sensitive to dust.
HVAC’S ROLE IN PREVENTING ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA
Keep you home well ventilated. Have your ventilation system checked for clogs and leaks. Both can cause your system to work inefficiently; costing you money and possibly worsening allergy and asthma symptoms for sufferers.
Use air conditioning to keep inside humidity at 50% or lower to slow the growth of dust mites and mold during warm weather months or in areas of high humidity.
Replace fiberglass filters with dust and allergy prevention electrostatic filters and clean them often. Add a UV light to your system. Indoor air pollution is often higher than outdoor air pollution because of the sun’s natural air-cleaning UV rays. A UV light greatly reduces allergy and asthma triggers, but could also reduce cold, flu and other airborne viruses and bacteria.
Properly maintain heating and cooling systems by having them cleaned by a professional service using HEPA filtered technology. Have your HVAC system professionally cleaned at least once per year to keep it clear of molds and other microbes. Have the system cleaned twice a year if mold is a problem in your area. Click here if you’d like to learn about other contaminants that could affect your quality of life.
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