Indoor air quality is central 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 hazards. Mold, pollen, pet dander, radon and even formaldehyde are regularly found inside homes.
You also need to think about humidity 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 Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating can help you increase the indoor air quality in your Pella 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 ensure you maintain your system and keep it clean. The easiest thing you can do is check your air filter regularly and replace it when it becomes dirty. In most homes, the air filter needs to be changed every two or three months, but Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating 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 make sure your system is clean and not circulating dust and debris throughout your Pella home.
Enlist the Help of an Air Purifier
An air purifier can help improve indoor air quality and provide 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 important. 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 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 leave your house smelling unclean. Cleaning your air with an air purifier is a healthier way to remove these odors than trying to cover them up. Cleaning products, air sprays and scented candles might actually pollute your indoor air more. The right air purifier will end household odors, leaving you with clean, healthy air.
Control Humidity for Health
The EPA recommends 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 throughout the cold season. That’s drier than the world’s driest deserts! So what can should you do?
A whole home humidifier can offer 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 ready to go. 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 set your thermostat a little lower to save on energy bills without sacrificing comfort.
These are just some of the ways Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating can help you improve your indoor air quality. Call us at 641-628-3621 to find out even more options.