Winter is upon us and so is the flu season! In the winter we tend to stay indoors more for longer periods of time. With flu season only just beginning, it is time we talk about indoor air quality and ways we can improve it. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of health concerns.
Indoor pollution sources are the main cause of indoor air quality issues in businesses and homes. Examples of air pollutants are: Germs, dust, bacteria, virus, mold, pollen, animal and human dander, radon, carbon monoxide, smoke, chemicals in cleaning products, personal care items and building materials (asbestos, lead and formaldehyde) Basically, everything in our day to day routines and activities contributes to indoor air pollutants!
Change your air filter often!
It does not matter if you have an HVAC system, heating oil or gas furnace: Change your system air filter! During the heating season, the air your family breathes comes through the system air filter. You cannot change it too often. Most companies recommend changing air filters quarterly at a minimum and some doctors say as often as monthly during the flu season!
Never let it go more than a year without being changed. Not changing the air filter can cause problems in your heating system.
Make annual appointments for your oil furnace to be cleaned and serviced. If you have not done so yet this season, it is not too late. Part of system maintenance is replacing the heating systems air filter. If you have questions about changing your air filter, contact us.
Open the windows and air it out!
Running heat on excessively high settings, keeping moisture levels too high with improper air circulation cause the contaminants to become trapped indoors. Studies have shown impure air quality combined with inadequate circulation of air leads to allergic reactions fatigue and illness.
On warmer days, turn off the thermostat and open the windows periodically and air out indoor spaces. Bringing in fresh air helps circulate the air and remove illness causing pollutants that are trapped indoors.
Remember to set a timer as a reminder to close the windows! Despite the warmer temperatures this year, it is still winter.
Go green for cleaner indoor air, introduce plants into the indoors!
In 1989 Nasa released a study that discussed the importance of plants to indoor environments and their long term health benefits. This document is still used today by indoor landscapers when choosing plant types for large and small indoor spaces to help purify the air.
Plants take the carbon dioxide from air to produce oxygen that humans can breathe. Research shows that there are many benefits to adding indoor plants to both your home and office. Benefits of adding plants to indoor environments are: Healthier environments, lower indoor pollutant levels, happier moods, better job satisfaction, and stronger relationships.
Certain plants, while beneficial, can be harmful to humans and pets Do not ever introduce a plant into an environment where children and animals are present without reading up on the safety level first.
We want to know you are able to work and hibernate for the season in a healthy, clean indoor air environment!
If you considering having your office or home indoor air quality evaluated, contact us! Rittenhouse Comfort and Energy Services offers evaluations and consultations for free.