Throughout most of the country, the summer heat is beginning to dissipate or has gone away completely. As temperatures begin to drop, more and more people tend to congregate indoors for good reason. Given the current pandemic, many health experts are concerned that larger gatherings indoors may result in “super spreader” events for COVID-19. Regardless of the novel coronavirus, air quality should always be considered in any home or office.
Did you know that pollutant levels inside your home can be two to five times higher than the air outside? There are various reasons why indoor air becomes contaminated. Humidity and high temperatures are one cause, potentially producing mold and bacteria. Under certain conditions, appliances such as ovens, stoves, fireplaces, water heaters, space heaters and dryers can put off hazardous gases like carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.
There can be immediate and long-term effects of continually breathing in poor air quality. A sore throat, watery eyes and nose, headaches, dizziness, dry skin, and fatigue are the most common symptoms. Years of exposure can create serious health conditions like cancer, heart disease and respiratory failure. Be sure to notice where you feel these symptoms, as air quality could be the trigger.
In South Florida, an annual HVAC inspection and service is highly recommended. Typically, air conditioning companies are not as busy during the cooler months of the year & this can be a great time to schedule your service. In addition to ensuring air quality, you will also want to know that your system is running as efficiently as possible.
In addition to having a professional service your HVAC system, you should be extremely disciplined in changing your air filters on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. When doing so, this is also a great time to inspect your condensation line. This condensation line typically drains directly from your air conditioning handler to outside the home. A small cap of bleach added to this line can do wonders with ensuring that it is clear of any blockage. Another common approach used by professionals is to use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any blockages from the line. This is done by locating where the line drains to the outside of the home and vacuuming this end.
In closing, we are all spending even more time inside our homes nowadays. Now more than ever, it is exceptionally important to ensure that our HVAC systems are running efficiently and producing ideal air quality. A simple best practice to implement is to set monthly reminders in your phone calendar to change your air conditioning filters. Furthermore, you do not need to purchase the most expensive air filters. Oftentimes, these filters tout that they do not need to be replaced for 3 months or more, in some cases. Although these air filters may last longer, they can also put more strain on your air conditioning unit. Therefore, we recommend using the basic air filters while making sure that they are replaced every 30 days.