Throughout the year, you spend much of the day breathing the air in your home or workplace. And whether it’s summertime or wintertime, your heating/cooling system has a major impact on the quality of that air. A system in poor shape can potentially reduce air quality in several critical ways. On the other hand, a system in good working order can help you preserve air quality and receive a number of important short- and long-term benefits.
Air Quality and Your Heating/Cooling System
Whether you have a separately installed furnace and air conditioner or an integrated HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, temperature control is achieved by pulling in outside air and sending that air through an indoor ducting system or an outdoor conduit system. Your system also pulls air out of your home or business. These actions inevitably make your heating/cooling system a primary influence on indoor air quality. Main examples of potential indoor pollutants that are influenced by your system include mold, bacteria, fungi, cigarette smoke, pet dander, pollen, dust and toxic gases like carbon monoxide.
Health problems that may be linked to heating/cooling system malfunctions and resulting poor indoor air quality include headaches, contagious illness, fatigue, skin irritation and eye irritation. In commercial buildings or office buildings, which often rely exclusively on an HVAC system for air, these problems may affect large numbers of people simultaneously. When this happens, the widespread symptoms are sometimes known as sick building syndrome.
Benefits of Proper Control
A properly maintained furnace, air conditioner or HVAC system gives you the ability to control or even eliminate your risks for health problems caused by substandard indoor air quality. Specific benefits include lowered odds of developing a contagious illness, reduced exposure to dust and secondhand cigarette smoke, and the elimination of exposure to potentially deadly toxic gases. In your commercial building or office building, properly controlled indoor air can steeply reduce your chances of exposure to sick building syndrome.
Steps in Air Quality Control
No matter what type of heating/cooling system you rely on, you can take a number of steps to ensure proper control over the quality of indoor air. In addition to changing your system’s filters at recommended intervals, make sure to schedule periodic visits from an HVAC specialist who can perform a professional cleaning and assessment. An HVAC specialist can further enhance your air quality by integrating an air purifier into your system, as well as a monitoring system that checks for airborne toxins and automatically adjusts your temperature and humidity settings. Professional integration of a microorganism-killing UV light into your heating/cooling system can also significantly improve your air quality control capabilities.
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