How Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Home12/15/2017Indoor air quality is central to your household’s health. Were you aware 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 placed indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental hazards. Mold, pollen, pet dander, radon and even formaldehyde are regularly found inside homes. Another concern as it relates to indoor air quality is humidity. Air that is too humid or too dry can have unpleasant effects on your health and damage your home. Let’s check out three of the ways Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning can help you increase the indoor air quality in your Lodi home. A Clean System is the First Step to Good Indoor Air Quality A dirty HVAC system can harbor and circulate allergens throughout your indoor space. Your first line of defense is to ensure you maintain your system and keep it clean. The easiest thing you can do is assess 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 Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning recommends that you check them every month—especially if you have indoor air quality issues. Annual furnace, heat pump and/or air conditioner maintenance should also take place. Your technician will confirm your system is clean and not circulating dust and debris through your Lodi home. Enlist the Help of an Air Purifier An air purifier can help improve indoor air quality and offer some relief from seasonal and indoor allergies. For maximum 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). Regardless of whether allergies are an issue with any one in your home, filtering out pollutants is beneficial. 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 usually unwelcome in people’s homes. Odors from things like pets, cooking, and sports gear can cause your home to smell unclean. Cleaning your air with an air purifier is a healthier way to eliminate these odors than trying to cover them up. Cleaning products, air sprays and scented candles may actually pollute your indoor air more. The right air purifier will obliterate 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. When your air is too dry it can cause health problems like upper-respiratory issues, dry throat and nose, and itchy skin. Not to mention that viruses generally thrive in dry air, and dry air is known to intensify symptoms for allergy and asthma sufferers. And, chances are good that your home’s air is too dry—the average heated home has a relative humidity between 13 and 16 percent in the winter months. That’s drier than the world’s driest deserts! So what can help? A whole home humidifier can provide up to 50 percent more humidity than portable humidifiers. Plus, you don’t have to constantly adjust most models—just program in your desired humidity and you’re ready to go. Proper humidity levels will not only help keep your household in good health, but they can help protect 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 program your thermostat a little lower to save on energy bills without sacrificing comfort. These are just a sampling of the ways Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning can help you enhance your indoor air quality. Call us at [[phonenumber]] or schedule an appointment with us online to find out even more options.