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How Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Health

sick-woman-indoorsIn our industry, the term “indoor air quality” can have a lot of different meanings. Poor indoor air quality can affect a home in a lot of different ways. Excess humidity can make you uncomfortable, particularly in warm weather, and a lack of humidity can dry out your skin and even the furniture in your home. Poor ventilation makes the air feel stale, and leaks in the ductwork could raise your bills.

However, probably the biggest concern with your indoor air quality is health. The health of your family matters most of all, but you may be unclear of the impact of your home’s air. We have some information below. For a customized indoor air quality product for your whole home, reach out to our award-winning team!

Common Allergens in the Air

Folks with allergies and asthma are familiar with the itchy eyes, coughing, and sneezing that comes around during allergy season. While you might hope that those symptoms would go away after you spend some time indoors, away from outdoor allergens, that’s typically not the case.

Air filters are not as effective at removing common contaminants as many people think. The standard air filter can remove a large percentage of particles in the air—of a certain size. But if the particles in the air are too small, they might still pass through, and the smallest particles are often the most harmful.

Since your run the air conditioner and heater with the doors and windows shut tightly, these contaminants may simply continue to circulate until they settle or until someone breathes them in.

  • Pollen
  • Pet Dander
  • Mold Spores
  • Dust Mites
  • Smoke

Other Airborne Contaminants

Other organic contaminants are harmful for any individual, not just for people with allergies and asthma. Consider microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. When these are airborne, family members are more likely to become ill, regardless of preexisting conditions (although those with immune system disorders are more at risk).

Then, there is the likely presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your home’s air at some point in time. These include chemicals that are quite often found in our homes—in building materials, cleaning products, upholstery, and more.

What Can You Do?

You can help to reduce the amount of airborne contaminants in your home in a couple of ways. Proper ventilation can help immensely. Even just opening up the windows from time to time (as the weather allows) can help to bring in enough fresh air to improve the air quality. We can install an energy recovery ventilator that lets in fresh air without affecting AC and heating efficiency very much.

Then, there are indoor air quality products available for installation. We recommend choosing a whole-house air purifier or air filtration system, rather than a plug-in system, so that the air circulating throughout your home is treated. Ask a technician which system is right for your home!

Bartels Heating & Cooling installs and services indoor air quality systems in Oxford, OH. Ed Reid, President of Bartels, has recently been awarded Contractor of the Year!

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