Many parts of the United States have been affected by harsh winter weather in the past few years. Thanks to the wide availability of heating systems, most of us are fortunate enough to stay warm and safe. Heaters, such as such as furnaces, boilers and heat pumps, really come in handy during extreme winter weather conditions. Having a functioning heating system is vital to our comfort. However, we also need to be aware that improper heater maintenance and usage could lead to illness and health hazards.
Asthma And Allergies
Most HVAC systems recirculate indoor air. While recirculating air helps save energy, it increases the concentration of indoor air pollutants. These pollutants include pet dander, dust mites, mold, and pollen. Recirculated indoor air has been found to contain as much as five times the amount of pollutants as outdoor air. This is especially true when the vents and ducts are not properly maintained and cleaned.
Exposure to these indoor pollutants can cause allergies, asthma, as well as irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat.
This problem is more pronounced in warmer climates. In these types of climates, heating systems are only turned on a few times a year. Regardless of where you live, dust and debris get trapped in the ducts and vents. This especially happens when these systems are not in use.
To avoid asthma and allergies caused by your heating system, make sure you change your air filters. Check it once a month and make sure you change it at least every three months. The rule of thumb is to change it when it is dirty. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) claims that you need to do this to remove indoor air pollutants. Hire a professional to have your ducts and vents examined, and cleaned if necessary. Regularly open your doors and windows to air out the interior. Be sure to do this especially when you’re turning on the furnace for the first time in months. You can also use an air purifier to help remove indoor air pollutants.
Cold And Flu
The warm indoor temperature during the winter season encourages the growth of germs and viruses.
During winter time, most people stay indoors where the air is recirculated. This means that there is a higher chance of catching a cold or flu. Heating systems also tend to dry up the mucus layer in our nasal passage, making our respiratory system more prone to infection.
To reduce the chances of getting sick during the cold and flu season, try to avoid crowded indoor spaces. Make sure you get ample fresh air by spending time outdoors.
Have your vents and ducts cleaned by a professional. Tune-up your heating system. This helps improve indoor air quality. Turn down the thermostat a few notches to reduce the drying effect. Open doors and windows periodically to get some fresh air. You can also use saline nasal mist or nasal gel to keep the mucus layer along your respiratory system moist, and keep germs and viruses at bay.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer because it’s a colorless, odorless and toxic gas. Furnaces that operate improperly or are improperly vented produce an elevated amount of carbon monoxide. This leads to symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, and irregular breathing. Exposure to a high level could be life-threatening.
To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning caused by your heating system, have your furnace properly installed and inspected periodically by a professional. This helps ensure safe operation. Also, you need to install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home. This alarm will alert you when there’s an elevated level of carbon monoxide in the air.
Heater Maintenance Guilford CT
No one wants to get sick when using their heater. You can avoid this and create a healthy indoor environment by making sure that you tune-up your heating system. Not only will it improve the health of all of your household members, but it will also make your system perform in a more energy efficient manner. This means that it will use less energy which reduces home heating costs. Be sure to contact Wilcox Energy to get your heating system in proper working order today!
We service Branford CT 06405, Clinton CT 06413, Deep River CT 06417, East Haven CT 06512, Guilford CT 06437, Killingworth CT 06419, Madison CT 06443, North Branford CT 06471, North Haven CT 06473, Northford CT 06472, Westbrook CT 06498, and surrounding areas.
For more information about heating systems, heating system tune-up, or heating system repairs, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can contact us at (860) 399-6218. We offer a full line of affordable and trusted heater repair services, maintenance, and installations.