Good indoor air quality is necessary to stay healthy. We spend cold winters indoors with the most efficient air circulation provided by heat pumps. Nevertheless, particulates that can cause diseases often build up in your furnace and ductwork.
Respiratory disease including allergies, sore throats, bronchitis, influenza, and pneumonia can be caused by dirty ducts and filter systems. The microscopic organisms that cause these problems, including bacteria and some viruses, can be sucked into the system through the air intake. They can also enter the ducts through breaks and tears. In addition, unwanted insects and even rodents can find their way into broken ducts where they nest and multiply!
Change Filters Frequently
The first step in improved indoor air quality requires a heat pump with a clean filtration system. There are many types of filters that can be used on various heating ventilation systems. High energy particulate air filters are commonly used in most whole house heating systems. HEPA filters are usually the pleated mechanical air filters that force air through the fine mesh while particulates as small a .03 microns are trapped. This includes bacteria and some viruses.
Dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, and even tobacco smoke particles are stuck in the mesh material. The particulates cannot circulate through the ducts and blow out through the vents. People with asthma and other airborne allergiesshould use these filters with their heating systems.
The various types of HEPA filters include pleated or fan models that can trap large amounts of microbial material before they need to be changed. However, it is important to inspect these filters frequently. If the white filter becomes gray and dirty, it is time for a change.
HEPA filters are found in separate air purifiers that add another level of security to your home. Stand-alone air purifiers can be used in any room of your home for extra protection. They are very useful in situations where you have pets. Air purifiers are often used in rooms where children with allergies sleep. They are also handy in the kitchen and eating areas.
Install UV Germicidal Lights
Powerful ultraviolet lights destroy particulates that build up on the coils of a heating system. This is a special type of “bug zapper” that keeps the microbes from dust and mold from accumulating on the coils. It also destroys flies, fleas and other insects, keeping them from finding a home in your ventilation system.
Ducts can crack and tear. The tiniest break can provide a pathway for microbes along with small insects. Ducts should be repaired or replaced before winter or during the cold season if necessary.
Broken ducts will also lead to heat loss that can raise your energy bill. Warm air will escape through the breaks and tears.
Keep Your Home Clean
Removing dust mites and using a vacuum are very important for keeping a home clean. Hard surface floors can be cleaned in several ways to prevent the build-up of dust and mold spores.
The pesky mold and mildew spores love a warm, moist environment such as a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. Mold is also found in the condenser pans of air conditioning units. Mold spores can be sucked in with air intake systems and proliferate in broken air ducts that allow moisture to seep into the ductwork. No one should breathe mold spores that can cause throat irritations, sneezing, and coughing.
Your heat pump system should be checked at least once a year by professionals at Coastal Heat Pumps if you are a Greater Victoria resident. Check out our annual maintenance plan and contact us to learn more about how Coastal Heat Pumps can improve the quality of air in your home.