Since most people stay inside their home more during the winter, good indoor air quality is important. Fortunately, your heating system helps you achieve this. It contains a built-in air filter that keeps dust, dander, and other particulates out of circulation. HVAC contractors recommend changing the filter according to manufacturer’s schedule at a minimum. This time interval is typically every one to three months. Dirty or clogged filters cause problems for your heating system and can cause it to shut down and run inefficiently. So, be sure to change your furnace filter regularly and follow these handy tips for ways to help avoid illness this season.
How to Fend Off Colds and Flus at Home
1. Use a HEPA Filter
Some furnaces can accept HEPA-grade filters. These advanced filters capture over 99% of particles that are 0.3 microns and larger, thus purifying your home’s air better. Although they cost a bit more than regular filters, these filters typically also last longer than the standard variety. So, rather than changing the filter monthly, you may only need change them 2 to 4 times per year.
2. Install a Humidifier
Winter air tends to be very dry. Adding a whole-house humidifier to your HVAC system will keep your home’s humidity level optimized between 40% and 50%, thereby making it easier for you to breathe. This helps your body break down mucus by keeping it thin, so you cough less and have decreased inflammation for faster recovery from a cold or flu. As an added bonus, the humidity will also help counteract problems with nose bleeds along with relief from the discomfort of dry hair, skin, and lips.
3. Invest in an Air Purifier
Talk to your HVAC contractor about incorporating an air purifier into your heating and cooling system. These devices remove and eliminate microbes that are too small for a HEPA filter to catch, preventing sickness and allergies.
4. Plug in a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Some flu-like symptoms are also indications of a low-level carbon monoxide leak. This gas is a by-product of natural gas and propane furnaces, and it is safely exhausted outside. Failure of the heat exchanger or exhaust vent will permit carbon monoxide gas to enter the living space. Low-level exposure to this gas can cause headaches, nausea, and shortness of breath, and high-level exposure can be deadly. All homeowners should keep a carbon monoxide detector on every level of their home, especially near bedrooms, so that you can be awakened by its alarm. Check the batteries annually when you check your smoke detectors and regularly test the units to ensure they are working properly.
Keep your heating system operating at peak performance with assistance from our team at Jon’s Plumbing & Heating. Serving Mount Vernon, OH, and surrounding cities, we are a state-licensed HVAC contractor that is EPA-certified and strives to exceed government standards. Learn more about our capabilities on our website. Call (740) 520-2312 to schedule an appointment or ask questions about our membership club, which comes with priority scheduling, discounts, extended warranties, loyalty credits, and no overtime labor charges.