How to Protect the Air Quality of your Portland Home

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Having lived through a pandemic, the air we breathe is something we all consider a little more these days. And while this notion may be more top of mind in light of recent events, air quality has always had a major effect on the health and well-being of the inhabitants of any home.

The fact is, bacteria, viruses, allergens and even pollution thrive inside homes. That’s why, for the sake of your health and the health of those around you, it’s smart to keep an eye on and maintain your home’s indoor air quality.

Here are five steps you can take this spring to make your home’s air quality cleaner and safer:

KEEP YOUR HVAC SYSTEM ON POINT

The microbes that cause disease are more likely to survive and reproduce if the air isn’t circulating throughout your home. That’s why it’s very helpful to have a functioning HVAC system that can move air from room to room without any issue.

Your HVAC system—which encompasses both your furnace and your air conditioner—should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure it’s in good working order. Regular maintenance by an HVAC professional will ensure your ductwork and filters are clean and the air in your home is circulating effectively, without becoming stagnant. This will go a long way toward reducing the spread of harmful pathogens in your home.

DUCT CLEANING FOR THE WIN 

Over time, a build up of dirt, dust, debris, and other contaminants can settle in your home’s ductwork. It’s important to make sure your house’s ductwork and your HVAC system’s heating and cooling coils are clean and free from build-up so your indoor air quality is the best it can be. 

Duct cleaning is especially important if you’ve had a problem with mold, an infestation from insects or rodents, or you’ve completed a renovation at some point in your home’s history (this can lead to a substantial build up of dust and debris). Give us a call if you’re interested in making sure your ductwork is free and clear of any potential airborne pollutants. 

BREATHE EASIER WITH A FRESH AIR FILTER

Changing your system’s air filters should also be on the maintenance checklist for your HVAC system. Pathogens such as mold, viruses, and bacteria can accumulate and multiply inside of dirty air filters. As air circulates throughout your home, these pathogens will be carried into every room in your house. This, of course, will render you more susceptible to illnesses that are carried through the air.

In addition, pollutants such as mold and pet dander can exacerbate the symptoms of respiratory-related illnesses. Last year, smoke from forest fires created problems for many Portland metro residents. Keeping filters clean–sometimes weekly during events like last year’s fires–can make a huge difference in health and comfort. Besides extreme events, filters will not only reduce the rate of illness, they’ll also make recovery easier for those who are already ill.

There are other benefits to changing the air filters in your home as well: it will increase the lifetime of your HVAC system, as well as keep your energy bill in check by keeping your system working at peak efficiency. Ideally, air filters should be replaced approximately once a month. 

We’re always available to assist with your maintenance needs. Ask us about our HVAC Maintenance Program. Our HVAC technicians will take the guesswork out of what needs to be done and keep your system running well!

GET SANITIZED: INVEST IN DISINFECTION TECHNOLOGY

Your HVAC unit should have some sort of system in place to arrest the growth of mold, kill bacteria, and destroy viruses. While regular HVAC maintenance will help, there’s modern technology available that can help to remove potentially dangerous airborne pathogens.

One technology that Watts Heating & Cooling specializes in is ultraviolet (UV) light sanitization. UV-C light, found on the ultraviolet spectrum, has been found to be effective in eliminating the growth of viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. There are several reasons why it can do this: the light actually disrupts the proteins that make up these microbes. It also destroys the nucleic acids inside bacteria, killing the bacteria in the process.

Unlike other methods of disinfection, bacteria and other microbes won’t build up a tolerance to ultraviolet light. By having an HVAC system that makes use of UV lights, you can breathe easier knowing your air is being disinfected throughout the day, without the use of harsh chemicals. Please contact us to learn more. 

KEEP HUMIDITY UNDER CONTROL 

Humidity and air quality are intrinsically tied to one another, and thus directly connected to your overall indoor air quality. There’s a reason why cases of illnesses such as the flu tend to peak during the winter months: viruses thrive in low humidity. Low humidity also hinders your body’s immune response. Simply put, if the air in your house is too dry, it can cause problems.

Studies have shown that increasing the humidity in your home can render airborne viruses ineffective. It also has many other benefits, including reducing allergies, improving skin health, and even helping to reduce snoring.

A little humidity does more than boost human health too—it will even help extend the lifetime of your furniture. Wood—including flooring—and other materials can dry out, shortening their lifespan. Keeping some moisture in the air with a good quality humidifier will help to prevent this from occurring. Did you know that humidifiers can actually become a part of your heating and cooling system. Have questions about this technology? Just let us know!

Want to take steps to protect the air quality in your home? Contact us to learn what kind of solution might be right for you.

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