Does Your Air Filtration System Pass the Test? Are You Sure?
Do you find that you develop a runny nose, cough, headache or fatigue at home, which mysteriously gets better when you leave the house? Do you feel like you have a cold that never seems to go away when you’re at home? This could be a case of improper air filtration that is sending mold, dander, dust or bacteria into the living areas of your home. Improper air filtration, installation, maintenance and the symptoms poor air can trigger are the main reasons why indoor air quality is a major concern, not only in homes, but in businesses, public buildings and schools. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States, proper air filtration and ventilation is one of the three ways to lessen indoor air pollution and possibly alleviate some of the symptoms mentioned.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA,) “indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes.” Inadequate air filtration can increase indoor pollutant levels. So, how do you improve your indoor air filtration? An extremely easy and inexpensive way to make your air cleaner is by altering the types of filters used in your home’s ventilation system, as well as adding filters to floor vents. These special filters are created to reduce allergens and indoor pollutants.
If you’ve never looked at your furnace, let a lone an air filter, don’t worry. It’s easy. Air filters are large rectangular filters you insert into the furnace to keep your home’s heating and cooling systems free from debris, whether it is lint or small microscopic particles. These filters are what people refer to when they talk about air filtration. It is important to use air filters because the air that flows within those heating and cooling systems is projected through vents into the living spaces of your home. You then breathe this air in.
Filters to improve air filtration can be purchased for your home’s main HVAC unit (furnace and air conditioning), for individual window air conditioners, and for floor and wall vents. If you use floor and wall vent air filters, it is advised that you only cover a few filters, since covering every filter can harm your furnace’s performance in the long run. Filters for air filtration run about $15 and need to be changed about every three months. Vent filters come in 12 packs and can be found for $3 and up and last 90 days. You can find these filters for air filtration in your local home improvement, hardware, grocery or discount store, and they can also be purchased online.
Now, a word about safety. Have you ever seen a vent on a wall that had stains above it? This is the dust that can come from your furnace due to neglectful air filtration! Imagine breathing that in. By practicing proper air filtration, you will help eliminate this dust and bacteria from the air, as well as eliminate excess dust within your ducts. Many people ask if having your ducts cleaned is the best way to improve air filtration. There is no proof to show whether or not cleaning ducts is beneficial, however, if you suspect your allergies or health problems may be caused by mold, dust or perhaps rodents in the ducts, you may want to call a professional.
Maintaining a clean air filtration system within your home is one defense against allergy and asthma triggers within the home, but be sure to install the filter properly and change them regularly.