Here in the greater Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery County PA areas, winter is in full swing. It is the season of hibernation, where home is our sanctuary that we can find warmth, cozy up, and hide from the winter chill. The holidays have come and gone, and we’ve already had frigid temperatures with snow storms hit our area. With all of the cold also comes the dreaded flu season. Could your stuffy nose and body aches be related to your furnace? The furnace repair specialists, HVAC Philly, answer the question, “Could my furnace be making me sick?”
Most people believe that being cold or being outside in cold damp weather is what causes us to become ill, but the truth is that indoor air can actually be 5 times more polluted than outside air. As we are seeking comfort and warmth by staying inside our warm home, we are increasing the odds of spreading infection by breathing in the stagnant air that has been recycled. You are more likely to inhale harmful pollutants and pathogens from other people who may be sick and are breathing and recycling the same air.
Even though it may sound that illness is inevitable there are some actions you can take to prevent it
Most heating systems redisperse indoor air, which preserves energy but also causes an increase of indoor air pollutants if your air filter is dirty. Dander from pets, mold, pollen, and dust particles can all cause pollutants in the air. Your first defense is to change your filter. A clean air filter will trap the indoor pollutants when the air circulates through. It is recommended to change your air filter every 1-3 months to help maintain a cleaner air flow.
In addition to consistent filter changes, setting up qualified and recurrent HVAC maintenance keeps your heating and air conditioning system running efficiently. It’s not often that ductwork would be forefront on your mind, which means maintenance is even further from your mind. However, neglecting your ductwork can be the cause of more airborne pollutants that can lead to health issues such as eye, nose, and throat irritation. Be sure that your ductwork is a completely sealed system to safeguard clean fresh air comes from your registers.
A little known and most effective way to fight against microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens is by using UV germicidal lights. UV systems are set up in the ductwork of your central air system or in the air handler. While the air moves throughout your HVAC system, the UV-C light will kill all airborne microbes and odors, like that fish dinner you cooked the night before. There is a photocatalytic reaction that sterilizes and transforms these pollutants into innocuous water vapor and carbon dioxide.
So to answer the question “Is my furnace making me sick?” the answer is that there is a high chance the pollutants that are force-fed through your HVAC system during the winter months, without the ability to open windows to let in fresh air, could most definitely be causing symptoms of illness. If you suspect that your furnace is causing more sniffles than warmth it may be time to call in your local HVAC specialist to ensure your furnace is running properly this winter, with clean fresh air circulating throughout your home.
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