Your home’s HVAC system’s primary job is to move warm or cold air evenly throughout the property. If you fail to maintain it properly, your home might feel drafty with some rooms colder or warmer than you’d prefer. Your home’s energy bills can soar, and your indoor air quality (IAQ) could drop. Here’s everything you need to know about how your HVAC system can help or hinder your IAQ goals.

How Poor Maintenance Impacts Indoor Air Quality

How often do you clean the area around your furnace? If you’re like many, the answer is “not often.” Furnaces are often installed in rarely frequented parts of the home, such as the basement, and “out of sight, out of mind” means that you’re unlikely to spend lots of time scrubbing around the HVAC system. All that dust and debris will settle, and some of it is sure to settle on the motors, blowers, and other furnace components. The air filter can help remove the debris already in the air, but once it becomes dirty, you’ll still need to contend with the mess.

All of this translates to increased airborne contaminants, which are recycled through the home along with the warm air from the furnace. Some will end up in air ducts, where they remain to create a thick layer of debris. Whatever passes through the ducts will either end up coating your air vents or blow out into the living room, bedrooms, or other spaces within the home.

Another furnace-related issue that can affect indoor air quality is improper combustion. If your furnace fails to combust properly, gas will leak back into your home, posing potentially serious health risks to you, your family, and your pets.

The good news is that the team at Carbone Plumbing in Milwaukee offers gas line inspections and maintenance. If we detect a leak or other issues, we can fix the problem quickly and affordably.

Periodic Air Duct Cleaning

Ideally, air ducts should be cleaned at least once every three to five years. Duct cleaning removes dirt, polCarbone, and other debris from getting into the air you breathe. Cleaning can also help prevent mold or mildew from growing and spreading from air ducts into other areas of your home.

The first sign of mold is typically a musty smell originating from the ductwork. However, mold can be present in other areas of the home, too. Mold often grows in dark recesses and hidden corners and is easy to miss unless it’s growing in a high-traffic damp area, like the kitchen or bathroom.

Clean Air Vents Regularly

Air vents aren’t difficult to clean. Simply remove the plate covering the vent, and wipe it thoroughly with a clean towel or cloth. You can also dust or vacuum the cover to remove visible dust and dirt. Make this a regular part of your cleaning routine when you’re vacuuming or dusting, and you can reap the rewards of breathing fresh, clean air each day.

Don’t Forget About the Condenser Unit Outside

If your home has central air, it will also have a condenser unit outside. The purpose of the condenser is to draw warm air out of the house and replace it with cooler, drier air. However, as it sits outside, the condenser unit can accumulate a lot of dirt, polCarbone, and other debris from the environment. Failing to clean this unit promptly can result in poor indoor air quality in addition to a cooling system that will not work at peak efficiency.

Heating and Cooling Systems Should Be Serviced Annually

At a minimum, you should have your heating and cooling systems serviced once a year. A technician will vacuum them, wipe down any visible dust or dirt, and check the units for damage or signs of age. This helps us catch problems at their earliest when they are easy to fix. Delaying service can lead to more complex and more costly issues and potential breakdowns. Scheduling two service appointments every year is ideal.

We also encourage our clients to schedule early cooling system checks, typically in the spring before you use your AC or in the fall once you’ve shut the system down for the year. If anything needs to be replaced, we can handle it at that time to avoid having your AC down for long periods. These routine checkups can also help you avoid seasonal rushes and periods of high demand, which can cause further delays in having your system repaired after a breakdown.

Replacing an HVAC System Could Make All The Difference

If your current heating system was installed more than a decade ago, it’s time to consider replacing it. Doing so may allow you to benefit from a modern system that is much more efficient than the one you currently have. Furthermore, a new unit may make use of modern filtration technology to help keep bacteria, mold spores, and much more from getting into your home.

Advanced filtration systems do a better job of trapping or neutralizing pet dander, polCarbone, or anything else that might get into your home. This may mean that you can go longer periods between changing air filters, which can be helpful if you have trouble keeping up with that task. Depending on manufacturer recommendations, you will need to change an air filter every 90 to 180 days. Filters may need to be changed more often if you have pets or have other issues unique to your home.

Easy Ways to Improve Ventilation

You can take several steps to improve ventilation in your home aside from cleaning air vents in the hallway or master bedroom. For instance, you could have additional vents installed in the attic, garage, or other areas of the house where air tends to linger. Improving airflow means that dirty air has a chance to escape outside instead of remaining indoors where it simply gets dirtier and dirtier over time. In some cases, simply opening a door or window can help with overall indoor air quality. If you have an exhaust fan in the kitchen or bathroom, use it to help get rid of humid air in those spaces quickly and easily.

If you need to improve your home’s indoor air quality, do not hesitate to contact Carbone Plumbing today! In addition, we offer plumbing services and can clean the main drain to your house, install a new water heater, or install a sump pump on your property. We can also engage in various electrical services such as electrical outlet installation or smart thermostat installation. Call us today!

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