Indoor Air Pollution and Your Health
Many Americans may be breathing easier once they learn how simple it can be to keep their homes cleaner and more comfortable. Airborne contaminants such as dirt, dust and mold can be a big headache for homeowners, affecting things like asthma, allergies and overall quality of life inside your home. Research published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggests that cleaning air ducts can go a long way toward reducing the amount of contaminants in your home.
What The Scientists Did
An independent lab and a team of allergists studied several houses in both the summer and winter. They followed the same four steps in each home:
1. Cleaned the air ducts and the rest of the heating and cooling system
2. Applied a chemical to treat microbial contaminants, such as mold
3. Sealed the ducts to close up leaks
4. Installed an electrostatic filter to keep the system clean.
The results were excellent: the steps they took reduced microbial contaminants by up to 92 percent! According to the study, too much moisture in a home’s heating and cooling system is the main cause of mold growth.
What You Can Do
Experts recommend homeowners do the following:
• Inspect your air ducts. Use a small mirror and flashlight or digital camera to take a picture. If there is visible dust, dirt or debris, you should have your air ducts cleaned.
• On a regular basis, clean your entire heating and cooling system—not only the air ducts but the coils and other components of the furnace. These get dirty over time.
• Use a good filter. If you’re not sure, talk to the heating and cooling technician who comes out to your house to service the system.
• Work with a qualified contractor. Having the job done right can save considerable time and money. These steps can go a long way in helping you improve the quality of the air in your home, while also saving you a considerable amount of money by using less energy. This also helps the environment.
For more information or to find a NADCA member nearby, visit www.nadca.com.