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Tips for maintaining healthy, comfortable indoor air quality

The quality of the air your family breathes can have an enormous impact on their quality of life.

Photo by Jimmy Ofisia from Unsplash.com

Joseph Giannone Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, a family-owned and -operated provider of high-quality plumbing and HVAC services in the US, reminds homeowners to assess their current indoor air quality (IAQ) in order to maintain comfortable, healthy home conditions.

“The quality of the air your family breathes can have an enormous impact on their quality of life,” said Joseph Giannone, owner of Joseph Giannone Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. “Allergies can be exacerbated by particles and too much or too little moisture in the air, and those conditions can irritate family members without allergies, too. Dry skin and sinus irritation can result from too little moisture in the air, and too much moisture can encourage the growth and spread of mildew, mold, bacteria and even some viruses.”

Pollen, pet hair and other allergens and irritants can collect inside the HVAC system and then spread throughout the home, increasing risk for family members with asthma and allergies. Particles can eventually settle into small pockets of moisture inside HVAC units and contribute to the development of mold and bacteria and the spread of viruses, which present long-term health risks and can be expensive and difficult to remove.

In addition, humidity in the home can encourage mold and bacterial growth, while too little moisture in the air can be a factor in dry, unhealthy skin and respiratory issues. Other factors related to poor IAQ are household materials and products like manufactured wood, cleaning and home improvements products and carpet and upholstery. Dangerous gases like carbon monoxide and radon are also major IAQ considerations.

Giannone recommends homeowners schedule an immediate professional inspection to evaluate their home’s IAQ. The following services are among the most popular and effective ways to improve and maintain IAQ:

  • Whole-home air cleaners: Properly maintained and installed air filters, when replaced on a regular basis, are the front line for catching dust and other airborne irritants. But pollen and pet dander can pass through standard filters and be cycled through the home again and again. Adding an air cleaner to the HVAC system can filter out smaller particles linked to asthma and bad allergies.
  • Whole-home sanitization: Over time, particles can collect inside the HVAC unit, settling in pockets of moisture and creating breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. Ultraviolet lamps installed inside the system can kill mold, bacteria and viruses and prevent them from spreading and flourishing. High-end sanitizers can also help control pet odors.
  • Humidity management: The level of humidity inside your home has a direct impact on your quality of life. If the air is too dry, it can hurt your house and skin as well as damage your home and furnishings. If the air is too wet, it can encourage the growth of harmful mold and bacteria and contribute to mildew. A full range of humidifiers and dehumidifiers are available to meet the specific needs of your home.
  • Carbon monoxide and radon detectors: Regular HVAC and gas inspections can detect potential problems before they become dangerous, and carbon monoxide and radon detectors installed in the home offer an additional level of security.

Giannone emphasizes that the effectiveness of whole-home cleaners, sanitization systems, and humidifiers and dehumidifiers depends on the proper installation of those units. Mis-sized or improperly installed systems may not perform and could even have unintended negative effects on IAQ.

“IAQ should be a year-round concern for every homeowner,” Giannone said. “Taking a proactive approach with regular inspections and the right equipment for your circumstances contributes to a healthier, more comfortable living space. It also makes maintaining good air quality a habit, which will have long-lasting positive health effects for you and your family.”

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