The end of summer means several things – the kids are back at school, football season has arrived and as a family, you will likely be spending more time indoors. Fall is an important time of the year to check and find ways to enhance your home’s indoor air quality, especially if you have children, elderly individuals or family members with allergies in your home. Take advantage of Wyckoff’s eight steps to improve your air quality and enjoy the time indoors this season.
- Change your air filter: Cleaning or replacement of your air filter should be a monthly routine. Dirty, clogged filters are the number one cause of system failure. They cause your HVAC system to work overtime, reduce efficiency and recirculate dust into your home. Filter updates are one of the least expensive ways to keep your system running at optimal levels.
- Check your filter’s MERV rating: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a standard that rates the overall effectiveness of air filters. A higher value MERV rating equates to finer filtration, meaning fewer dust particles and other airborne contaminants can pass through the filter. Check with a Wyckoff professional before you adjust the filter in your HVAC system. If your duct system is not set up for increased filtration, it can cause the blower to work overtime. Wyckoff Heating & Cooling even has medical grade filtration available for your furnace, based on your home and family’s needs.
- Clean system ducts: Over time, your HVAC system ductwork can acquire much dirt and debris. We recommend periodic duct cleaning, once every two to three years on older homes, to remove excess contaminants in the areas you can’t see or clean by yourself.
- Ventilate: Ventilation is a key component of indoor air quality. In fact, it can control indoor humidity and airborne contaminants, both which either contribute or act as health hazards. New homes are built incredibility tight and can lack ventilation. The good news is, Wyckoff can help. We can ventilate your home based on how many family members live in the house, the number of air exchanges in the home and how tight the home was built. Beware of home purifiers that claim to remove germs, mold, bacteria and odors. Always invest in professional advice.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector: Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is nearly impossible to identify without a proper detector. It is the result of incomplete burning of fuels, which can come from clothes dryers, water heaters, ovens, fireplaces or a car left running in a closed garage. Be sure to keep track of when you install your detector and replace it every three to four years. Place detectors on each floor of your home, outside the doors of any sleeping areas.
- Invest in UV: Relatively new to the industry, UV light technology is now being utilized to kill mold spores, bacteria and allergens. The most commonly used technology runs 24 hours a day to ensure sterilization. A stick-type light can be installed inside your system’s return air duct to clean the air handler coil, the air that sits in the coil tray. This eliminates the issue at its origination point.
- Consider a plasma generator: This maintenance-free technology kills mold spores and dust mites in your HVAC system. The generator is a self-nourishing energy system that generates energy using plasmatic magnetic fields, atoms and other substances to create a reaction that allows atoms to release energy. Though the system does not have direct contact where the mold originates, it is an energy efficient way to keep allergens from being distributed throughout your home.
- Determine the age of your HVAC system: The average life expectancy for a furnace is 20 years, while an air conditioner should last 10 to 15. Be sure to inspect a combination of your system’s efficiency, condition and age before investing in a new furnace or air conditioner. If either is getting up there in age, fall and spring seasons are a good time to consider replacement with additional manufacturer rebates and lifetime warranties. Take advantage of Wyckoff’s free inspection so you can make the right decision for your home and family.
Contact Wyckoff Heating & Cooling today for questions about your home’s indoor air quality.