Mold spores, Allergies. and Indoor Air Quality
The weather in New Jersey has changed drastically from a mere 2 weeks ago when the temperatures were balmy and summer weight clothing was the garment of choice! And, now, winter-like temperatures have shown up!
Along with a change in temperature comes the breeding of mold spores, airborne and other allergies, and the environment is full of so many pollutants...Grab that box of tissues, but before you do, let's talk about the indoor air quality of your home.
The leaves are a beautiful display of golds, reds and browns, and fly through they air as they drop to the ground. Along with the outside activity comes mold spores that can irritate many an allergy sufferer. Because the heating system in your home has most likely been turned on for the first time this season, you may already feel the start of that seasonal change. If you've got a forced air (warm air ducted) heating system, air is blowing through the ducts of your home, and along with it comes dust, skin cells, animal dander and a myriad of other such airborne particulates. It's important that your disposable fitlers be changed each and every month, as we've reminded you before so often, or, if you have electronic air cleaners, or extended use cleaners, that the filter element be washed according to manufacturers instructions. Failure to do so might cause your system to run longer, or become blocked and the diminished air flow stresses the equipment shortening it's life and capabilities.
Additionally, your humidifier, if you have one on your heating system, may be circulating moisture through your heating system. Which, can be a great thing...
BUT... have you changed the media pad for your humidifier? Oh! You didn't know you had one? A humidiifer media pad must be changed each year. Because of the nature of its function, this item holds water which passes through it as designed by the humidification system, and evenutally the filter begins to crumble and corrode. Because water is retained within this pad during the active season, it can also begin to grow mold if moisure is allowed to sit within the unit during its operation. (The older drum-type humidifiers were sadly noted for this issue and hopefully by now, most people have opted to have their heating contractors replace that type of humidifier with an automatic unit which is far safer.)
This season also brings crisp, clean air. Your first impluse is to open the windows wide and let the fresh air in. Do so, and before you know it, you're sneezing, experiencing teary and itchy eyes and every speck of dust flowing through your home becomes an irritant.
How do you avoid these problems?
- Avoid opening doors and windows which introduce allergens into your home.
- Consider an Electronic Air Cleaner to improve your air quality.
- Contact your HVAC professional to install an ultra-violet light on your central air conditioning system to avoid mold.
- Schedule an annual tune-up service with your local contractor to insure that your system is operating properly.
- This will also save you money by reducing energy costs and extend the life of your equipment.