Y ou must turn on the furnace to feel warm indoors as soon as temperatures drop. After all, you want to create the best living conditions possible. However, what you likely overlook is that the furnace has the potential to affect indoor air quality negatively. Under specific circumstances, of course.
In today’s article, I want to present some truths about the furnace’s impact on indoor air quality. While you might feel warm and cozy thanks to it, the unit might not work in your favor as it could lead to health repercussions caused by inhaling contaminated air. Continue to read to learn more about how the furnace’s operation can lead to poor air quality and how you can remedy the situation.
Data from the World Health Organization show us that indoor air contamination should be one of our primary concerns. In 2020, an estimated 3.2 million people lost their lives because of household air pollution. This number alone should be the wake-up call you need to pay more attention to this problem and start to figure out strategies to reduce indoor air pollution immediately.
You might already suspect that your pet is a source of pollution, but so is the furnace. Before you give your furry friend a mean look, you should reconsider how you handle and operate the furnace in winter because it is much more dangerous than expected. Sure, the outdoor thermometer shows freezing temperatures, so you have to do something to heat your home. And yes, turning on the furnace is a must. Nevertheless, you must know how it pollutes the air indoors to figure out appropriate solutions to keep warm without inhaling contaminants. So here is how the furnace becomes your enemy by lowering IAQ:
So now you know the truth. The furnace is one of the many causes of poor indoor air quality. Luckily, all hope is not lost since you can do a few things to keep it from polluting the air. By proceeding as I will instruct you in the following, you can enjoy a cozy, warm environment inside your home during winter without worrying that your lungs might pay the price because of air contaminants.
All furnaces have an air filter inside them. The purpose of this part is to remove dirt, debris, and contaminants from the system and air ducts. With time, the air filter will become dirty or even clogged because of particles that it traps, like pollen, dust, and pet dander. When it gets dirty, the airflow through the furnace is automatically reduced. This, in turn, reduces the heating system’s energy efficiency while shortening its lifespan.
You must clean or replace the furnace air filter every three months. If your budget allows it, upgrade to a higher-quality air filter compatible with your furnace. It should have tighter weaves that can trap smaller air pollutants. Doing so would give you cleaner air indoors since fewer contaminants would linger.
I stated previously that the furnace could affect humidity, either lower or raise it. If you have an issue with the former, not the latter, then you must install a whole-house humidifier on the heating system. When there is sufficient moisture in the air, it also feels warmer. Therefore, thermal comfort is achieved at lower temperatures.
This small trick also adds to the energy efficiency of your home. The furnace won’t have to run as much to preserve pleasant living conditions, which translates to less power draw. Moreover, it will help prolong the heating system’s lifespan since its operation will be limited as opposed to when the air is dry and you feel the need to keep it on longer.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends getting your “air ducts inspected at least once a year and cleaned as needed”. Contaminants can gather in the system and stay there, cycling through your home and causing poor air quality. Call a professional HVAC company to inspect and clean the home’s duct system; this is not a task for the DIYer. It won’t cost much either, and there are only benefits to reap since the environment in your home will be safer for you thanks to this simple routine procedure.
Regardless of the type of furnace you have, whether it’s a combustion or high-efficiency model, you must call in a professional to inspect it. I advise that you do this every year. If there are any cracks, potential gas leaks, or other issues with the product, a qualified person will detect and repair them. Or, if there is something irreparably wrong with your furnace, they might recommend a replacement. What matters is that you have a specialized person in furnaces come and look at your equipment routinely to ensure you don’t overlook anything. By doing this, you avoid potential air pollution issues caused by the heating system and stay safe since the furnace won’t malfunction.
Poor indoor air quality is among the main culprits for our health problems. The positive part is that we can do something about it, unlike outdoor air quality, where a collective effort is necessary for real change.
While several factors contribute to the poor state of IAQ, and you should fix them all, today’s article solely focused on the furnace because it tends to get overlooked most of the time. And, as you likely understand by now, it does have a significant impact on air purity.
Keep your furnace in check and make the small but helpful change of adding a whole-house humidifier to the system. The simple tactics I suggested ensure that you breathe clean air indoors and stay out of harm’s way health-wise.
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|