Indoor air quality can seem to suffer once you seal up your home and turn on the furnace. Stuffy, recycled air, dust, and other debris in the air can cause respiratory discomfort. Fortunately, there are ways to improve air quality without having to turn off the heating system.
1. Install an Air Cleaner
An air cleaner is an appliance that hooks into the air intake system for your furnace. The air cleaner contains additional filtration units, which will clean more debris out of the air before it passes through your furnace and recirculates through the home. Some air cleaners are even equipped with UV lights that will kill bacteria and mold spores in the air, which are both major causes of winter allergies.
2. Upgrade Your Furnace Filter
If air quality is a major concern in your home, consider upgrading to a better quality furnace filter. Filtering capability is measured via the MERV rating on the label. The higher the rating, the smaller the filter pores and the more impurities that are filtered out. You can also purchase a HEPA-certified filter. These filters are designed to remove dust, pollen, and pet dander from the air before it is recirculated into your furnace.
3. Consider a Ventilator
The air in your home feels stuffy in the winter due to poor ventilation. While a well-sealed home loses very little heat and may be more energy-efficient, it also doesn't draw in any fresh and causes that stuffy feeling. A ventilator is an appliance that is installed inline with your HVAC system. It pulls small quantities of fresh air in from outside and circulates it through the furnace, thus minimizing the stuffy feeling.
4. Add a Humidifier
Dry air can also affect air quality. Heated air is naturally dry since the heat evaporates out the moisture. If the air in your home is too dry, you may have itchy skin, a dry cough, or even nose bleeds. A whole house humidifier will add a bit of necessary moisture to the air. Even better, the air will feel warmer and better hold the heat when there is a bit of humidity present.
5. Maintain the System
Finally, never miss an annual furnace tuneup and service. Not only are the mechanical components of the furnace checked and repaired as needed, your furnace tech will also clean out the blowers and air intakes so that there isn't any dust or dander buildup to circulate through the home.
Contact a heating system service for more help with air quality improvement in your home.