Thanksgiving is this week, and the focus is usually on creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for our family and friends; however, amidst the preparations, it's crucial not to overlook the quality of the air that they and we breathe. Maintaining clean and healthy indoor air is essential for the health and overall well-being of indoor occupants and guests, especially during gatherings when there may be increased activities and potential pollutants. We are going to provide some tips to ensure cleaner and healthier air this Thanksgiving and review how you can maintain your home’s indoor air quality during your celebration.
A Refresher on What Indoor Quality is
We have reviewed before what indoor air quality (IAQ) is and why it is important, but here is a brief refresher. Indoor air quality refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants (EPA). Poor indoor air quality has been linked to continued sickness, reduced productivity, and impaired learning and thought processes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates poor indoor air quality as an area of major concern, noting that common contaminants, endlessly redistributed by a central air system, can contribute to allergy symptoms and sickness. What’s in your home’s air directly impacts the IAQ.
As mentioned above, your home’s indoor air quality is important, because it can directly impact the health and well-being of the people who are in your home. There can be short-term and long-term effects. Immediate effects typically are similar to those of colds and other viral infections, while some long-term effects may include respiratory diseases, heart disease, cancer, and more. Basically, poor indoor air quality can really make people miserable and put a damper on your holiday celebrations, which is why having cleaner and healthier air this Thanksgiving will give you something to be extra thankful for.
Tips for Cleaner and Healthier Air this Thanksgiving
The holidays are a time for increased indoor air pollutants. This is because of added cooking and baking, increased household occupancy, windows being closed due to the weather, and more people going in and out potentially bringing in contaminants with them. When it comes to maintaining indoor air quality and having cleaner and healthier air this Thanksgiving, there are some things you can do. Let’s review.
As you prepare to celebrate the season, prioritize the quality of the air in your home to ensure a healthy and comfortable environment. By following the above tips for cleaner and healthier air this Thanksgiving and being mindful of potential air pollutants, you can create better indoor air quality for a memorable gathering. Enjoy the festivities while breathing easy and knowing that you've taken steps to maintain your home’s excellent indoor air quality.
If you want to ensure that the air you and are family are breathing every day is safe, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. We can assess your current IAQ situation by performing a fast and easy air quality test that measures the level of particulate concentration in your air. We will then make recommendations based on our findings.
Let our comfort specialists help you breathe in clean indoor air. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.
When was the last time you replaced your home’s air filters? If you can’t remember, it is likely time to do so. Fall is the season of transition and the perfect time to embrace change not only around us, but also within your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home. The changing of the season is a great time to tackle some very important indoor air quality and HVAC maintenance items to ensure your system if ready for the colder weather to come and your family is breathing in fresh and clean air when they are likely to be inside more.
We are going to review the importance of changing your home’s air filters, the benefits it brings, and how it contributes to a healthier living environment during the autumn months.
The Importance of Your Home’s Air Filters
Air filters play a critical role in maintaining the quality of the air that we breathe indoors. They serve as barriers that capture and trap dust mites, allergens, pet dander, pollen, and other airborne particles that circulate in our homes. Over time, the filters become clogged with pollutants, reducing their efficiency and compromising indoor air quality. The air in our homes is often worse than the air found outdoors. This is typically due to the limited circulation area inside our homes. With less room to circulate properly, it’s easier for allergens and other air pollutants to affect our health and comfort.
According to the EPA, people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. Meaning, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors, especially during the colder seasons when people are inside more. Maintaining the air filters in your furnace and air conditioning (HVAC) system can help to improve indoor air quality. HVAC filters are designed to filter air throughout a home, that’s their job, to reduce indoor air pollution and filter out as much as possible. An unchanged and dirty or soiled air filter means unclean, airborne particles are being spread throughout your home.
If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your home’s air filters, or maybe you never have, it is probably long overdue.
The Benefits of Replacing Your Air Filters in the Fall
While it may seem like an unexciting task, regularly changing your home's air filters can have a significant impact on your home, HVAC system, and family’s health. Fall, in particular, presents unique challenges as the season brings an influx of allergens such as ragweed and mold spores, which can aggravate and intensity respiratory issues and allergies.
Some other benefits of replacing your air filters on a regular basis include:
How often you should change your home’s air filter really varies by home. Having clean air filters is key to breathing clean air. We recommend changing your air filters at least once a month, but there is no exact number of days in which you should change your filters, as each home is different and it depends on the strain you put on your filter, what particles are in the air, and also what type of filter you have. It’s a good habit to check your air filters weekly and if you notice they are dirty, change them.
Improve Your North Bay Area Home’s Indoor Air Quality
If you can’t answer when the last time you replaced your home’s air filters was, now is a great time to do so. Don't let the changing leaves distract you from the essential task of maintaining your indoor air quality. By regularly replacing your home's air filters, particularly during the fall season, you can enjoy improved air quality, enhanced energy efficiency, and prolonged HVAC equipment lifespan, plus, it can increase the comfort for all of the people in your home.
If you are concerned about the air quality in your home, our experts at Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help you come up with the right solution. We offer professional air filtration services for homeowners in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties and also have UV air sanitizing solutions. There are several options when it comes to air filtration and purification. The right product for your home will depend on your specific air quality concerns. Our experts will help you navigate the different options and narrow down the best choices for your home.
Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.
February 2, 2023
February is the month of love, so while we know love is in the air, do you know what else you and your family could be breathing in in your home? The truth is, with every season there are different contaminants that can make their way into your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County home, and some of those things can be really bad for you and your family. What’s in your home’s air?
We are going to provide a quick refresher as to what indoor air quality is, what the most common things found in the air in North Bay Area homes are, and things you can do to improve your home’s indoor air quality.
What’s Indoor Air Quality?
Before we can jump into what’s in your home’s air, we think it would be a good idea to cover why that even matters in the first place and what indoor air quality is.
Indoor air quality refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants (EPA). Poor indoor air quality has been linked to continued sickness, reduced productivity, and impaired learning and thought processes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates poor indoor air quality as an area of major concern, noting that common contaminants, endlessly redistributed by a central air system, can contribute to allergy symptoms and sickness.
Your home’s indoor air quality is important, because it can directly impact the health and well-being of the people who are in your home. There can be short-term and long-term effects. Immediate effects typically are similar to those of colds and other viral infections, while some long-term effects may include respiratory diseases, heart disease, cancer, and more.
What’s in Your Home’s Air?
Every home is different; however, for most homes, there are several things that may be in the air that can lead to your family feeling a general sense of unwell and for it to seem like people in your home are constantly passing a “bug” back and forth (the truth is, they probably are). Below we review some of the most common things that may be in your home’s air.
- Dust Mites: Dust mites occur naturally and can appear in almost all homes. They are very common during the winter months when your furnace is likely running a lot. Eight out of 10 people in the United States are exposed to dust mites (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America). Dust mites are microscopic, insect-like pests that generate some of the most common indoor allergens and can trigger allergic reactions and asthma in lots of people.
- Mold and Mildew: Most people don’t realize they have a mold and mildew issue until they have an indoor air quality test. Mold and mildew are fungi that reproduce and grow “seeds,” called spores that travel through the air. Mold and mildew develop in damp environments with little to no air movement. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (EPA).
- Pet Dander: Six out of 10 homes are subject to cat or dog dander. Pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. Animal allergens are carried on small particles that remain airborne and easily attach to surfaces and clothing. People suffering from pet allergies will have symptoms consistent with swollen nasal passages. This includes a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and shortness of breath (American Lung Association).
- Cockroach Allergens: As disturbing as this may sound, cockroaches aren’t just unsightly pests, crawling across your kitchen floor in the middle of the night. They can be an allergy trigger as well. The National Pest Management Association reports that 63% of homes in the United States contain cockroach allergens. In urban areas, that number rises to between 78% and 98% of homes. Cockroach allergy symptoms include: coughing, nasal congestion, skin rash, wheezing, ear infection, and sinus infection (ACAAI).
- Viruses and Bacteria: If it seems like people in your home are constantly getting sick, it may be because viruses and bacteria are living in your home’s air. People, pets, and pests will inevitably bring microbes into your home. In most cases, they are carried by hosts and transferred to others through direct contact rather than the air; however, microbes can also become airborne and spread throughout your home environment. Your heating system may be pumping germs as well as warm air throughout your home.
When love is in the air, the last thing you want to have to worry about is being sick and stuck indoors. There are things you can do to improve your indoor air quality and prevent home allergens to ensure the only thing you and your family are being hit with, during this time of the year, is cupid’s arrow, and not some unwanted illness.
Do you know what’s in your home’s air? If you want to ensure that the air you and are family are breathing every day is safe, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. We can assess your current IAQ situation by performing a fast and easy air quality test that measures the level of particulate concentration in your air. We will then make recommendations based on our findings.