How much time do you spend in your home each day? Eight hours? More? Less? If you count sleeping, the average person spends at least six to eight hours within the walls of their home each day. If you work from home, have kids, or are a student, chances are you spend even more time indoors. And while there’s nothing inherently bad about spending substantial time inside, you might just be putting your health at risk—and no, it’s not because you’re sitting too much.

Spending considerable time indoors puts your health at risk in another, less obvious way—exposure to poor air quality. Below, the experts at Dust Doctors explain what’s going on with your home’s ambient air, and how it may be affecting you and your family’s health.

Dirty Ductwork and Air Quality

Have you noticed excessive dust buildup inside your home lately? If so, your ductwork may be the culprit. Over time, dust and other debris can build up inside the ductwork that distributes conditioned air throughout your home. As air travels from your air conditioner and furnace through the air ducts, it can pick up fine particles and transport them throughout your home. Some of these particles get caught in your system’s filters, but the ones that make it through end up in your home’s ambient air. When you breathe, these particles can end up in your airway and lungs, leading to allergies and ill health. Regular duct cleaning helps eliminate these health issues.

Filthy Furnace and Air Quality

A filthy furnace also contributes to poor indoor air quality, but in a much more dangerous, potentially lethal way—carbon monoxide buildup. As we all know, colorless and odorless carbon monoxide can very quickly compromise your health, not to mention, take your life.

Under clean circumstances, your furnace vents and filter work to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home. But if your furnace and filters are excessively dusty or clogged, carbon monoxide cannot efficiently travel outside your home through the venting system. So where does it end up? In your home’s ambient air. Regular furnace cleaning and filter replacements can help prevent this scenario from developing. Plus, regular furnace cleanings can help you spot minor issues with your heating system before they grow into huge problems.

Air Filters and Indoor Air Quality

Perhaps the simplest action you can take to improve your indoor air quality is to change your filters at regular intervals. If you’re constantly running your air conditioning and heating system, you should change the filter once a month to prevent excessive buildup. Likewise, if you own pets or live in a polluted area, your filter requires more frequent replacement. For the average, pet-free home, we recommend changing your filter approximately every two months, but this can vary based on a variety of factors. Not sure when to change your filter? Pull it out and take a look at it. If it looks dusty, it’s probably time to change it. If you don’t want to breathe contaminated air, don’t let contaminants build up on your filters!

Air Purification Systems Improve Air Quality

For more robust protection against airborne contaminants, a whole-home air purification system is an excellent choice. Even the best filter cannot catch every particle that moves through your HVAC system, but purifications systems that feature UV technology effectively eliminate viruses, mold, bacteria, fungi, and dust mites from circulating air. These systems also offer the advantage of increased filter surface area, which works to trap a greater number of particles flowing through your system.

Your Air Quality Experts in the Twin Cities

At Dust Doctors, we can’t stress the importance of indoor air quality enough. As winter approaches, air quality becomes an even greater concern as you’ll no doubt spend more time indoors. Don’t risk compromising your health this winter by neglecting to have your system cleaned and inspected. We specialize in duct cleaning, furnace and air conditioner cleaning, and whole-home air purification to help deliver the best possible air quality for you and your family. For any questions or to schedule your service appointment, give us a call at 651-319-9777 or message us on our contact page.

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