Frequently Asked Questions About Indoor Air Quality

FAQ

A major factor in staying healthy is surrounding yourself with clean, fresh air. And because we spend so much time indoors, it’s important to take action if harmful levels of dust, pollen, bacteria, unbalanced humidity, or other problems are found in your home. It sounds complicated—especially since you can’t see poor air quality—but the experts at Seider Heating, Plumbing & Electrical can help you breathe easier. Start by reading these common questions and answers about indoor air quality, then contact us to request an in-home evaluation.

Studies show that air trapped inside homes and buildings can be far more polluted than the air outside. No matter how often you clean your house, your air can be filled with dust, pet dander, pollen, chemical fumes, viruses, and more. Opening windows helps, but when it’s cold outside, you need a system that brings fresh air in without letting all your heat out. Ask us about ventilator systems that remove stuffy air and stale odors without sacrificing comfort.

The common culprits that pollute indoor air are relatively harmless—dust, pet dander, pollen, fabric fibers, and other common household particles. If you have allergies or asthma, they can aggravate symptoms, but are usually manageable. Other airborne hazards are not so easily dismissed. Mold, radon, carbon monoxide, lead particles, asbestos, nitrogen dioxide, and secondhand smoke are all serious threats to your health. An air quality test can identify these potential problems, and we can recommend indoor air quality products to help keep you safe.

There are a number of products that can help alleviate symptoms, but it depends on what you’re allergic to. If dust, pet dander, or certain chemical fumes bother you, an air cleaner and purifier can remove up to 95 percent of the particles that cause your sniffling, sneezing, and watery eyes. If you’re sensitive to microorganisms like mold or pollen, add UV lamps. When ultraviolet lights are installed in your heating and air conditioning system, they emit an electrical charge that kills these tiny nuisances instead of allowing them to grow and recirculate through your home. UV lights also kill bacteria and viruses that cause colds, flues, infections, and other illnesses, so they are a great option for any home.

You bet. Homes with consistently high humidity levels are often breeding grounds for mold and dust mites so expect more allergy issues, not to mention warped wood floor and furniture and damaging condensation on windows. On the other hand, extremely low humidity promotes the growth of certain bacteria and viruses that can lead to respiratory infections, and you’ll probably also notice itchy skin, dry coughing, bloody noses, sore throats, and constant jolts of static electricity. Ask us about whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers that maintain constant, comfortable, and healthy humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent.

New homes are built to be airtight and efficient, but your house needs to breathe. When air is trapped inside, so is excess humidity. This can lead to condensation or ice on your windows in winter—both of which can damage and rot wood frames and lead to mold growth. If you have a newer home, ask us about an air quality test. Not only can we identify and offer solutions for humidity problems, but we also have air purifiers to address the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from new carpet, paint, and other construction materials that are likely present in your home.

Consistency plays an important role in indoor air quality, but some homes can’t seem to maintain a steady temperature in certain rooms. Instead of closing the door or vent and ignoring the problem, reclaim your space with zoning from Seider. Our pros can install special dampers in your ductwork that help direct heating or cooling to the areas that need it more. The result is a predictable, comfortable temperature in every room, without inhibiting airflow or overworking your furnace or air conditioner.

Yes, houseplants are effective natural air purifiers—not only do they produce oxygen as they grow, but they also absorb certain toxics and help moderate humidity levels. Some types that are great for improving indoor air include English Ivy, Bamboo Palm, and Spider Plants.

Absolutely, as they help you take control of your comfort and save money by automatically adjusting settings around your schedule. You don’t want to waste energy by heating or cooling your home when you’re not there, but you also don’t want to come home to rooms that are uncomfortably hot or cold. With a programmable thermostat, your home will always be at the right temperatures at the right times. And if you choose a Wi-Fi compatible model that you can access with your smartphone or tablet, you can make changes on the go, so you’re ready whenever the weather or your plans change.

To keep your home healthy and comfortable, trust Seider for annual air conditioner and furnace maintenance plus a full range of electrical and plumbing services.