When the weather changes from summer to fall, initial thoughts often turn to cold and flu season. Rarely do people consider the dangers of indoor allergens, and the way the quality of the air in your home can actually worsen those symptoms without proper precaution. “Many common outdoor allergens that cause discomfort can also be found inside the home in everyday indoor appliances,” says Fred Hutchinson, President and CEO, Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling. “Gas-fired appliances, ovens, stoves, furnaces and fireplaces all release gases into your air that can mix with the already dangerous pet dander, mites and dust allergens, creating an unsafe breathing environment.”
Since the fall season is already upon us, now is the perfect time for homeowners to learn about the importance of your indoor air quality (IAQ). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that poor air quality can lead to chronic heart and lung issues. The operating condition of HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) equipment is crucial to indoor air quality and a well-maintained system will protect occupants from a tough allergy season.
“A homeowners highest priority should be their quality of air,” says Fred Hutchinson. “The ventilation system is often times the main source of poor IAQ and for indoor allergies. Taking those steps to eliminate odors, mold, and dust particles around your home is extremely important in avoiding those uncomfortable allergic reactions. Having an HVAC expert examine your systems is a great way to combat of all of these issues before they become a serious threat.”
Mold spores are another important factor when it comes to your IAQ and your allergies. They are extremely prevalent in our environment and can easily invade homes. In fact, an average of 40 pounds of dust each year is generated per 1,500 square feet in a home and most types of mold expand very rapidly- especially if they have a water source.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that families living in homes with moisture and mold problems can be at risk for serious health issues such as odors, headaches and allergic reactions. They also note that while it is impossible to completely eliminate molds inside the home, it is possible to control them. Fred highly recommends taking the following steps:
- Fix any water leaks or standing water
- Clear out standing water under cooling coils or air handling units
- Switch washing machine hoses with steel mesh lines
- Make sure large objects are away from the walls to provide good air circulation
- Utilize exhaust fans in the bathroom, kitchens and laundry rooms
- Be sure that all humidifiers are properly installed and maintained
- Restore wet or visibly moldy insulation and carpet materials
- Call a trusted professional to clean dirty ducts
While the best thing is to try and stay away from those allergens that cause discomfort, some of them (such as pets and in-home appliances) are just impossible to avoid. However, by taking those crucial steps you can prevent your home and your family from suffering.
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For the fourth year in a row, Hutchinson is ranked as ONE of the top THREE companies for Home-Energy Efficiency. Hutchinson is certified by the Department of Energy as an ENERGY STAR Home Performance Contractor and is trained by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) on how to best improve energy efficiency in residential homes. Additionally, BBB determined Hutchinson meets accreditation standards with an A+ rating. This accreditation includes a commitment to make good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints.
Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling is a family-run business dedicated to providing total home solutions to their South Jersey and Delaware Valley neighbors. Based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey they have been in business for over 60 years. Hutchinson is a full-service company offering heating, cooling, and plumbing products and services. Hutchinson is accredited by the Department of Energy, ranked first in the nation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for exceptional performance and won the EPA Century Award. Additionally, Hutchinson gained an A+ accreditation rating from BBB. For more information about Hutchinson, visit their website TrustHutch.com.