It might come as a surprise to most people, but indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air. Another surprise? It’s not unusual for people to spend 90% of their time indoors.
In Southern states like Florida, fall is the ideal time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. It’s cooler and less humid. That doesn’t mean you won’t need to use your HVAC system.
Keeping comfortable and breathing clean air is an attainable goal if you follow good HVAC maintenance practices. Read on to learn more about how you can improve air quality this fall by giving your HVAC system some love.
The Connection Between Seasonal Changes and Indoor Air Quality
Tallahassee, Florida, known for its warm and humid climate experiences distinct seasonal changes that can impact indoor air quality. Summers here are hot and humid, followed by milder and drier falls. Understanding the connection between these seasonal shifts and indoor air quality is crucial.
During the scorching summer months, most people run the AC constantly. It’s necessary to combat the oppressive heat. There are a few problems associated with prolonged use of air conditioners.
First, you risk a buildup of moisture and mold inside your HVAC system. This poses a serious threat to indoor air quality.
As fall approaches and humidity levels drop, mold growth may stop. But airborne spores can still linger in your home.
Routine HVAC maintenance should include cleaning the entire system. Regular cleaning helps prevent mold-related health concerns. It’s the best way to transition to the fall season with improved air quality.
Another seasonal issue many people experience with the shift from summer to fall is allergies. During the fall season, outdoor allergens increase. If you enjoy opening your windows to enjoy the crisp fall air, you may notice an uptick in allergy symptoms.
Changing your air filters (part of HVAC maintenance) helps reduce outdoor allergens, which can provide relief from seasonal allergy issues.
How HVAC Maintenance Helps Safeguard Your Indoor Air
Over time, your HVAC system can accumulate dust, dirt, and a wide range of contaminants. Without proper maintenance, the system may distribute pollutants throughout your home.
Regular maintenance includes changing air filters, cleaning evaporator coils, and, if needed, cleaning ductwork. It’s one way to make sure the air you breathe remains clean and free of harmful particles.
Well-maintained HVAC systems run more efficiently, which can have a positive impact on indoor air quality. An efficient system uses less effort to maintain the desired temperature.
HVAC maintenance is a fundamental step in safeguarding the quality of the air you and your loved ones breathe every day.
What DIY HVAC Tasks Can the Average Homeowner Handle?
If you enjoy and have time for home maintenance projects, there are a few things you can do on your own to keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape. The first is the easiest and most effective task: changing the air filter.
You should replace your air filters every one to three months. If you’ve installed reusable air filters, use the same schedule for cleaning. Clean filters can reduce the amount of dust, pollen, and other allergens circulating in your home.
Another easy maintenance task is cleaning vents and registers. Dust and debris can accumulate in and around these areas. It’s simple to remove the grills and vacuum or wipe down the vents.
While it’s not part of HVAC maintenance, consider installing a dehumidifier on your HVAC system. A dehumidifier helps keep indoor humidity at ideal levels between 30 and 50%.
Professional HVAC Services and Air Quality Improvements
Your DIY efforts will go a long way toward improving your indoor air quality. Professional HVAC services can then come in and take care of the rest of your HVAC maintenance. Here’s how their services help improve indoor air quality:
HVAC professionals do a full inspection and maintenance of your heating and cooling system. They can clean and inspect components you may have trouble accessing, such as evaporator and condenser coils, blower motors, and heat exchangers.
Identify Potential Issues
An HVAC professional can find and address HVAC system issues that could impact air quality. They look for leaks or gaps in ductwork. They can repair problems that may contribute to poor air quality, such as refrigerant leaks or combustion issues in furnaces.
Using a professional HVAC service for routine maintenance is essential if you want to experience air quality improvements. Professionals have the knowledge, tools, and expertise to address issues that DIY maintenance may miss.
How to Maximize Your HVAC System for Indoor Air Quality
Unhealthy HVAC systems contribute to poor indoor quality. To see improvements in your indoor air quality, you can do several things to help your HVAC system perform better. We’ve already mentioned a few of these, but they’re critical enough for a quick reminder.
Consider the following tips:
- Change filters every one to three months
- Upgrade to a HEPA air filter
- Exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to expel pollutants
- Seal leaks and gaps in ductwork
- Use of air purifiers
- Use a dehumidifier
- No smoking indoors
- Proper cooking ventilation
- Dust and vacuum your home
- Groom pets to reduce allergens like pet dander
- Schedule annual HVAC maintenance
By following these tips, you can maintain a healthy HVAC system and create an indoor environment that promotes excellent air quality. Many of the items on our list are simple to do but have large-scale benefits.
We can’t emphasize enough the benefit of scheduling professional HVAC maintenance. We suggest at least one service per year. If you or someone in your household has allergies or other respiratory health conditions, you may need more frequent maintenance.
Schedule Your Fall HVAC Services Today
To help handle the seasonal changes in Tallahassee, FL, one vital thing you can do is HVAC maintenance. Start with the things you can handle on your own. Air filter changes and keeping your system free of dust and debris are excellent DIY tasks.
Let Key Heating and Cooling in Tallahassee take care of the rest. We’ve been helping homeowners in the Tallahassee, FL area maintain their HVAC systems for over 40 years. Our expert technicians also install and maintain dehumidifiers, humidifiers, and Global Plasma Solutions systems.
Reach out today to schedule your fall HVAC services. It’s a great first step to improve indoor air quality.