FOR YOUR HEALTH: Healthy Air, Healthy Home

(NAPSI)—In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities, warns the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since most people spend some 90 percent of their time indoors, the EPA adds, for many people, the risks to health may be great.

In addition, the EPA points out, the people who may be exposed to indoor air pollutants the most — the young, the elderly and the chronically ill — are often those most susceptible to its effects.

With cooler weather, many people spend more time inside homes with all the doors and windows shut, so it’s even more important to make sure indoor air quality is healthy.

One easy way to help keep your family “Breathing Clean” is to clear out your HVAC system. All homes with air ducts accumulate dust and dirt, which can be a particular problem in households with:

  • pets
  • allergies or asthma
  • smokers
  • water contamination
  • remodeling projects
  • young children
  • elderly people.

After all, your heating and cooling system is, essentially, the lungs of your home. The system takes air in and “breathes” air out. Through normal occupation, people generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust and chemicals. These are pulled into the HVAC system and recirculated five to seven times a day and can mean a buildup of contaminants in the ductwork.

What’s more, clean ducts can save you energy and money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder to maintain the temperature you desire. With a clean system, less energy is used, leading to improved cost effectiveness.

Fortunately, it can be easy to get your system inspected by a reputable, certified HVAC professional. It helps to heed these four hints:

  1. Ask the contractor for proof of insurance and any applicable licenses.
  2. Have the contractor specify which components will be cleaned.
  3. Verify that the contractor will limit the release of dust, dirt and debris into your home during cleaning.
  4. Ask for proof of NADCA membership and certification. NADCA sets the industry standard for HVAC system cleaning and its members must have at least one certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff, comply with a Code of Ethics and acquire continuing education credits.

Learn More

For more facts and tips and to find a nearby NADCA member, go to www.BreathingClean.com. Click here for a free Homeowner’s Guide to air duct cleaning.

 
 

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