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How Your Furnace Affects Indoor Air Quality

It’s nice to be warm — but it’s also nice to be able to breathe securely in your own home! Furnaces are very efficient at warming the home, but if your furnace is improperly maintained or damaged, your indoor air quality can suffer. This can pose several risks to you and your loved ones’ health. However, a healthy, well-maintained furnace will keep you warm and healthy! Here’s how you can manage the health of your furnace and protect your indoor air quality.

Does My Heating System Negatively Affect Indoor Air Quality?

It’s true: a furnace can lower your air quality if it’s improperly maintained and/or damaged. The impacts of this can range from minor air contaminants to life-threatening issues. While it’s not necessarily life-threatening, one common issue with furnaces is pollen and dust accumulation and circulation. This is usually caused by a dirty or outdated air filter in the furnace. Basic furnace maintenance provides an easy fix, as the filter can be professionally cleaned or replaced to restore freshness in your home. If you or your family suffer from allergies, it is important to have HVAC specialists inspect your heating system before the cold temperatures set in and you need more heat from your unit. Aside from preventing discomfort and possible illness, this maintenance can prevent other, more serious risks to your air quality. One of the biggest dangers a furnace can pose to your air quality is carbon monoxide (CO) contamination. Because some furnace types rely on gas and combustion to produce heat, CO is a potential byproduct of the unit doing its job. Unfortunately, CO is tasteless, colorless, and void of odor. This is why — if your furnace is combustion-based — it’s critical that you have a carbon monoxide detector implemented as soon as possible. Having a properly-installed CO detector is the only way to know for certain whether your air quality is safe. Our fully certified HVAC professionals at Exxel Mechanical Services can ensure that your CO detector is installed and functioning correctly. Don’t take a gamble with your family’s health. It is also imperative that you know the signs of CO poisoning in your house’s air quality. You should seek medical attention immediately if you, your loved ones, and/or pets are experiencing a sudden onset of the following symptoms:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Vomiting
Contact trained furnace specialists should also be contacted to assess the situation. CO contamination requires trained professionals to resolve safely, so don’t try to resolve the issue yourself —just get to safety. Remember, a properly working furnace doesn’t pose a risk to your home’s air quality, so keeping the unit maintained is definitely a good investment.

Signs of Furnace Issues

If your air quality seems off, take a moment to listen to the furnace itself. If you hear rattling, this probably indicates loose or broken components that could damage or clog the air filter. If the atmosphere feels heavy, this can also indicate that the air filter in the heating system is blocked and needs repair and/or cleaning. Additionally, strange or unpleasant smells, particularly ones that spread throughout the house, can indicate mechanical problems. A smoking furnace is a clear indicator you need HVAC repair; these fumes can also impair health. Any mechanical issues that occur in the unit will be accelerated due to furnace construction. Individual components constantly work together to create heat, making it easy for damaged sections to break other sections of the unit. When this happens, your air quality will suffer. You can avoid air quality problems, including CO contamination, by simply keeping your furnace maintained.

Healthy Furnace = Good Air Quality

A healthy furnace makes a healthy, warm home. Don’t wait for problems to get worse when you can easily correct the problems. In addition to saving you money on repairs, this is a major safety precaution for the whole family. You’ll be able to use your furnace with true peace of mind!

Contact Exxel Mechanical Services

Are you experiencing furnace problems or concerned about the upcoming winter weather? Uncertain what’s wrong with your furnace? We offer free consultations to examine your unit and give you the best options for quality furnace performance. Give us a call at (443) 821-1040 to get started!