When you walk into a space where the air is “off,” you’ll notice. Perhaps it is a musty smell you are detecting. Or maybe the scent is chemical. It could even be that the air freshener odor is overpowering—so much so that things are not actually fresh and you can't tell what the actual air in the room might smell like.
There are myriad reasons why the air in any indoor space may not be nice to breathe. But what all of these reasons have in common is this: they are toxic.
When you breathe in air that smells mouldy, musty, sharp, harsh, or artificially scented in some way, you are breathing in chemicals… and probably chemicals used to cover up some underlying issue with the air conditioning or heating unit.
Happily, this post will offer you some tips to ensure your own indoor air at work and at home won't smell like anything other than simply fresh, clean air.
Change Those Filters!
When you are using your HVAC unit a great deal, the best practice is to change the air filter at least every 30 days.
After all, your air filter is perhaps the least expensive component in your overall HVAC system and yet it also has the hardest job—keeping those tiny particulate toxins out of the indoor air you you’re breathing.
When you change your air filter, several things occur simultaneously:
Your HVAC system works less hard (and uses up less energy) to push out the recirculated air into your home or office space.
Your indoor air becomes cleaner since no clogged debris or toxins can get pushed out through your vents along with the air supply.
You will spend less on maintenance and repairs for more expensive components.
Schedule Your HVAC Unit’s Annual Checkup
Most people go to the doctor to get an annual checkup. This checkup is called "wellness" or "preventative" care for a reason.
During your annual exam, your doctor will take your vitals, check your blood, examine your body, and ensure there are no issues brewing. By spending a little time on an annual checkup, you can avoid much more costly treatments later.
In the same way, it makes good sense regarding both time and money to schedule your HVAC unit for an annual checkup. Here, too, the nature of the exam is preventative—to keep your HVAC unit well and healthy all year long.
Here is a list of things your HVAC "physician" (technician) should do:
Clean the surface exterior and interior of the HVAC unit to ensure it is free from dirt and debris.
Tighten and test all connections and moving parts.
Apply lubricant to moving parts as needed.
Add fluids or refrigerant as needed.
Do a thermostat test to verify temperature accuracy.
Clean out the condensate drain and the evaporator/condensate coils.
Check start, stop, and operation modes for safety and efficiency.
Clean out the blower and adjust settings if necessary.
Check furnace and energy source components for safety and operation.
Your technician should also offer any tips specific to your type of HVAC unit for improving operation and energy efficiency. And if you don't already have one, your technician may recommend installing a carbon monoxide detector inside your home or workspace. (It is illegal in Ontario not to have one.)
From reading this list, it is easy to see how scheduling an annual checkup for your HVAC unit will stave off much more costly repairs down the road!
Review Your Own Indoor Air Quality
So now you have changed your air filters and your HVAC unit has gotten its annual "wellness checkup" out of the way.
The next step is to review your indoor air quality. You can do this by scheduling an indoor air quality checkup.
This checkup will alert you about any toxins that have invaded your indoor air supply. Once you have identified the toxins, you need to pinpoint their source.
Some toxins, like carbon monoxide, can only be detected with an alarm system. But many other toxins come from products we use.
To find most of these toxins, just open your cabinets or look at your clothing and shoes.
Commercial cleaners. Many of these have harsh, toxic, and unpronounceable chemical ingredients. You can do the same industrial-strength job with natural alternatives like baking soda, lemon juice, white vinegar, and plain water—and these won't pollute your indoor air!
Pollen, dust, and dust mites. You bring pollen and dust in on your clothes and shoes. Dust mites happily breed in cushions, mattresses, and pillows. Having your mattresses and dryer vents professionally cleaned will greatly reduce the presence of these allergens.
Tobacco. Tobacco and tobacco products are some of the harshest carcinogens in most people's indoor air supply. Take it outside, away from your living or work space.
Air fresheners. If you are using anything other than pure teas or citrus juice or essential oils, there is a good chance your scent is really a concoction of dangerous chemicals.
Mould and mildew. High humidity levels can cause a rise in the levels of mould and mildew, which can cause lung and respiratory issues.
Pet dander. Pets can not only bring in pollen and dust/dirt in their fur, but they often then like to spread it across your bed when they cuddle with you before sleep (which solves the mystery of why so many people wake up coughing in the middle of the night).
Contact Campeau Heating Today
Campeau Heating has been serving the Sudbury and surrounding areas for more than 64 years. To schedule a service, contact us at 705-560-2441 or online.