How To Prevent From Getting Sick When Using Your Heater

image of homeowner with allergies dealing with dry air in winter

Many parts of the United States have been affected by harsh winter weather in the past few years. Thanks to the wide availability of heating systems,  most of us are fortunate enough to stay warm and safe. Heaters, such as furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps,  really come in handy during extreme winter weather conditions. A functioning heating system is vital to our comfort. However, we also need to be aware that improper heater maintenance and usage could lead to inefficiency. Likewise, it leads to illness and health hazards, basically known as heating system sickness.

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How To Prevent From Getting Sick When Using Your Home Heating System

In this article, we discuss some of the ways that your home heating system can make you feel ill. Fortunately, you can avoid all of this hassle by maintaining your system on an annual basis. It is preferable to schedule an appointment in the fall, right before the onset of the winter. Also, changing out your filters when they are dirty can also aid in improving indoor air quality. Many indoor air quality issues naturally lead to health problems.  These health concerns are prevented when you change out your filter on a regular basis.

A heating system is a machine that needs care just like any other machine. However, if you don’t take care of it, then it can impact your comfort, energy bills, and health. Keep reading to find out more about how home heaters can affect your overall physical well-being.

Asthma & Allergies

image of man with respiratory issues in winter and inhaler

Most HVAC systems recirculate indoor air. While recirculating air helps save energy, it increases the concentration of indoor air pollutants. These pollutants include pet dander, dust mites, mold, pollen, and more. Recirculated indoor air has been found to contain as much as five times the amount of pollutants as outdoor air. This is especially true especially when air filters are not replaced on a regular basis. Consequently, this causes the vents and ducts to build up dirt and indoor air particulates, leading to the demise of your air quality.

Exposure to these indoor pollutants can cause allergies, asthma, as well as irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. This problem is more pronounced in warmer climates, such as when your home is heated in the winter. Furthermore, as mentioned above, dust and debris get trapped in the HVAC ducts and vents. This especially happens when these systems are not in use. Once they are turned on for the season, the indoor air particulates are redistributed throughout your home, causing allergies and asthmatic flare-ups.

To avoid asthma and allergies caused by your heating system, make sure you change your air filters. Check it once a month and make sure you change it at least every three months. The rule of thumb is to change it when it is dirty. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) claims that you need to do this to remove indoor air pollutants. Hire a professional to have your ducts and vents examined, and cleaned if necessary. Regularly open your doors and windows to air out the interior. Be sure to do this especially when you’re turning on the furnace for the first time in months. You can also use an air purifier to help remove indoor air pollutants.

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Cold & Flu

The warm indoor temperature during the winter season encourages the growth of germs and viruses. During wintertime, most people stay indoors where the air is recirculated. This means that there is a higher chance of catching a cold or flu. Heating systems also tend to dry up the mucus layer in our nasal passage, making our respiratory system more prone to infection.

To reduce the chances of getting sick during the cold and flu season, try to avoid crowded indoor spaces. Make sure you get ample fresh air by spending time outdoors.

Clean your vents and have a professional check your ducts. Schedule a heating system tune-up. All of these strategies help improve indoor air quality.  Turn down the thermostat a few notches to reduce the drying effect. Crack open doors and windows periodically to get some fresh air. You can also use saline nasal mist or nasal gel to keep the mucus layer moist and keep germs and viruses at bay.

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is known as a silent killer because it’s colorless, odorless, and toxic. It is a natural byproduct of combustion- a process that your furnace performs to keep your house warm. However, these gases are meant to be vented outdoors, where they won’t cause harm to those inside of the home. Furnaces that operate improperly or are improperly vented produce an elevated amount of carbon monoxide that, instead of going outdoors, leaks inside of your home. Exposure to carbon monoxide, also known as carbon monoxide poisoning, leads to symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, and irregular breathing. Exposure at a high level could be life-threatening.

To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning caused by your heating system, have your furnace properly installed and inspected periodically by a professional. This helps ensure safe operation. Also, you need to install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home. This alarm will alert you when there’s an elevated level of carbon monoxide in the air.

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No one wants to get sick when using their heater. You can avoid this and create a healthy indoor environment by making sure that you tune up your heating system. Not only will it improve the health of all of your household members, but it will also make your system perform in a more energy-efficient manner. This means that it will use less energy which reduces home heating costs. Be sure to contact Wilcox Energy to get your heating system in proper working order today!

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Wilcox Energy offers superior heating and cooling services on the southern Connecticut shoreline.

We make sure to hire the best certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC services which include tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each technician has outstanding knowledge and experience to serve your HVAC system needs correctly.

Wilcox Energy guarantees to provide you with the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services ensure to improve your comfort, increase your system’s energy efficiency, and reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs.

Need your system repaired or replaced? We’ll recommend the best one for your home and is within your budget. The best part is, all our work is backed with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction.

If you wish to schedule a service appointment, give us a call today! We also offer in-home estimates at no cost at all.

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For more information about heating and cooling systems, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can contact us at (860) 399-6218. We offer a full line of heater and air conditioner repairs, maintenance services, and installations.