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3 Healthy Solutions For a Happy Office

Solving 3 Office Health Hazards

According the American Time Use Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employed person age 25-54 spends 8.8 hours a day at work or doing work-related things. That number overshadowed all other activities in a typical 24-hour day, even sleeping. Spending so much time in the office endears you to all kinds of perks—cool coworkers, free food in the break room—but it also comes with some potential health drawbacks. Let’s take a look at some potential health hazards lurking in your office and how you can solve them.

1. Bad Ventilation

You probably don’t give a second thought to the air you’re breathing in. But if that air is cycling through a poorly maintained HVAC system, it probably carries allergens, irritants, smoke, and other things that could leave you feeling ill at your desk. Some of the harmful elements in your office air include:

  • Particles – These are any little bits of matter in the air that eventually settle—like dust, dirt, and allergens.
  • Microbial contaminants – This category includes mold and bacteria.
  • Gases – Carbon monoxide, radon, and other volatile organic compounds are included in this category.

However, most work illnesses aren’t caused by any single factor. More often it’s a combination of these airborne irritants that cause a problem, which is where sick building syndrome comes in. Sick building syndrome describes situations wherein employees get sick just from being inside a building. Symptoms include everything from headaches and dry cough to fatigue and nausea. These symptoms immediately go away when leaving the building.

The really scary thing: pollutant levels inside your office can be two to five times more concentrated than outdoors—and in some cases 100 times that amount!

Solution:

Switch out air filters and have your ventilation system checked regularly. A properly functioning HVAC system keeps humidity in check to discourage mold growth while also weeding out the pollutants that cause many of the common health problems in the office.

It also doesn’t hurt to get a little nature in the office. Plants situated throughout your work area look great and naturally improve air quality and humidity.

Sit up straight

2. Sitting

Bad posture is a well-known detractor of good health, leading to back pain, headaches, and digestive issues. Not typing correctly can give you carpal tunnel, and staring too long at your monitor leads to eye strain.
All that said, the constant sitting itself is also a risk. According to various forms of research, sitting for extended periods during the day is linked to a whole host of health issues, including:

  • Heart disease – Sitting has been connected to high blood pressure and cholesterol, which contribute to an unhealthy heart.
  • Diabetes – Idle muscles have a harder time responding to insulin, forcing the pancreas to make more and more insulin, which can cause diabetes (among other diseases).
  • Varicose veins – Sitting slows down circulation and causes blood to pool in your legs, which can lead to varicose veins, blood clots, and deep vein thrombosis.

Solution:

Standing and treadmill desks have become quite the craze in response to this information, but both can be tiring if not done properly. If you do go the route of a standing desk, make sure you either invest in good footwear or use a desk mat to prevent fatigue and take some of the pressure off your feet and ankles.

If you’d rather not spend all day on your feet, make sure you sit with good posture. That means:

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Elbows bent at 90 degrees
  • Shoulders relaxed
  • Neck even with the spine
  • Lean back a bit to relax your upper back on the backrest (while maintaining posture) instead of leaning forward and hunching over.

Most importantly, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch, and get some sun. Aim for a five-minute break once an hour.

long hours

3. Long hours

The average nine-to-five job has stretched way beyond those limits, and it’s not uncommon for average weekly hours to exceed 40. While you might have overtime on your mind, working so long isn’t good for your body. Studies show that working 11 or more hours a day increases your risk of coronary heart disease 67 percent. People who work 11 or more hours a day also have an increased risk of depression.

Long hours also spell doom for your sleep cycle, which can raise your stress hormones, cause an imbalance in insulin, and reduce your leptin, the hormone connected to appetite.

Solution:

The easy solution is to limit your hours, but that’s not always possible. If you find yourself having trouble getting through all the items on your to-do list, consider your time management techniques. Make a plan for your day that includes all breaks, delays, and distractions. Know when to say no, and learn the value of delegating tasks to those under you.

If things really become a problem, take things up with upper management. There’s no reason any employee should spend consecutive days working overtime.

Are these three office health hazards bogging you down? Start by having your HVAC system checked out by a trusted commercial professional like Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating. Look for ways to get yourself moving throughout the day, whether it’s standing for part of the day or banning the elevator. Say no to too many late nights by experimenting with some time management tricks or talking to your supervisor. Share your knowledge and enjoy the benefits of a healthy office with your whole team!

Five Effects of Bad Indoor Air Quality (and How to Improve It!)

Not letting bad air get to you

Air is something most of us take for granted. We think of the air in our homes and offices as clean and safe; as natural as breathing itself. Despite its seemingly benign presence, it could be compromising your health, depending on the environment in which you live. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency cites poor indoor air quality as the fourth greatest threat to the environment. If you’ve been suffering from respiratory problems, sinus or eye irritation, headaches, or general fatigue, the culprit may be right under (and within) your nose. Fortunately, there are ways to drastically improve the air you breathe and increase the safety of your home environment.

Want to know what risks come with poor indoor air quality? Keep reading to find out—and to learn how you can avoid them altogether.

1. Chronic Disease

Some examples include asthma, allergies, and even lung cancer. These issues can be caused by any one or a combination of several types of airborne contaminants. Poor air quality can also exacerbate existing respiratory ailments such as COPD.

2. Allergies

Dirty air can cause irritation to the eyes and nasal passages, headaches, nausea, asthma attacks, and fatigue. Biological contaminants, including animal dander, bacteria, mold, particles from dust mites and cockroaches, pollen, and viruses in the air can also lead to infections throughout the body.

3. Gas Poisoning

  • Carbon monoxide can escape from older or improperly installed furnaces. High levels of these gases in enclosed spaces can be detrimental to your health, and even fatal. Small children, elderly people, and pets are most at risk of succumbing from this type of poisoning.
  • Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that enters homes through cracks in the foundation, drains, and other openings. More than 21,000 deaths per year in the United States are attributed to lung cancer from radon poisoning.

4. Chemical Poisoning

Formaldehyde is emitted from glues in upholstery, carpets, particle board, and wall paneling. Other equally toxic chemicals exist in pesticides, household cleaning agents, paint, solvents, and personal care products. These toxins are endocrine system disruptors that can affect long-term health; they may also cause immediate symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation, headache, blurred vision, nausea, and rashes.

5. Mesothelioma

Asbestos is not just a problem from the history books. Many homes and office buildings still contain this lethal material in their insulation. Tiny fibers from crumbling asbestos infiltrate the lungs and can cause a terminal disease known as mesothelioma.

How to Improve Air Quality

The first and easiest step is to schedule regular maintenance of your home HVAC system. Professionals like Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating will check your entire system to diagnose problems, make repairs, complete maintenance tasks, and offer advice about upgrades and other ways you can improve your air quality.

The following list includes a few other simple solutions that you can implement in order to improve the air quality in your home and keep your family safe and sound:

  • Wash all human and animal bedding regularly to remove dander and dust mites.
  • Vacuum frequently using a vacuum with a HEPA filter installed.
  • Identify and eradicate areas of dampness around windows and between panes, near pipes, or in the walls. These are breeding grounds for mold, mildew, and bacteria. Damp areas also attract pests like cockroaches, which can also contribute to airborne contamination. In addition to affecting your air quality, damp rot can cause major (and expensive) structural damage.
  • Forbid smoking in or around your home. Second-hand smoke has been linked to lung cancer and also increases the chances of developing other cancers, such as breast cancer.
  • Install and regularly check carbon monoxide detectors to keep an eye on gas levels.
  • Have all combustion appliances (anything that uses gas, coal, or wood fuel) installed by professionals.
  • Have your home tested for radon gas. The testing company will offer suggestions on how to remove it and keep it out of your home.
  • Avoid using cleaning and personal products that contain toxic chemicals. Nontoxic versions exist for every home need, and you can find a variety of easy DIY recipes for everyday products from all-purpose cleaner to shampoo.
  • Buy bedding and furniture made from organically grown plant fibers whenever possible. If you are bringing a new mattress or piece of upholstered furniture into your home that may contain formaldehyde or other chemicals, try to leave it in a garage or patio to release its gases for a day or two before bringing it into living and sleeping areas.
  • Have your home inspected for asbestos. If you find you have it, have a professional cover it with a brush on sealant (often this is a safer alternative to removal since your not disturbing it) or have it removed entirely.

Proper maintenance of your home environment can help you ensure that the air you breathe is clean and healthy. Ventilation is an important part of this process, as well as routine cleaning of any HVAC system, pet beds, and cluttered, dusty spaces.

6 Benefits of Good Indoor Air Quality

Why is Indoor Air Quality so Important?

You breathe in about 11,000 liters of air a day, allowing you to live life and do all the cool things that you do, but not all air is created equal. If you’ve been in a room without ventilation or a functioning air conditioning system, you know how stale and unpleasant the air can get.

Fortunately, Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating can install, maintain, and repair your HVAC system to keep your air quality healthy. But why is it so important? Keep reading to learn about a handful of benefits that come with maintaining good indoor air quality.

1. Easy breathing

Breathing is, for the most part, an unconscious action. You do it without thinking about it much, but if your home’s air quality is low, breathing can feel like trying to suck air through a coffee stirrer. Even if you don’t realize it, your body does. Surviving on shallow breaths puts a lot of stress on your body, especially your heart and lungs, making even climbing a flight of stairs a physically tiring task. With clean air, you can take big, easy breaths and give your body the oxygen it needs.

2. Better sleep

Our respiration changes when we’re asleep such that our breathing rate decreases and becomes much steadier. But during REM sleep, breathing rate increases and fluctuates as much as it would when you’re awake.

So as important as air is when you’re awake, it’s just as important when you’re asleep. Try to sleep with something covering your face or mouth. You definitely won’t be comfortable and will spend most of the night tossing and turning. Respiratory irritation and airborne allergens affect the quality of your sleep, leading to sleep-disordered breathing problems such as sleep apnea. With clean indoor air, you won’t have to worry about breathing problems, so you can wake up feeling refreshed.

3. Elimination of allergens

Reportedly, somewhere between 10 and 30 percent of the global population suffers from allergic rhinitis—what we know as hay fever—which is characterized by sneezing, congestion, an itchy throat, and irritated eyes. Hay fever is caused by allergens, which are airborne particles that you may be allergic to. The most common of which include:

  • Dust
  • Animal dander
  • Mold spores
  • Cockroach debris
  • Pollen

These allergens float in the air but eventually fall onto flat surfaces, leaving a thin, seemingly furry film on surfaces. The heavier the allergen, the faster it settles out of the air and onto a flat surface.

Eliminating allergens ensures that you’re not sneezing up a storm or otherwise suffering in your own home. Aside from frequent vacuuming, maintaining your home’s ventilation and air conditioning system keeps allergens at bay, filtering out the particles from outdoor air to give you just the good stuff. Having the right type of filtration and having it properly installed, will make a big difference on how clean your air is.

4. Reduced odors

Whether you cook a lot of fish, forget to clean your cat’s litter box, or have housemates who eat exclusively bean burritos, odors are always a potential problem. The smell of onion breath or B.O. isn’t anyone’s cup of tea, but bad smells also have a very real effect on your mood, thoughts, behaviors, and dreams. Bad odors can leave you uncharacteristically grumpy and irritable. On the other hand, good smells—like chamomile, flowers, and citrus—improve your mood, reduce stress, and lower your heart rate.

Furthermore, odors are about as distracting as someone slurping their food. If you’re trying to study or get work done at home, you have to try that much harder to focus on your work because of the pungent, musty mystery smell creeping through your home. You shouldn’t have to walk through your home with a clothespin on your noise.

Traditional filters, even HEPA filters, will not remove odor and sprays may just mask them for a while. The key is to break down the organic material (VOC’s) in the air that causes the smell in the first place. UV filters with a special catalyst like this PureAir do just that.

5. Balanced humidity

Good indoor air quality also means a good balance of humidity. Humidity, which is the amount of water in the air, affects all aspects of your immediate environment. Too much humidity makes your home feel stuffy and moist, which makes breathing feel heavy. The extra moisture causes mold growth and increased dust mite populations while also attracting pests.
At the same time, not enough humidity makes for cold and dry conditions that lead to irritated skin, static shock, frequent nosebleeds, and completely uncooperative hair.

Air conditioning, ventilation, and humidifiers or dehumidifiers balance humidity for better health and comfortable living. Some thermostats can display the current percentage of humidity in your home. Ideally, your indoor humidity should be around 45 percent.

6. Reduced energy costs

The steps required to maintain your air quality—improving airflow and ventilation, maintaining humidity and carbon dioxide levels—all go toward optimizing your HVAC system and ensuring that it doesn’t work too hard to keep your home healthy. Efficiency inevitably leads to reduced costs on your utility bill.

You shouldn’t be getting sick from the air in your own home, so take the necessary steps to ensure good indoor air quality. Happy breathing!

Top 10 Allergy Myths Busted!

Allergies – Fact Or Fiction?

Like getting in the ring and getting knocked around, allergies can take us down hard. It can be a battle to get through them but it’s nice to know what’s true and what’s false about allergies. Let’s tighten our gloves and do some allergy myth busting!

Top Ten Allergy Myths Busted

Creating A Sanctuary from Sneezing:

You may not be able to control when you breath in an irritant that you’re allergic to while your out and about, but you can bolster your defenses at home to give your body a break from the fight. The right filtration can keep your home free or at least greatly reduce the amount of junk in the air, so you can breath easy and recover. Give us a call today and we’ll come out for free to give you some options and help you achieve cleaner air!

Dangerous Ducts: Are They In Your Home?

Is your ductwork a danger to your health?

Your home is filled with all manner of wires, cables, and pipes, all of which keep your home’s various utilities and appliances running smoothly. One of the most important but often under-appreciated elements in any home is the ducts. They keep air flowing thru your filter and into your home and help remove allergens and other unwelcome airborne debris. Ducts are also what bring us the wonder of climate-controlled rooms. They’re the lungs of your home.
But ducts—or at least those that aren’t well-maintained—present problems. They’re inefficient, raise your utility bills, and generally make your humble home a place of discomfort. Worse yet, bad ductwork can actually cost you your health and potentially your life! Here are some common culprits causing dangerous ducts.

Dust

Dust around the house is a fun mix of essentially everything drifting around your home—pet dander, bits of ash from your cigarettes, soil, pollen, insect bits, industrial pollution, and good ole human skin. Ducts that are storing a lot of dust will only blow that dust back into the air, which can cause sneezing, aggravate allergies, and make breathing difficult. Ducting that isn’t sealed well can introduced dust from your attic or under your house right into your home. Don’t let bad ducts get the better of your health and allergies.

Mold and Fungi

Mold and fungi can be found essentially anywhere containing moisture, like the pool of condensation from your air conditioner. A mold spore floating in the air will land in that pool and grow. It will continue to grow so long as there’s some moisture present.

That alone is pretty gross, but it gets worse. Because your ducts consist of a network running throughout your home, the mold has easy access to just about every nook and cranny of your home. Breathing in some mold spores can lead to respiratory issues that often resemble seasonal allergies, in addition to headaches, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating. Frequent contamination could lead to illness and respiratory issues all year long.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral fiber and was used in various products to add strength and fire resistance. It is commonly found in homes that were built before the 1970s. In older homes, ducts are often wrapped using an asbestos blanket or asbestos paper tape for insulation.

When asbestos gets damaged you should start worrying, as it crumbles into a fine dust that is easily inhaled. Inhaling high levels of asbestos increases your risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Symptoms of these diseases won’t manifest until 20 to 30 years after exposure.

Rats!

Rats are one of the most common pests in the world. When they’re out in the cold, wet wild, your home looks like a haven of warmth, shelter, and free food.

You don’t have to get bitten by a rat to be in danger. They carry fleas, which may or may not harbor disease but are an extreme headache for anyone trying to get rid of them, especially in a non-toxic way. Then there’s the matter of droppings. Gross in their own right, a rat’s droppings and urine contain potentially harmful bacteria. Imagine those droppings sitting in your ducts as you turn on the heater. You’d be filling your home with the bacteria of rat poop. Yikes!

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a man-made material created to replace asbestos as a thermal barrier or insulation in homes today. Fiberglass is found all over your home, in walls, attics, under your house, and it’s also wrapped around your air ducts. When ducts are damaged or deteriorating, they can introduced particles of fiberglass into the air you breath. According to the American Lung Association– Inhaling fiberglass can reduce lung function and cause skin eye and throat irritation, in humans and animals. Some old types of ducting have no barrier between the fiberglass and the air stream and should be replaced immediately.

So, are dangerous ducts in your home? If you’re not sure of the status of your air ducting, call a professional air conditioning contractor like Bob Jenson A/C to assess them. The best way to mitigate any of these dangers is to perform regular maintenance on your duct systems. Keep your ducts clean, practice proper pest control, and have a professional check your ducts once a year.

Is Air Duct Cleaning Worth It?

Is Duct Cleaning Worth it or is it a Scam?

Indoor air quality is a growing concern for many households, and an increasing number of HVAC contractors are now offering duct cleaning services to help maintain central air systems and keep the home cleaner. This post will tell you what duct cleaning is and how it can help your home, but whether or not it’s a scam is up to you to decide based on your household’s needs.

From the horse’s mouth: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a statement claiming that routine duct cleaning is not effective at controlling indoor air quality, because the dirt and dust that accumulates in the ducts tends to stick to the sides rather than being released back into the house. One could even argue that ducts help clean your home by drawing in dirty air and then releasing cleaner air while leaving the contaminants behind.

While the EPA does not recommend routine duct cleaning, they do recommend cleaning on demand, which requires routinely monitoring your duct work for contaminants, in addition to leaks and other defects. And the EPA does recommend cleanings for a few specific reasons, which are discussed in more detail below.

What is Duct Cleaning?

Duct cleaning refers to cleaning the ducts, registers, grills, diffusers, filters, and intakes of a forced air system such as central heating and cooling. The ducts on a forced air system are the passageways that the heated or cooled air travels through to get to the rooms it’s needed in. Air travels through the intake register, filter, and diffusers before it enters the ducts for travel and output.

You can limit or eliminate the need for duct cleaning by performing the rest of the cleaning system work and skipping the cleaning of the ducts themselves. Because dirt from inside your home builds up inside the ducts, stopping it at the source—before it enters the actual ducts—is the best way to keep your ducts clean and free of contaminants.

Specific Reasons to Clean Your Ducts

The EPA says the dirt and dust that accumulate inside ducts doesn’t pose a health risk itself, but other contaminants that may enter the duct system can pose a health risk. Therefore, ducts should be monitored for these other contaminants and cleaned accordingly if they are present.

Concerning contaminants. Mold, pests, and excessive dirt or debris are the three big contaminants to look for in duct work.

Mold releases microscopic spores into the air which are hazardous to your health when inhaled over time and can also cause your home and the things inside it to smell musty. If your home has a high interior humidity level, moisture can become trapped in the ducts and lead to mold growth. If you have insulated ducts and the insulation becomes moldy, the ducts can’t be cleaned and will need to be replaced.

Don’t bother to clean or replace your moldy ducts without simultaneously addressing the problem causing the mold, or else it will recur. Look at ventilation-related issues, especially if your air intake is located near a bathroom or other humid part of the home, and consider using a dehumidifier while working on improving your ventilation.

Pests such as mice, rats, and cockroaches can take up residence inside leaky, poorly sealed, or improperly installed ducts. These pests all carry airborne diseases that can be spread through inhalation, so they need to be kept out of all areas of the home, especially places like air ducts where traveling air can pick up and spread their diseases.

The presence of such pests is an indication that the duct work needs to be repaired or replaced, in addition to being cleaned. Regular maintenance and monitoring of the entire forced air system should help prevent pests from becoming a problem. Just as with mold, the places where pests are entering your home must be sealed, in addition to performing the ductwork repairs, or else the problem will recur.

Excessive dirt or debris builds up when filters aren’t changed regularly and ducts are seldom to never checked for leaks, to the point that debris no longer adheres to the ducts. You may see dirt and dust accumulating around the output register and there may even be visible chunks of debris coming into your living spaces through the air system. When dirt from the ducts is noticeably visible around the home, it’s time for some much-needed maintenance and cleaning.

Is Duct Cleaning a Scam?

Duct cleaning is really only a scam when it isn’t needed. But don’t confuse duct cleaning with general heating and air conditioning maintenance. Regular maintenance of your air and ventilation systems helps to make them last longer, improves efficiency, and saves you money.

If you’re not sure about the health of your ducts, please feel free to contact Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating. We’d be happy to help!

5 Reasons to Replace Your Old Air Ducts

Ducting – Why Replace it?

For most of their live they go unseen, in our walls, attics, even under the house! Duct are usually out of sight out of mind but they are a critical factor in our comfort, health and energy use at home. Here’s a fun infographic to help you know why and when to replace them:

5 Reasons to Replace Your Air Ducts

What to look for in a quality flexible duct system?

  • UV protected, metalized jacket
  • Sized correctly
  • Sealed from one end to the other
  • HERS Tested for leakage
  • Dampers installed for balancing

Of course there are many other details to understand when replacing the ducting system for your home. We have years of experience in helping customers find the just what they need, call or contact Bob Jenson A/C for free in-home advice on your next duct replacement!

The Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Poor Air Quality – How it can effect you.

You’ve heard the term, out of sight, out of mind? Because we can’t usually see bad air particles, we assume it’s all clear. The air quality inside our home can be up to 10 times more polluted than outside because we tend to keep things closed up when the weather isn’t ideal. Your air conditioning system will only stir up and circulate bad air unless you have a good filtration system to remove these unseen particles. Wonder why your having irritating health issues, you may want to check out these ways poor air quality can effect your health:

Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality Infographic

How can I change my air quality for the better?

First be aware of the things that can cause bad air in the first place, you can learn about some of these offenders right here. Then find out what kind of filtration system you actually have, if any. Call an expert in like Bob Jenson A/C for a free evaluation of your filtration system and to learn what options you have for the needs of your home and family.

Maintaining your air quality equipment throughout the year is very important. We recommend an air conditioning maintenance on your system at least twice a year, once before summer and once before winter. Call Bob Jenson to start an annual maintenance on your comfort system today. Begin enjoying safer, healthier air from now on!

Top 10 Best US Cities for Air Quality

Great Air Quality – How it Effects You.

Clean filtered air can remove the tiny particles we can’t even see, which are the ones that cause us the most health issues. These particles cause us to sneeze, can make us ill and uncomfortable. By making sure to breath in clean air we are taking control of our health and safety. Some places in the US have better air quality than others, we look at the top 10:

Top 10 US Cities for Best Air Quality

Do I have to move to get good air quality?

While most of us may not live in cities with the best air, we can still improve the air quality in our homes and keep the bad air out. Air Quality in cities can change from good to bad very quickly. Improving the basic filter in your home with filtration that grabs the stuff you don’t see is important for our health and comfort. Do you have constant allergies? Are you always dusting? Does the air feel fresh inside your home? These are questions to consider when looking to upgrade your air filtration.

Protect you and your family by learning more about how you can control bad air using air quality filtration in your home. We also recommend an air conditioning maintenance on your system at least twice a year, once before summer and once before winter. Call Bob Jenson to get a free in-home, air quality filtration estimate and breath safer, healthier air from now on!

Air Filtration Systems: How to Ensure Great Indoor Air Quality!

Air Filtration Systems – Why are they important?

Think of all the harmful things that float around the world you live in: bacteria, pollen, mites, and other insects; viruses, chemicals, and even pet dander. These things are constantly bombarding our immune systems, causing allergic reactions and illness, especially in young people, elderly people, and those with compromised immune systems.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a safe haven where none of these things can do any harm? Unfortunately, a lot of these tiny attackers come from within our homes as well as from outside.

But there is one sure-fire way to ensure great indoor air quality in your home—free of mites, bacteria, pollen, and all those other nasty things. First, we’ll identify what makes the air quality in your home poor, and then we’ll show you how to improve it.

Indoor Air Quality Filtration

Microscopic Space Invaders

Seasonal Allergens

Pollen. In the early spring in San Diego, homeowners will experience mid to high levels of pollen. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know what that means. (Check the pollen forecast in your area.)

Risking exposure to pollen, for many seasonal allergy sufferers, feels like a slow, painful death by runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat from nocturnal postnasal drip, and strong, debilitating sneezing. It’s bad enough those allergens are literally floating in the air as soon as you step outside. Why invite those allergens into your home as well?

Pet Dander and Mites

Even if you don’t own any animals, the dander from outside animals or other animals you come in contact with can follow you home. Dander is basically skin cells; and the proteins of those cells cause extreme allergies in many people.

Mites are alive. They can even cling to your animals, though they are so small you’ll probably never notice them if you aren’t looking. Mites carry allergens much like the proteins of dander that make some people react severely.

Chemicals

Unfortunately, the products we use to clean up these problems can actually cause even more issues. Even if you wipe down chemicals or dilute them to decrease their potency, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ridding your home of their harmful effects. Think about it: if the Drain-O you put in your sink is designed to eat through hair and other organic matter, what do you think it would do to your body?

Air Filtration Systems can help

The gist of all this is that bad things are floating in the air we breathe. For the most part, our bodies fight back and we remain healthy. But outdoors, there is much better ventilation than you probably have in your home, where your walls, windows and roof working together to keep contaminants inside.

What you need is to look into proper air filtration systems. By filtering the air in your home, you can remove these harmful particles, leaving clean and fresh air to breathe. This is how to ensure great indoor air quality.

Understanding contaminants

The first thing to understand is that each contaminant (pollen, chemicals, dander, viruses, etc.) is a different size. Pollen is larger than dander, which is larger than the particles from a sneeze, which is larger than a virus. This is very important; the smaller the contaminant, the more precise the filters that grab the contaminant need to be.

Your HVAC system is fitted with filters but knowing how well they perform is critical. Each filter has a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) number that determines what type of contaminants it can filter out.

Filter options

The higher the MERV number, the more contaminants you’ll filter out of your home. The more you filter out, the better your air quality will be.

So, air filtration systems with a MERV rating of 1 to 4 will get rid of the pollen, mites, and other larger particles in your home. This amounts to about 20% of all contaminants.

Go higher up the MERV ladder from 10 to 12, and you’re filtering out auto emissions and lead, along with the pollen and mites.

Continue to a MERV of 16 and you’re filtering out bacteria, insecticides and auto emissions, lead, pollen, and mites. This amounts to 95% of all contaminants.

This is one instance where you definitely get what you pay for. In order to get the best possible air quality in your home—which also means reducing your family’s potential for illness, allergies, and exposure to other toxins—you need to go high on the MERV scale and install air filtration systems that can remove all of these harmful contaminants.

Talk to a Pro

There are other factors that go into making sure certain high efficient, air filtration systems will work with your equipment. Call or contact Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating today to find out how to clean up the air in your home. Remember, your home is your safe haven from all the harmful things floating around outside. We install air filtration systems that will do the job right.

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