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How Your Furnace Affects Indoor Air Quality

home air quality sullivan county, new yorkYour furnace can keep you safe and warm in your Sullivan County home all winter long, but could it be doing that job at the expense of your health? The answer to that question could be yes if your HVAC system is not working or being maintained properly.

Here are three important questions to ask about your HVAC system and its impact on the air you and your family members are breathing in your home:

  1. When did you last check your HVAC air filter? The air filter in an HVAC system removes dirt, dander, and contaminants from the air before they enter your ducts and living space. That’s why it’s so important to check your air filter every month, replacing or cleaning it (depending on the model) as needed. A clogged air filter will cause a build-up of irritants and allergens such as pollen, pet dander, and dust mites, which could be especially harmful to people in your home with respiratory sensitivities.
  2. Has your HVAC system been professionally installed and maintained? A combustion-based heating system will always produce exhaust fumes – including dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) gas. If your furnace is installed and maintained properly, these gases escape harmlessly into the outdoor air. However, if your heating system is not functioning properly, is poorly vented, or has been installed incorrectly, a potentially dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide can occur in your home. Learn the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, install carbon monoxide detectors at every level of your home, and invest in yearly professional furnace maintenance. Black Bear offers two affordable maintenance plans, each of which includes an annual tune-up.
  3. How old is your furnace? With proper care, your furnace should last about 15 years; beyond that point, efficiency and performance drop-offs (including degraded air quality) become more likely. Safety will also become an issue over time, since dangerous heat exchanger cracks that can release carbon monoxide into your home become more common as the equipment ages. For these reasons and many others, annual furnace inspections are essential, and replacing your old equipment with a safe, high-efficiency heating system is a smart move.

Does Your Furnace Need Repairs?

Still worried there may be something wrong with your furnace? Here are signs your furnace isn’t working properly and needs professional service:

  • There’s an increase in your utility bills that isn’t due to an increase in usage or prices.
  • Airflow in your home isn’t consistent.
  • You (or someone in your family) experiences increased allergy symptoms while in the home.
  • You hear strange noises coming from your heating system (e.g., buzzing, clanging, popping, rattling, or whistling).
  • You notice strange smells coming from your heating system (e.g., a musty or scorched odor).
  • Your home isn’t being heated evenly or consistently, so the temperature is uneven.

Call the Bear

If you’re ready to breathe easier, contact Black Bear to schedule a routine heating system maintenance visit or if your furnace needs repairs. And if it’s time to replace your old heating system, we can help you there, too. Just contact us for a free, no-obligation estimate! We’re Sullivan County’s first choice for HVAC installation, maintenance, and service, and your comfort is our top priority.

Contact Black Bear today to learn more.