The concept of circulating heated air to warm our living space seems simple enough, but for the 50’s era, it was cutting edge technology. It inadvertently put the steam radiator system and the traditional wood/coal burning fireplace and stoves into hibernation mode, as sales and installations around the country plummeted. The new HVAC forced air heating systems that were being introduced in early 1950 became extremely popular with new concepts and thermostats to control the amount of heat released. For the first time in home heating history, the temperature in various rooms could be separately and accurately adjusted.
As with most things that are discovered to have the potential to change our lives for the better, we sometimes rush things and don’t truly understand the possible effects on our personal health until time passes and the potential hazards are realized. From the get go, an issue with the needless circulation of micro-orbs and other irritants, allergens, and even carcinogens existed, with the potential to cause many airborne diseases. Pathogens that are believed to possess Legionnaires disease (mainly in the Eastern US), and some airborne and potentially dangerous carcinogens can become trapped within the filtration and circulation of the heat from the air handler, exacerbating breathing problems. People with (COPD) Asthma, Bronchitis, and Emphysema, and other chronic respiratory problems, as well as children, are exceptionally vulnerable to the “dirty” air that is circulated and in some cases recirculated throughout your home. The importance of a filter that could trap the irritants was evident and filter technology advanced.
HVAC systems contain a return air duct system to return the air that is previously heated through the filtration to the air handler for recirculation. Hypoallergenic filters can reduce but won’t eliminate most of the dust and allergens. The possible health issues don’t end with the potential for breathing difficulties, as a number of skin and eye issues directly relate to the heating system in our homes and offices. The Center for Disease Control estimates that nine out of ten cases of contact dermatitis are directly related to heating and air conditioning pollutants exposed to the patient. It is said that we spend at least 21 hours a day indoors in heating and air conditioning controlled environments. It is wreaking havoc on the respiratory and integumentary systems of literally the entire US population. Air and HEPA filters can improve overall conditions and should be checked, cleaned, or replaced periodically to ensure the proper filtration.
Advancements in the HVAC air quality, helping to improve the effects on the health of the occupants. Research shows that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are effective in the reduction of certain viruses and mold spores that are known to cause illness and disease. Fresh outside air is healthy to breathe because of the direct effects of UV rays, so the idea is to bring UV rays indoors to help control microorganisms in indoor air. With a UV system installed in your HVAC system, the number of airborne bacteria and viruses that cause colds and other illnesses will be reduced as air is circulated through the system. With most people spending 90% of their time indoors, especially in the winter, it is essential to develop efficient heating systems that are easy on the health of the occupants and energy efficient.
Forced air systems are found throughout residential and commercial dwellings in the US and are going to be around for several years to come. The best bet for anyone that happens to live indoors and use heat to stay warm, is to learn the best option for your particular heating system. Many kinds of filters can reduce the diverse irritants and spores while UV systems kill virus and mold spores. If humidity is a problem for your home, then you may want to look into a humidifying system to add or reduce humidity to the air. Humidity should be kept below 50% indoors to reduce the mold spores that thrive in humid conditions.
The Honeywell Quiet Care Humidifier as well as many other Honeywell humidifiers and air purifiers are can improve your indoor air quality and your health, and they are easy to find on Amazon.com. The key to having good, clean outdoor air indoors is to learn the best way to clean the air conditioning and heating systems that we depend on to protect and keep our families safe and warm.