Air Quality & Humidity with Heating & Cooling Units
Our heating and cooling unit broke down this winter. The house was new (for us) so we didn’t know if it was a problem that the previous owner didn’t tell us about—or we just weren’t using the system right. It was a very chilly 18 hours until we had the problem resolved. Living in Florida—summers would be very uncomfortable without air conditioning, and at times during the winter, when the temperatures drops—I am very thankful for the invention of heating and cooling units. It’s said that central heating may have dated back to ancient Greece. It is believed that in 350 B.C., the Great Temple of Ephesus was warmed by heated air that was circulated through flues laid in the floor. Today, with forced-air systems that usually travel through ductwork from the furnace to the rooms in your home, nearly 35 million American homes have central heating.
The Sears Home Services heating and cooling repair team often get reports from homeowners who have problems with their heating and cooling units. Some of the more common problems that we hear about is that a company has installed a unit that is either too big or too small for their home (and either over or under compensates), the installer placed a new unit without addressing other concerns such as poor ductwork design, indoor air quality problems, moisture damage/mold concerns, and reduced comfort such as uneven heating or cooling throughout the home.
Just a little education about heating and cooling units can help a lot! Let’s talk a bit about the air that we breathe, inside our home. We take over 20,000 breaths each day. According to the EPA, each day, a person breathes in 2 teaspoons of pollutants! EPA studies have also shown that the air inside of our homes and workplaces is 10-100 times more polluted than outside air! What we need is a healthy home solution to focus on providing your family with a cleaner home environment by improving air quality. Some indoor air quality issues can be improved by simply controlling humidity since to low or too high humidity can cause a increase in certain organisms.
Speaking of humidity—when your home comfort is affected, variable airflow can help by balancing the temperature within a room, between rooms in your home, and between floors. Variable air flow also dehumidifies your home during the summer to improve comfort and increases humidity levels with a humidifier during the winter. It also affects the temperature in your home. When the relative humidity is 10% and the ambient temperature is 72 degrees—it actually feels like 67 degrees. When the relative humidity is 80%, and ambient is 74 degrees, it actually feels like 78 degrees!
I think that’s enough about heating and cooling for this article. We’ll talk more about the size of heating & cooling units, ductwork, gas or oil furnaces, forced air and more in a future article.
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Andrea | Sr. Manager/General ManagerSears Home Services