In the winter, you naturally want to keep cold air outside.

But many people complain of dry, stuffy and unpleasant conditions. Others worry about their health because many household products and furnishings release impurities that can linger in the air.

However, there are three smart steps that you can consider, according to David Kenyon, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning specialist for Sears Home Services.

FURNACE MAINTENANCE

“In terms of maintenance, the average HVAC system isn’t so different from a car,” says Kenyon in an article at bobvila.com. “For peak performance, the hardworking internal components often require replacement or repair.”

A traditional fiberglass filter protects the heating appliance but doesn’t do much for the air in the home. Newer furnace filters catch even microscopic impurities, but they must be cleaned or replaced every three months, Kenyon said.

Photo: fotosearch.com

“In terms of maintenance, the average HVAC system isn’t so different from a car,” says Kenyon. “For peak performance, the hardworking internal components often require replacement or repair.” Without care and attention, heating systems fail to operate as designed, and in homes heated by a furnace, indoor air quality may suffer. The reason is that, while every forced-air furnace contains a filter, not every filter works equally well to take dust, germs, and other particulates out of the air. If you haven’t checked yours in years, there’s a good chance that it’s a traditional fiberglass filter. While good enough to protect the heating appliance, such filters do little to protect the air you breathe. Newer, better-quality furnace filters catch even microscopic impurities, removing them from circulation. There’s a catch, though. Kenyon says that, compared to their fiberglass forebears, “high-efficiency filters must be cleaned or replaced more often, about every three months.” That’s one of the reasons why many homeowners schedule regular system check-ups with a provider like Sears Home Services. At your request, in addition to inspecting the appliance, technicians are able to clean or replace the filter, ensuring the furnace plays its part in purifying the indoor air.

DUCTWORK CLEANING

“Ducts are notorious for collecting and distributing irritants and allergens,” Kenyon said.

Look behind the return register and see if there’s much dust and debris. It’s tempting for a do-it-yourselfer to clean his own ducts, but a professional will do a much better job because he has special tools and techniques.

AIR PURIFIER

You might consider an air purification system, either a standalone unit or an addition to the central HVAC system.

You will need to do some homework to select the one you want. Options include ultraviolet light, while others high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) or photo catalytic oxidization (PCO).

As Kenyon notes, indoor air quality is an issue “that needs to be carefully evaluated.”

He suggests you first arrange a visit from a trained, certified professional who specializes in heating, ventilation, cooling and air quality.

“Once the problem is understood, then the solution follows not far behind,” he said.

Read the full story at

http://www.bobvila.com/articles/winter-indoor-air-quality-solutions/?bv=wn#.Vqr4u1IzPlI

Or call Freedom Heating and Cooling at (239) 848-6533 and we will provide information to help you make the best decision for your home.