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How Your Furnace Affects Your Indoor Air Quality
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How Your Furnace Affects Your Indoor Air Quality

Many homeowners think their furnace has only one job: heating.

While this may be technically true, your HVAC system is called a system for a reason. Everything in it, from residential indoor air quality to heating and cooling, is connected in functionality.

Your furnace, therefore, plays a critical role in your home’s air quality, for better or worse.

Your Furnace Has a Significant Impact on Your Home’s Air

Residential furnaces do much more than keep your home warm and provide hot showers for the family. A furnace, particularly a badly operating furnace, has a significant effect on the air quality in your home.

So what are the signs of a badly operating furnace? Recognizing these signs may be critical in eliminating the discomfort, and even dangers, of poor indoor air quality due to your home’s furnace.

Signs of a Bad Furnace

Signs of a bad furnace are, fortunately, easy to spot if you’re paying attention.

The most evident signs that your furnace isn’t working property include a burning smell, strange noises such as bangs and knocks, and humming sounds. If you notice one or more of these signs, call a furnace professional to set up an inspection.

Furnace Doctors is here to help you understand the relationship between a well-maintained furnace and clean air. Below, we discuss how your heating can improve your residential indoor air quality—or behave to its detriment.

The Danger of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

We all know never to start a car in a closed garage due to the heightened risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. But your vehicle isn’t the only thing that can cause a toxic buildup of this colorless, odorless gas.

Your furnace, if it’s not properly cared for, can cause this substance to make its way throughout your home, causing everything from headaches in the early stages to fainting and death. According to carbonmonoxide.com, “cracked heat exchangers, combustion air obstructions and broken venting are often at fault (in cases of furnace-based carbon monoxide poisoning).”

This is why it’s critical to have your heating system serviced regularly. An HVAC contractor will be able to pick up on any of these problems before they become major.  

The Annoyances of Pollen and Dust Accumulation

Your furnace’s relationship with your home’s duct is a critical connection. One of the biggest sources of problems with forced-air heating systems is that dust and dirt pass through the filter and circulate through your home.

Furnaces have air purification filters to help the system run efficiently. However, when these filters become clogged with debris like pollen or pet dander, they can distribute that debris through your home.

When your furnace’s filters aren’t working appropriately or aren’t the right fit for your home, it causes the home to feel stuffy and uncomfortable. The danger of increased symptoms for allergy sufferers and individuals with asthma also grows.

Using the correct level of filtration—not too high a MERV rating, not too low—is crucial to proper furnace functioning. You should also clean and replace this filter regularly to keep doing its job.

The Irritations of Inexplicable Dryness

A properly working furnace will not affect the humidity levels in your home. However, one that’s feeling ill can and will drop your home’s humidity levels, creating an uncomfortably dry environment.

Fortunately, there are a few signs that your furnace is affecting your home’s humidity levels. These include dry skin and throats, drooping plants, cracking wood furniture, and greater static buildup. Family members with asthma and allergies, as mentioned above, will continue to feel the adverse effects of a badly operating furnace.

If your home’s residential indoor air quality is low due to dry air, a whole-house humidifier might be a solution. Still, a smart HVAC contractor will also inspect the furnace for issues that could be causing the problem first. Your furnace’s age and type may also be a contributing factor.

Furnace Doctors: It’s in the Name

Furnace on the fritz? We’re here to make things right. Whether you need emergency furnace repair or are concerned that maintenance isn’t being appropriately conducted, contact the furnace experts at Furnace Doctors in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Give our Saint Paul Park office a call today at 651-789-3082.

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