The Air You Breathe

10

by Carla Berezowski

I remember the day I realized one of the reasons people spend most of the fall and winter congested, running for the tissues, and loading up on the Vick’s, is directly related to the quality of the air they breathe indoors. That may sound obvious, but it’s easy to blame the season for things we can (and should) control.

A friend of mine is a single mother and had been suffering from severe and ongoing congestion for no apparent reason. Her kids were also getting sick, more than ever before, and she was anxious to find the cause. After months of doctors’ appointments and spending an appalling amount of money on everything from over-the-counter remedies to essential oils, someone suggested she check the air quality in their home. It was that simple. They were sick from breathing in bad air from filthy ducts.

The ducts in your home are your air control and delivery system. Have you ever seen inside a duct that hasn’t been deep cleaned for a few years? It’s an alarming sight when you consider that we normally take about 20,000 breaths a day. Every day.

Dirt, dust, bacteria, and mildew are a few of the things living in your duct system. Not to mention the estimated 40-pounds of dead skin your ducts are harboring as well. During the fall and winter, we tend to keep our doors and windows closed so these contaminants keep circulating and multiplying. Also, these particles can catch mold spores and hold them in ducts. When you turn on your furnace or A/C it creates the perfect environment for viruses, bacteria, and mold to thrive and travel through your home.

It is important to protect yourself and those you are responsible for by ensuring you are breathing clean air. This is not only true for homeowners, but business owners as well. Companies are noticing employees have far less downtime when they are working in a healthy environment and breathing cleaner air.

There are companies who will come in and vacuum your vents, cleaning a few feet into the ducts. Don’t be misled. That method is ineffective and pushes the dirt around, never removing the unsafe particles out of your home. For the health of your home or business, it is important to have your ducts deep cleaned and disinfected by seasoned professionals.

Some signs it’s time to get the ducts done:

  • Dusty vents. This means you’re breathing in even nastier particles from the lungs of your ducts.
  • If you live next or close to construction or have done renovations.
  • You hear noises. Your duct system should not create additional noise to the normal creaks and squeaks your home makes on its own.
  • Congestion, coughing, headaches, nausea, fatigue, sleeplessness, psoriasis, anxiety, and dizziness are only a few symptoms common to poor indoor air quality.
  • It’s been more than 5 years since you’ve had your entire duct system cleaned.