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Preventive health care for you and your family is being recommended more and more by medical professionals and is frequently discussed in the news. But did you know that your own well-being is closely intertwined with your home’s state of health? The indoor air we breathe has become an increasingly important health factor since, according to the EPA, it is up to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. Add to that the fact that most people spend 60-90% of their time indoors and taking care of the health of your home is clearly not something to be ignored. Get a better glimpse into how much your home impacts your health by considering these stats:

  • About 50% of all illnesses are either caused by or aggravated by polluted indoor air (American College of Allergists)
  • One of 6 people who suffer from allergies do so because of the direct relationship to fungi and bacteria in the duct systems where they spend their time (Better Health Magazine)
  • An average 6-room house collects 40 pounds of dust each year (Discover Magazine)

Heating and air conditioning systems act in a respiratory function much like your lungs. Air is brought into your house, conditioned or filtered, and then distributed throughout the building. It needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to keep your house in optimal overall health. This type of cleaning is especially important when:

  • Family members have allergies, asthma or similar respiratory issues
  • You experience symptoms like headaches, nausea or burning eyes, nose or throat when inside the home
  • Your family has any pets
  • You discern any odors when the HVAC system is used

Other clues that your home may need a health check-up include seeing regular dust on the furniture and not getting enough airflow from vents. The use of standard replaceable fiberglass furnace filters doesn’t by itself ensure a high quality When accumulated dirt and dust is exposed to a certain level of moisture, a home’s air duct system can actually become a breeding ground for a significant health concern: mold spores, bacteria, fungus or mildew. Preventive air care and sanitization for your home is much more cost effective than trying to rid your house of these adverse contaminants after they have settled in.

Indoor air quality also directly impacts the health of the carpet, as does foot traffic of both the two-legged and four-legged kind. On a daily basis, your carpet absorbs and holds crumbs, spills, odors from pets, cooking and smoking as well as tracked-in residues, so a semi-annual deep cleaning, deodorizing and sanitizing of your carpet is a must. Steam cleaning equipment does the most thorough job without leaving any soap buildup. Carpet is best cleaned with a two-step process:

  1. a special heated solution is sprayed deep into the fibers to loosen hard-to-reach dirt;
  2. water is used to lift and remove dirt. Similarly, upholstery, rugs, drapes and furniture can be included in your annual “spring cleaning.”

Beyond air ducts and carpet, dryer vent and chimney cleaning are a must to maintain a healthy home. Lint from your dryer is very flammable so ventilation ducts should be cleaned on a 3-year cycle. Regularly cleaning your chimneys prevents fire disasters caused by build-up. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that homeowners have a chimney inspection done annually.