The excitement and chaos of the holidays are in the rearview mirror, but there is still plenty of winter in front of us. Here in the Holland, Zeeland, Grand Rapids and surrounding areas, this means many things: cold, snow, wind…you get the picture. It also means that homeowners need to be vigilant when it comes to winter health and safety concerns. For the purpose of this blog, these concerns can be boiled down to two main areas: carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning prevention, and indoor air quality (IAQ) improvement.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CO poisoning is responsible for an average of 430 deaths and more than 20,000 hospital emergency room visits each year in the U.S. The majority of these are caused in the home by faulty fuel-burning appliances. CO is a byproduct of burning fuels, such as natural gas and propane.
In light of this, it is imperative that you ensure your fuel-burning appliances – such as your furnace and water heater – are functioning properly and not emitting dangerous levels of CO into your home. These levels can quickly rise during the winter months when homes are closed for long periods of time.
Your friendly HVAC professionals at Mast Heating & Cooling will be happy to perform thorough heating system maintenance to ensure your furnace is operating correctly and efficiently. We can also check your other fuel burning appliances such as gas water heaters, boilers, & fuel oil furnaces to make sure they are in good working order. A good way to make sure your home’s system gets the attention it needs is to join the Mast Heating & Cooling Maintenance Plan, which includes biannual tune-ups, 24-hour emergency service, and discounted repairs.
Another critical task is making sure your home is equipped with CO detectors that are working correctly. CO detectors should be placed wherever there are smoke detectors, including near bedrooms and utility rooms. Batteries should be changed twice a year—a good reminder is at Daylight Saving Time changes.
Most folks don’t realize that their indoor air quality can be more unhealthy than the outside air, but it’s true. This is mostly because airborne contaminants and germs can become trapped and circulated in your home by your HVAC system.
This is more prevalent during the winter months, when your home is closed – and also because the flu season means there are more germs to spread around. Winter leads to low humidity issues, which can exacerbate health concerns. Mast Heating & Cooling has many options for improving your IAQ: humidifiers, UV lamps, air purifiers, and electronic air cleaners, which can eliminate up to 99.9% of the pollutants threatening your home and health.
Call us today to learn more about our Trane and Aprilaire humidification and air purification products and to schedule an analysis of your Indoor Air Quality.
Here in Western Michigan, Old Man Winter is not leaving any time soon, so we all need to make sure our families are safe and comfortable. Let Mast Heating & Cooling help … and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.