Main Air Quality Concerns for Fall Months in Indiana

Main Air Quality Concerns for Fall Months in IndianaChanging seasons means changing air quality concerns inside your home. Some are already familiar: Because this is a transitional season, air quality issues that predominate in either summer or winter can also be a factor during fall.

About 75 percent of the breaths you take every day are inside the house, so the quality of indoor air is an important contributor to a healthy lifestyle. It also affects issues such as mold contamination, structural integrity, and even monthly operating costs. As fall weather arrives here in western Indiana, here are some air quality concerns to consider:

Reduced ventilation.

A house typically becomes more closed-up during fall. The lack of fresh air exchange with the outdoors can make the indoors stuffy as air pollutants concentrate. Open doors and windows when outdoor conditions permit to dilute indoor pollutants with fresh air.

Increased indoor humidity.

As the house is less ventilated, water vapor in the air can trigger mold growth, mildew and even boost heating costs as furnace settings are increased to counteract the clammy feeling caused by humidity. Per EPA recommendations, the ideal household humidity range is between 30% and 50%. Reduce humidity by installing ventilation fans to exhaust water vapor from bathrooms and kitchens.

Airborne allergens.

While spring is still the notorious “allergy season,” ragweed pollinates during fall and causes many allergic symptoms. Change the HVAC air filter and buy pleated filters with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) around 8 to ensure pollen particulates are effectively removed. Switching to a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter also helps capture and remove allergen particles that settle into carpeting.

Furnace odors.

Fall is when we typically get calls about odors emitted by the heating system—usually at seasonal start-up. In most cases, the acrid smell is simply dust burning off that has accumulated on the furnace heat exchanger over the summer. This odor should clear after a few hours of use. If this—or any other heating odors—persist, contact a qualified HVAC service provider.

For a professional opinion about indoor air quality concerns, ask Paitson Bros., Terre Haute’s source for trusted heating/cooling advice since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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