It’s been years since people regularly smoked cigarettes indoors in public places and office environments. Most people don’t even smoke cigarettes indoors at home.

But:

With the recent advent of vaping e-cigarettes, there has been a revival of the indoor smoker. Because of this resurgence in indoor smoking, we’d like to discuss how smoke from vaping can affect your HVAC system, your home, and your air quality.

Although it’s believed that e-cigarettes are a cleaner smoke than cigarettes, there are still some residues left over including nicotine and carcinogens from burnt organic materials.

So how do these residues affect your home?

Nicotine and other substances that make up smoke can move through your home’s air vents and leave residues on surfaces in other rooms of your house.

There has not been much study done to the chemical composition of exhaled e-cigarette smoke, so there may be many more chemicals involved that can lower the quality of your air.

What makes e-cigarette smoke even more unpredictable is the fact that the manufacturers of e-cigarette refill fluids have various flavors and are always changing their ingredients, making for a wild-card situation when it comes to knowing what is actually being circulated throughout your home’s air vents.

What Can you do about residues from e-cigarette smoke?

We’re not here to tell you whether you should smoke e-cigarettes or not, but if you or someone in your home does, there are a few steps to take to ensure your air quality stays optimal.

We hope you have the information needed to make an informed decision about your home’s air quality in relation to e-cigarette smoke. If you’d like to know more about air purification or would like to schedule an appointment for a Nexgen technician to come over and consult you about your air quality, call us today!

 

If you've ever seen a brown haze of pollution hanging over your city, your most likely response may be, "Ugh. How can I avoid breathing that stuff?" But let's face it, even if you know it's a bad air day, you probably need to grab some sunshine, get in an outdoor run, or get to work.

Polluted air contains particulate matter, lead, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide -- all of which can cause problems in people with allergies or asthma. Even if pollution is low, airborne pollen and mold can make a trip outdoors particularly daunting for people with respiratory conditions.

 

How to tell if it's a bad air day

The first step toward protecting your lungs is to know your city or town. More than 115 million people nationwide still live in counties with pollution levels considered potentially harmful to their health.

Air quality varies widely around the United States. Ozone, for instance -- which can pose a major problem for asthmatics -- tends to be more prevalent in urban areas like Los Angeles, though it can be found in suburban and rural areas as well. If you live in Fargo, North Dakota -- one of the cities with the cleanest air in the nation -- you are likely to breathe easier than if you live in Los Angeles, which has the highest ozone levels in the country.

Local weather stations often provide this information on their websites, and radio stations typically give ozone alerts. In addition, many websites can tell you if pollutants, ozone, or pollen counts are high in your area on any given day.

However, it's not just pollen or air pollution that can trigger problems. Dr. Michael Benninger, M.D., the chairman of the Head and Neck Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio, says changes in barometric pressure and temperature can also spell trouble for people with allergies to pollen and mold, people with severe sinus symptoms, and even people without allergies.

 

How to cope with bad air days

Once you've figured out what factors are most likely to pose a problem (usually by trial and error, or testing for allergies), and know the conditions in your area, there are several things you can do to cope.

One option is to reduce excessive exposure on days that might trigger symptoms. For example, Benninger recommends avoiding areas where pollen, mold, or other allergens are high. If you know that grass and trees are a problem, don't spend the day in a lush, tree-filled park; if you have to mow your lawn, wear a mask with a filter to reduce exposure to grass. Staying indoors with the windows closed and the air-conditioning on is also helpful, Benninger says.

An air filter is an essential yet often overlooked component of a healthy HVAC system. This lightweight barrier traps dust, allergens, and other rubbish from entering the air you breathe. It also makes your HVAC system's job easier, improving its lifespan and minimizing the need for repairs. However, most people don't change their air filter as often as they should, leading to an array of problems. By understanding the consequences of using a dirty air filter and how often to replace it, you can save money and improve your comfort and health. Here are some tips from a leading HVAC company in Anaheim.

What Happens if You Don't Replace Your Air Filter?

High Energy Costs. A dirty air filter stifles air circulation, forcing your HVAC system to work overtime to heat or cool your home. This leads to higher electricity bills and can shorten the lifespan of your HVAC unit.

Inconsistent Air Temperature. Because the HVAC system is struggling to blow air, certain areas of your home may be hotter or cooler than you'd like. A dirty air filter can even interfere with the temperature sensors that signal your HVAC system to start or stop. The result is discomfort, inefficient operation, and repair costs due to high strain on the fan motor.

High Risk of System Failure. A worn out fan motor combined with difficulty in moving air inevitably leads to overheating or freezing up. The air that would move freely through a clean air filter becomes trapped behind a dirty one, placing high energy demand on your HVAC system.

Poor Air Quality. A dirty air filter traps not just air, but moisture. Under humid conditions, this promotes the growth of bacteria and mold, which further clog up the filter. Even worse, these microbes can spread into the HVAC system and into the air in your home, causing allergic reactions and other health issues. Left unchecked, this can cause long-term health problems, especially for young children and the elderly.

Dirty Air Ducts. A buildup of pollutants in your air ducts further reduces the efficiency of your HVAC system and increases pollutants in the air throughout your home. Changing your air filter is much quicker and easier than dealing with the fallout from polluted ducts.

How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

Many people elect to change their air filter twice a year, usually in the spring and fall. However, its best to change your air filter at least every other month, especially in spacious homes or if you have pets. Fortunately, air filters are low-cost and easy to replace on your own; simply remove the dirty filter and set the new filter in place. Just make sure to review your system's documentation to identify the proper size and type of filter you need.

To learn more about the importance of air filters and other tips on maintaining your HVAC system and improving the quality of air in your home, contact Nexgen Air & Heat. As the premier HVAC company in Los Angeles, we take pride in helping customers save money and breathe easy.