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.
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!
Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Opening windows and doors, operating window or attic fans, when the weather permits, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open increases the outdoor ventilation rate. Local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located and increase the outdoor air ventilation rate.
It is particularly important to take as many of these steps as possible while you are involved in short-term activities that can generate elevated levels of pollutants — for example, painting, paint stripping, heating with kerosene heaters, cooking, or engaging in maintenance and hobby activities such as welding, soldering, or sanding. You might also choose to do some of these activities outdoors if you can and if weather permits.
Advanced designs of new homes are starting to feature mechanical systems that bring outdoor air into the home. Some of these designs include energy-efficient heat recovery ventilators (also known as air-to-air heat exchangers).
Ventilation and shading can help control indoor temperatures. Ventilation also helps remove or dilute indoor airborne pollutants coming from indoor sources. This reduces the level of contaminants and improves indoor air quality (IAQ). Carefully evaluate using ventilation to reduce indoor air pollutants where there may be outdoor sources of pollutants, such as smoke or refuse, nearby.
The introduction of outdoor air is one crucial factor in promoting good air quality. Air may enter a home in several different ways, including:
Infiltration occurs in all homes to some extent.
Natural ventilation describes air movement through open windows and doors. If used properly natural ventilation can at times help moderate the indoor air temperature, which may become too hot in homes without air-conditioning systems or when power outages or brownouts limit or make the use of air conditioning impossible.
Natural ventilation can also improve indoor air quality by reducing pollutants that are indoors. Examples of natural ventilation are:
Most residential forced air-heating systems and air-conditioning systems do not bring outdoor air into the house mechanically, and infiltration and natural ventilation are relied upon to bring outdoor air into the home. Advanced designs for new homes are starting to add a mechanical feature that brings outdoor air into the home through the HVAC system. Some of these designs include energy efficient heat recovery ventilators to mitigate the cost of cooling and heating this air during the summer and winter.
When adding outside air in order to dilute the pollution within your home is not there are a few other options. HEPA air purifiers which are separate from your homes HVAC system can be effective. If this is not an option many newer homes have an air filter cabinet located on top of or underneath the furnace depending on whether it is an upflow or downflow model, putting a charcoal or other type of particulate filter in can help reduce pollutants within the home.
The last thing any homeowner wants is a freezing home. If you are cautious, you’d always want to have your heating unit regularly maintained, but it’s sometimes impossible to predict when you’ll need repairs. Scheduling regular HVAC maintenance will help solve any potential or current issues before you go through another cold night without heat.
If you choose not to have your furnace regularly maintained, you are likely to void the manufacturer’s warranty. In fact, when your heater breaks down and you do not bother to have a professional look at it, you might have to repair or replace your entire heater, which will end up costing you more.
If the filters are not regularly inspected, they can restrict air flow, and this puts a lot of strain on the motor fan, which can eventually lead to overheating or equipment failure. There are also high chances that your indoor air quality might be drastically reduced and this can aggravate asthma, allergies and other illness.
Although most manufacturers recommend that you should have your heating unit filter changed every three months, it’s not a bad idea to check them on a monthly basis to see whether they are filled with debris and dirt. This prevents dust and other subtle substances from circulating in your home and maximizes your furnace’s airflow.
Also, regular replacements protect the critical parts of your heater that might end up causing unexpected damage and hefty repair costs. Apart from the three-month maintenance cycle, you should have a yearly routine inspection to keep your HVAC running like new.
If you abide by the manufacturer's requirement regarding servicing and maintenance, you will hardly run into issues. That being the case, if you have any concerns regarding your heating unit or want it checked for any potential problems, you should get in touch with an HVAC expert and schedule an appointment.
Most of the residential heating systems have a lifespan of between twelve to fifteen years. However, your heating unit will have an even shorter duration without proper preventive maintenance. Therefore, scheduling an annual heater tune-up is the best way to ensure that your furnace is working optimally.
If you experience any issues at the heart of the season, it's best if you immediately contact an HVAC technician to attend to the problem as soon as possible. That aside, if there is a prediction of harsh winter then it’s best if you contact a professional to inspect your heating unit beforehand.
Winter is one of the seasons you don’t want to be caught off guard especially when it comes to keeping your home warm. Therefore, if you take note of these precautionary measures, you shouldn’t have to worry when the cold season approaches.
At Nexgen Air, we provide you with extensive HVAC services for your home and business. In addition to cooling and heating services, contact us today to get more information regarding maintenance and installation of your water heaters and other electrical components.
This year’s flu season was particularly aggressive and virulent. Many people were affected, with this particular strain of flu, the most vulnerable of all were families with young children.
In large part, the problem is that many people don’t pay attention to all the factors contributing to the spread of the flu. The most common and most overlooked factor is air pollution. The fact is that poor indoor air quality can have adverse effects on your health. Sometimes it is the only factor that contributes to your illness. Since we spend most of our time indoors, ensuring indoor air quality is vital.
Unfortunately, the air indoors contains so much airborne dirt, pet dander, pollen, viruses, chemicals, dust, bacteria, and other pollutants that it can lead to eye irritation, allergies, fatigue or even headaches. Needless to say, this air pollution considerably increases the chances of getting hit with the flu or other malady.
You may think that staying indoor is safe but according to some studies, often the quality of indoor air is worse than outdoors. There are many reasons to improve your indoor air quality:
Improving indoor air quality is not difficult, and you can save yourself from the flu and other health issues by making some small changes in your home. The first step is to improve your cleaning habits.
While all of this may not guarantee the prevention of the flu or colds, it will definitely reduce your chances of becoming ill. Your health is obviously extremely important to reduce absences and to maintain work performance. So do everything you can to ensure good indoor air quality so that you can take care of yourself and your family.
Nexgen Air serves clients all over Southern California, from Oxnard to Indio and from the High Desert to Temecula, improving homes and the lives of our customers. If you’re A/C, heating system, or water heater needs servicing, call Nexgen Air today: 833-3NEXGEN!