Negative Effects Poor Indoor Air Quality Can Have on Your Oregon Home

Negative Effects Poor Indoor Air Quality Can Have on Your Oregon HomeWith so much focus on climate control and outdoor pollutants, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the quality of your indoor air. Truth be told, the negative effects of poor indoor air quality can be just as damaging to you as outdoor air.

Respiratory Problems

Individuals who struggle with allergies, asthma or both usually show the first symptoms of poor indoor air. They will have difficulty breathing or experience raw, scratchy eyes, nose or throat. With the absence of other common triggers, air quality is likely the culprit. Cleaner air often brings relief.

Prone to Illness

The same contaminants that trigger allergies and asthma also make individuals without those conditions more likely to experience illness. Sinus irritants like mold, dust and debris may develop into sinus infections or bronchitis. Hospitals use commercial size air cleaners to purify the air patients breathe.

Mechanical Issues

From a house maintenance perspective, the negative effects of poor indoor air quality involve the function of your heating and cooling system. Dust and debris builds up on the components of your system and bog down the mechanical workings. Over time, this shortens the life of your system because it forces your system to work harder to accomplish the same results. Cleaner air leads to cleaner systems and vice versa.

Energy Costs

Similarly, when the system is forced to work harder, it requires more energy to do so. That extra energy usage takes a direct hit on your wallet. In addition to having to replace your system more often, you’re paying more to run the system while you have it. Clean air costs less.

For information about how to improve the quality of your indoor air, contact the HVAC professionals at Roth Heating and Cooling. We’ve been serving the air needs of the Portland area for over 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Yuriy-Vlasenko/Shutterstock”

A Refrigerant Charge Could Be the Cure for a Warm A/C

A Refrigerant Charge Could Be the Cure for a Warm A/CWhen your cooling system isn’t delivering the cold air it normally does, it could need a refrigerant charge. Not only won’t your equipment cool as well, it can cause premature compressor failure, which is the most expensive part in an air conditioner or heat pump.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, refrigerant that’s 20 percent below the level the manufacturer intended can reduce the cooling efficiency of a system by 29.4 percent. Low levels occur either from inadequate charging when the air conditioner was installed or from refrigerant leaks.

Normally, the refrigerant is checked when an HVAC contractor services your system. They use pressure gauges to determine what the pressure is in the refrigerant lines. If the refrigerant charge is too low, the technician will find the source of the leaks and repair them before adding more. These leaks are not only the cause of low system efficiency, they’re also an environmental hazard.

The best way to avoid a refrigerant leak and the consequent need to have it refilled is by keeping the coils clean. Dust can cause holes to develop in the refrigerant coils, and since the refrigerant is under pressure, it naturally escapes. If your system uses R-22 or Freon, having to refill it could be costly, since its supply is declining annually and prices are rising continuously.

The coils are found in the outdoor condenser and the inside air handler. Hosing off the outdoor coil several times a year will keep it clean. If you can access the evaporator coil, clean it occasionally and make it a point to keep the air filter clean. A dirty filter will deposit dust on the coil, reducing its efficiency.

Adding more refrigerant needs to be done by a licensed HVAC contractor who has the U.S. EPA certifications to handle it. They add more by turning the system on and adding it gradually.

If you think you may need a refrigerant charge based on your cooling system’s performance, contact the pros at Roth Heating & Cooling, providing HVAC services for Portland area homeowners since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”

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