When it is this cold I stay inside with my family, run my furnace full blast and try to stay warm. Trouble is that indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. This pollution can threaten the quality of living and even the lives of your entire family. So today I wanted to talk a little about how to improve that air quality so that everyone stays safe and healthy this winter. We will start with basics that you need to understand in order to know more about the air quality.
The Big Three
First I’m going to touch on the three indoor pollutants that are the most dangerous; carbon monoxide, secondhand smoke, and radon gas. These three pollutants can be deadly. The best thing that you can do to prevent these three pollutants is to install a carbon monoxide tester, don’t smoke in your living areas, and get your home tested for radon gas. While you are at it you should also make sure that your smoke detectors are installed and working properly. Doing these quick steps is the best thing you can do to keep your home safe.
Improving your Comfort Level
Now that we’ve got the big three dangers out of the way let’s take a look at how we can improve the quality of air and the comfort level of your home.
Keep a healthy level of humidity
Your ideal humidity in your home should be around 30-50%. In the winter your humidity level can drop into the single digits, that is not a big problem at all. Adding a whole house humidifier to your furnace in the winter can decrease asthmatic symptoms, dry skin, and improve the level of comfort for you and your family. In the summer you want to make sure that you get your air conditioner maintained and change the filters if it is needed. If you have a high level of humidity you may also need to look into dehumidifiers.
Use high quality HEPA filters
You will also want to make sure that you are using a high quality filter for your furnace. You should ideally change this filter every 6 months. In addition, you should always make sure that your furnace is inspected by a professional to ensure that it is running at peak performance and not leaking dangerous carbon monoxide through hidden cracks.
While we are on the subject of HEPA filters you should also make sure that if you have carpet that you are using a high quality vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters and that you vacuum regularly and dust to reduce the contaminants found on your floor.I admit the steps that have been outlined may not seem like much. They shouldn’t take very long to accomplish and they don’t cost very much but believe me they can make all the difference for you and your family this winter. Stay warm and stay safe!
HVAC technicians are in high demand in many employment sectors. Becoming a technician yourself can be a terrific career move that will put you on the path to better pay, more benefits, and a more rewarding career overall. In order to maximize your opportunities as a technician, keep the advice below in mind. By taking these steps to enter this career path, you will make sure that you are on the road to success even before you take your first job offer.
Get the Proper Education
No matter what you intend to do with your HVAC certification, school is important. To become a technician, you will need to have completed high school or passed your GED exam. You should also consider entering a trade school or community college for further training if you can afford it. HVAC technicians will particularly benefit from math and engineering courses, which will provide important skills that can be translated into a work environment. Even after you have completed the necessary schooling, you should keep further education in mind. Squeezing in a continuing education course here and there will help you keep up with the latest tools of the trade and advancing technology.
Learn on the Job
The best way to get the experience you need to become a technician is to seek out an apprenticeship. You might be able to find apprenticeships in your area by checking with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, or a similar reputable organization. These groups often have directories of potential apprenticeships that you can make use of when you go looking for work. If there are no apprenticeships in your area, do not lose heart. While it is less ideal, you can get some on the job training by working at a company that does employ certified HVAC technicians. Most technicians are willing to train newcomers in the field.
Prepare for your Certification
Check with your state and municipal governments to determine the requirements for HVAC certification. Two excellent trade institutes that can help you along this road are the North American Technician Excellence Program and the Air Conditioning Excellence Coalition. These groups are both recognized throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico for their excellence. When you have the required amount of training and feel that you are ready to enter the industry on your own, take any necessary tests required locally. Once you have fulfilled all the certification requirements, it’s just a matter of hitting the job market and looking for the HVAC technician position that is right for you.
Typically, your training period will take anywhere from three to five years. Once you enter the field as an HVAC technician, you can expect relatively low wages to start, but the longer you work and the more experience you get under your belt the better your pay will become. By taking the necessary steps to make sure you are ready, you will have a much easier time building up your career as a HVAC technician.