You might not think that your heating system could be responsible for your respiratory issues. However, a poorly maintained heating system can cause coughing, headaches, allergies, sore throat, and general discomfort.
When you suddenly start feeling under the weather during winter, don't just assume it's a bug going around. That may not always be the case. The following are measures you can take to prevent your heating system from making you sick.
Ensure Your Ducts Are Cleaned
Before you turn on the heat when the cold season kicks in, get your ducts well cleaned. Clean ducts will ensure you have warm, clean air coming through your vents when you first start your furnace in winter.
Don't underestimate how dirty the air from your furnace can get. It can accumulate all kinds of harmful gases, dust, grime, debris, mold, pollen, bugs, and just about any other contaminants. When you breathe in polluted air, you will most likely start sneezing or come down with a nasty cough.
Dirty air is especially dangerous for patients with respiratory diseases such as asthma. Even worse, air-borne micro-organisms can cause Legionnaire's disease, a dangerous type of pneumonia that causes high fever, muscle aches, coughing, chills, and more.
Heat Your Entire House
While heating only parts of your house will save on bills, it can be dangerous to your health. If you have a poor blood circulation problem or often experience cold feet and hands, then moving from a cold room to a warm room is a serious concern.
Moving from a warm room to a cold one causes your blood pressure to rise. An increase in blood pressure reduces blood supply to your heart which can be disastrous to your health. Blood pressure issues can still lead to a heart attack or abnormal heartbeats.
Upgrade Your Central Heating System
Older heating systems can have faulty furnaces, which pose a carbon monoxide poisoning threat. Furnaces that are improperly vented can cause an elevated amount of carbon monoxide in your home.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and toxic gas, which makes the gas a silent killer. Prolonged exposure to high amounts of the toxic gas can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, nausea, headache, and irregular breathing.
Ensure your furnace is installed correctly and regularly inspected by a reliable heating system professional to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning. You can also take extra caution by installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your house. The alarm will alert you if there's an abnormal amount of carbon monoxide in the air.
Keep your heating system in great shape by hiring a professional to inspect and repair it.
A few years ago, I could tell that we were having serious furnace problems. In addition to dealing with a house that was constantly too cold or too warm, we were also plagued by a noisy, smelly furnace that seemed to have trouble on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I didn't know enough about furnaces at the time to spot the problems quickly. One day, the entire system died, and it was beyond repair. After having that experience, I learned a lot about HVAC systems, so that I could troubleshoot future systems. This website is all about teaching you what you need to know so that you don't end up in the same situation.