Categories > Indoor Air Quality

Furnace Filter…It’s That Time Again!

At Ignite Heating we recommend changing your furnace filter every 3 months. So if you’re following us on social media or this blog – you know what time it is…time for a new furnace filter!

dirty furnace filter

How long has it been since you last changed your filter? If you replaced your filter when we did, it’s time to do it again! Replacing your filter on a regular schedule will keep your furnace working at it’s optimal performance. A clean air filter not only improves your indoor air quality, but it can also improve your heating and cooling system’s airflow and efficiency. This can help lower your utility bill and extend the life of your equipment.

If you live in a home with allergy sufferers, pets and/or smokers, you should probably change your filter even more frequently. Did you know that dirty air in your home can cause harm to your brain and stress your body? Don’t let a dirty furnace filter harm your indoor air quality – change your filter often, and breathe in fresh, clean air all year round.

furnace filter before after
It’s easy to see the difference between a used filter and a new one!

If you don’t change your filter regularly, there can be build-up of dirt and dust in your entire HVAC system. Regularly replacing your filter can save you from a costly furnace repair down the road. Help extend the lifetime of your HVAC system by replacing your filter regularly.

The most typical sizes for a furnace filters are 16″ x 20″, 20″ x 25″ and 16″ x 25″ however many other sizes are available for purchase from Ignite Heating. If you are unsure of what size you require, give us a call and we can help you determine the best filter for your needs. We sell most sizes of high quality filters at very affordable rates!

For any questions you may have about furnace filters or servicing your home’s HVAC system, call the expert professionals at Ignite Heating @ 780-919-4916 today or contact us. We’d be happy to answer your questions.

The Benefits of Humidity

The cozy warmth of your home is an essential requirement when you live in the cold Alberta climate. However, by continually recycling the air in your home you can lose necessary humidity which can lead to a wide range of problems. Forced-air central heating systems reheat the air in your home and recirculate the same air multiple times throughout the day. Typically, this causes the air in your home to become dry and this can be both uncomfortable and unhealthy. This becomes more obvious in the winter months due to your heating system having to run more often. As moisture helps to prevent the movement of germs, a whole-home humidifier can help keep your air clean and therefore better your health. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of having the proper level of humidity in your home.

Installing a furnace humidifier or investing in a whole-house humidifier will allow you to breathe easily once again and make your home’s air more comfortable. Once your home is brought to the ideal moisture level, you will notice a significant improvement in the comfort of your living space. If you notice that you are experiencing irritated eyes, a dry nose, skin and/or throat, or suffer from indoor allergies, you may benefit from adding more humidity to your home. If your home’s humidity level is low, the air will draw humidity from wood, plants and your skin. This can lead to dry skin and a cold feeling because sweat is evaporating off your skin and causes you to feel cold. Allergy sufferers often notice that even a short period of time spent in excessively dry air can exacerbate their symptoms. Indoor air that is too dry can cause irritated nasal membranes and even sinus headaches, leading to discomfort. Furthermore, if you or anyone in your family suffers from asthma, excessively dry air can trigger an attack.

Beyond eliminating dry skin and sinus discomfort, a whole-home humidifier can significantly reduce static electricity in your home. In addition, maintaining proper moisture levels will also help protect wood surfaces by preventing peeling or cracking. As an added bonus, by investing in a whole-home humidifier to maintain the correct humidity levels in your home you will actually feel warmer, even if the thermostat is set at the same temperature as normal. With the warmer feeling of the air, thermostats can be lowered, thus conserving energy and saving you money on your heating bills. Want to try this out? Put the palm of your hand near your mouth and lightly blow air against your hand. It feels cool, correct? But why, when your body temperature is 98.6°F does your breath not feel warm? It’s because as the water evaporates off your skin it feel cold! This is the same approach taken as when you raise the humidity of the air in your home – your home can actually feel warmer, without having to raise your thermostat – one of the key benefits of humidity.

Indoor plants will benefit from an increase in humidity.
Image by Marce Garal from Pixabay

If you have a green thumb, your indoor plants will also benefit from an increase in humidity. Plants such as aloe vera or Gerber daisies are natural air purifiers but only if they are getting the moisture they need. A whole-home humidifier will allow your houseplants to thrive during the Canadian winter, thereby positively impacting your indoor air quality. 

While portable humidifiers are common, they provide only localized relief. Unless you move the unit around from room to room or have multiple humidifiers in your home, you will not benefit from the extra humidity they can provide. Whole-house humidifiers offer numerous benefits including creating comfort throughout the whole home, not just in a few select rooms. Also they operate much more quietly than portable appliances, which is a bonus.

If you’ve noticed that your home is quite dry lately, especially since your furnace is running more often during these cold winter months in Alberta, a humidifier may be the perfect solution. By raising the humidity level in your home you can actually feel warmer, be more healthy and comfortable, all while saving money on your heating costs – all of which are great benefits of humidity!

Contact Ignite Heating & Air Conditioning Ltd. today to find out more about improving your indoor air quality with a whole-home humidifier. Call (780) 919-4916 today. Your comfort is our concern!

4 steps to take to improve your indoor air quality

Indoor air quality is the air quality within and around buildings and structures. It is known to affect the health, comfort and well-being of building occupants. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to Sick Building Syndrome, reduced productivity and impaired learning in schools. Many people with allergies stay indoors when outdoor air is full of pollen and spores, however, the air inside your home can be up to FIVE times more polluted than the air outside. Our indoor air quality is important to human health because we spend over 80% of our time indoors. In fact, during the spring, when environmental triggers are at their highest, the effects on everyone’s health can be compounded by poor indoor air quality. People with asthma, allergies or lung disease can be greatly affected by poor indoor air quality and poor indoor air quality can affect the development in children and has been linked to lung disease later in life.

If you are suffering from the health effects of air pollution, your symptoms can include: tiredness, headache or dizziness, coughing and sneezing, wheezing or difficulty breathing, more mucous in the nose or throat, or dry or irritated eyes, nose, throat and skin. You may notice these symptoms after a few minutes or hours and then feel better after leaving the affected area. This may be more noticeable if you have not spent much time in affected areas. For example, you may notice a difference after a vacation.

It’s important to follow-up with your doctor if you’re noticing a pattern or have health concerns, but in the meantime here are four steps you can take as a homeowner to improve the air quality of your home.

1. Clean it Up
The most effective way to reduce your indoor air pollution is to spend some time to remove or reduce the problem at the source.

  • Regularly clean the surfaces of your home
  • Remove mold at the source by yourself (if it’s a small amount) or contacting a contractor if it’s a large amount.
  • Make your home smoke-free
  • Avoid idling your vehicles or gas-powered yard equipment in your garage
  • Avoid the use of heavily scented products in your home
  • Take care when decorating as most products these days contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that release odours and pollutants into the air around them. Choose low-VOCs products whenever possible and ensure there is adequate ventilation during a renovation project.

2. Better Ventilation

Check that your home has adequate air circulation and heat flow. Ensure your bathroom fans, kitchen fans and dryer vents are are all vented to the outside and not the attic or back inside the house.

Tight insulation, too much humidity and other factors can lead to unhealthy air in your home or workplace, causing a number of heath problems. One way to mitigate this is to use a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) to bring in a continuous supply of fresh, filtered air into your home while expelling stale air. An HRV also saves you money by warming or cooling the air coming into your home, depending on the season.

At Ignite we can help you with improving your ventilation by assisting with ductwork modifications and/or installing an HRV to improve the quality of the air inside your home.

3. Filter the Air

Ensure the air circulating through your home is clean by changing your filter on a regular basis. Your filter traps the unwanted dirt and dust particles we unknowingly produce and prevents them from recirculating through your home. Mold spores, pet dander, cooking odors, dust, dust mites and their by-products are all factors that can be captured and reduced with your furnace filter.

Household furnace filters have different ratings based on how dense the filter fabric is. Ratings are called MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV rating is a scale of 1-16, with 1 being the least dense and 16 being the densest. This scale refers to the size of the particles you are trying to trap. A filter rated between MERV 6 and 11 can handle pretty much everything in a typical household and should be just right to maintain your indoor air quality and air circulation. If you have environmental allergies or are immunocompromised you want something with a MERV rating of 11 or higher (barring that your furnace can handle the restricted air flow.)

At Ignite we can supply you with furnace filters that allow for adequate air flow while capturing those unwanted dirt and dust particles circulating in your home. If allergies or other health issues are a concern for you, we can work with you to assess if your furnace can handle a filter with a higher MERV rating and provide any required enhancements to keep your system performing safely and efficiently.

4. Purify the Air

Ensure the air circulating through your home is disinfected from harmful microorganisms by installing a HomeShield Ultraviolet Light Purification system. This is a chemical-free method of purification that is installed into the ductwork of your HVAC system and it sterilizes the air by stopping the spread and growth of harmful viruses, molds, pet dander, bacteria and allergens from passing through your HVAC system into your home. HomeShield can help you breath easy and reduce the effects of season allergies and other heath issues.

At Ignite we can help you to have a home that is free of pollutants, microbes, allergens by installing your HomeShield Ultraviolet Light Purification system.

We love to work with homeowners to ensure their indoor air quality is the the best it can be. If you’ve identified some deficiencies in steps you need to take to improve your indoor air quality, give us a call @ 780.919.4916 to book a free quote and discuss the options available to you.

sources: Health Canada and the Canadian Lung Association

Change your furnace filter!

Just a reminder from our team!

Lack of air flow due to a dirty filter is one of the most common reasons for a service call. Your filter traps the unwanted dirt and dust particles we unknowingly produce and prevents them from recirculating through your home. At Ignite we recommend changing your filter at least every three months – more so in households with allergies, pets or smokers. Avoid a costly furnace repair and replace your filters on a regular basis!

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