It’s that time again: the sniffles, the coughs, the relentless parade of tissues. Cold and flu season is upon us, and while we diligently wash our hands and dodge sneezes, sometimes, the culprit of our sniffling misery might be closer than we think. I’m talking about the very system keeping you cozy – your heating and cooling system.
It might sound strange, but a poorly maintained or neglected heating and cooling systems can exacerbate cold and flu symptoms, making you feel even worse. Here’s how:
- Dust Mites and Allergies: As the air circulates through your home, your heating and cooling system can stir up dust mites, those microscopic critters that love to snuggle up in your carpets and bedding. If you’re already battling a cold or the flu, inhaling these allergens can trigger an inflammatory response, leading to increased congestion, sneezing, and watery eyes.
- Dry Air: Winter air is naturally drier in Portland and cranking up the heat can further zap moisture from the air. This dryness can irritate your respiratory system, making you more susceptible to coughs, sore throats, and even nosebleeds. Dryness can also weaken the protective mucus lining in your nose, making it easier for viruses to invade.
- Mold and Mildew: A neglected heating and cooling system can harbor moisture buildup, creating the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. These nasty fungi can release spores into the air, causing respiratory problems like allergies, asthma, and even pneumonia. Plus, those musty smells can just make you feel even more under the weather.
- Poor Air Circulation: If your heating and cooling system isn’t properly circulating fresh air, you could be breathing in the same stale air repeatedly. This can increase the concentration of airborne viruses and bacteria, making it easier for you and your family to get sick.
So, what can you do to fight back against your heating and cooling system and protect your health this cold and flu season?
- Schedule regular maintenance: Get your heating and cooling system checked and serviced by a qualified technician at least once a year. They can clean the ducts, replace filters, and ensure everything is functioning properly.
- Invest in an air purifier: An air purifier can help remove dust, allergens, and even some viruses from the air you breathe.
- Humidify your home: Adding moisture to the air can help soothe dry coughs, sore throats, and irritated sinuses. Consider using a humidifier or placing bowls of water around your home.
- Replace your air filters: Dirty air filters can trap dust and allergens, making your symptoms worse. Replace them regularly, especially during peak allergy and cold/flu season.
By taking these steps, you can turn your heating and cooling system from a potential foe to a helpful ally in the fight against cold and flu season. Remember, a healthy indoor environment is essential for your overall well-being, especially when you’re feeling under the weather. So, breathe easy, stay healthy, and enjoy the winter months! Don’t let your system make you sicker this cold and flu season. Call Heat Relief at (503) 877-1713 today and let us help you breathe easy!