Beyond making sure that your HVAC system is working properly, you might not give much thought as to how heating your home can affect your short and long term health. However, there are some common problems with heating systems or the ways people use them that can cause or aggravate specific health conditions. Here are three ways that your heating system might affect your health that you might not have thought about before.
1. Heating can affect your heart health.
If you have a history of heart problems in your family, you will want to make sure that your heating system is working and that heat is evenly distributed over the house. Heating just one room or having a drastic temperature difference from room to room can decrease the efficiency of your body's circulatory system because arteries will expands and contract to accommodate the sudden temperature changes. Over time, the constant change from hot to cold to hot again as you live in your house can lead to angina or cause an increase of blood pressure over time, which will stress the heart. In fact, studies in the UK showed that for every degree drop in temperature, heart attack rates would rise by another 200 people per month.
Even heating is one of the easiest ways to prevent stress on the heart. If you have significant temperature changes from room to room, it is time to talk to a heating repair specialist to figure out the reason why. Improperly sized ducts or units that are too small for your home can cause temperature problems, as can poor insulation.
2. Heating can cause dry eyes and skin.
Heating in the winter obviously helps to protect you from health problems that are made worse by exposure to extreme temperatures. However, central heating in homes also has the side effect of drying out the air in the house, and the air can be a little bit more polluted and stale. Those with sensitive skin and eyes may have trouble. Eyes might feel gritty, and skin may easily chap, even when inside the house. You might have trouble wearing contacts, and those with dry eye syndrome may have further side effects, like blurry vision or difficulty focusing.
One of the easiest ways to solve this problem is to make sure that your home heating system is serviced before the cold weather hits. Ducts should be cleaned, and the filter should be changed to ensure that the air is as clean as it can be during the winter months. Also, incorporating some live plants into your home can also help reduce the dryness. Plants help to clean the air, but they also release water through their leaves as a by-product of photosynthesis.
3. Heating can make seasonal illnesses worse.
Seasonal illness, like the cold and flu, can actually be made worse because of the dryness of home heating systems. The dry environment can dry out the usually-moist surface mucus that lines your airways, making them a little bit more susceptible to inflammation and infection. If you notice that everyone in your home becomes sicker when the heat is one, its time to talk to a professional heating service. Mold, dirt, dust, and ionized particles can make seasonal illnesses even more miserable than they already are. Cleaning or replacing old furnaces will help to increase the overall efficiency of your system. You can also talk to your HVAC specialist about installing home humidifiers for your ventilation system.
Heating has a ton of benefits, but sometimes, it can also affect your health. A functional HVAC system that is properly cleaned and fitted for your home will help to eliminate these three health problems. Click here for additional reading on caring for your HVAC system.
Does your heating bill send you into a state of shock? If so, now is the time for you to begin making changes to your home to bring the cost of heating your home down. In years past, my heating bill was actually more than my mortgage was. It really made getting through the winter difficult for my family. I decided to do something about the high bills. I started with insulation, then invested in some new windows, and I also changed the way that we used our utilities. You can learn everything that I did to reduce my heating bill so that you can cut your heating bill as well.