Fall is Here: Air Quality Concerns in Northern California

Fall is Here: Air Quality Concerns in Northern California

The mild fall weather of the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz area brings its own air quality concerns. By knowing what air contaminants to watch out for and how to control them, you can keep your home's air clean all season.

LATE-SEASON ALLERGENS

When the nights turn cool, but the days are still warm, ragweed seizes the opportunity to send out its allergy-aggravating pollen. As the fall rains move in, mushrooms and other fungi begin to release their spores. If these seasonal allergens trigger your symptoms, install a MERV 10 to 12 filter in your HVAC system. A higher-efficiency filter like this will catch most of the allergen particles that could give you trouble.

To improve your air quality even further, place a portable air cleaner in your bedroom to remove allergens while you sleep. If you want cleaner air in every room, a whole-house air cleaner can provide it.

FUEL-BURNING APPLIANCES

One of the most critical fall air quality concerns, a potentially lethal carbon monoxide (CO) gas leak, can occur in any fuel-burning appliance, such as a gas stove or water heater, or a fireplace. While the risk of exposure exists all year, it's even greater in chilly weather because you're more likely to have your home tightly closed up. A well weatherized home is great for energy efficiency, but it also holds in air contaminants.

To protect your family from carbon monoxide exposure, check that your home has CO detectors in all the right places, such as within 15 feet of all bedrooms, and test the detectors to make sure they work. If you haven't replaced the batteries within the last year, take care of that now.

If you use a fuel-burning furnace, contact a technician for an annual inspection. A technician can spot CO leak risks so you can have them corrected before they affect your health.

For pro tips on managing your fall air quality concerns over the fall and winter, contact us at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).