When the temperatures drop, indoor air quality drops, too.
"Homes are built so tight these days that there's not enough fresh air getting into our homes," says Joey Todd, Owner of Atlantic Heating and Cooling in North Myrtle Beach.
Regardless of the age of your home, Todd says all homes have air quality issues. People often become more aware of them when they hibernate inside during the winter, but our area is especially prone to poor indoor air quality.
"It's due to our area in part also because in the summer time we have high humidity, and controlling the humidity you're also controlling mold growth," says Todd.
This mold growth often makes people sick. In severe cases the home can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside.
"A lot of it is people who have chronic sicknesses. They can't get rid of a cough and they feel fatigued so they'll have us come out and do an indoor air quality test," says Todd.
Atlantic Heating and Cooling samples the air by swabbing a Q-tip on any visual mold growths. The results are sent out to a lab to determine what exactly is in the air. He says in some severe cases, bio-friendly chemicals are used to fog the duct systems to remove harmful odors from the home.
"Everywhere there is mold, you just don't want the mold count to be higher inside your home than outside," says Todd.
A plumbing or roof leak can cause the mold to build up. Todd says if you don't wipe down the walls, ceiling fans, and floors dust can spread into the air and eventually onto your air conditioning and heating system. Properly maintaining your system by changing the air filter once a month is key. Todd also recommends having your system checked out by a professional twice a year.
"When you're dealing with good air quality, you're dealing with a high efficiency clean system, so it's not costing you more every month for it to run," Todd says.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the average person spends about 90 percent of his/her time indoors.