Is a closed bedroom door a health hazard?

Home comfort evaluation

Is a closed bedroom door a health hazard?

Home comfort evaluation

Do you sleep with the doors closed? Does your furnace run at night?

Today’s furnace fans are strong and efficient in pushing large volumes of air through the duct and into your bedroom. When so much air is pushed into a bedroom with its doors closed, the pressure in the room builds. Air trapped in such a pressurized room doesn’t stay put and will try to escape.

When that air escapes, new air will be drawn to replace it. This air will be pulled from the path of least resistance. Cracks in the furnace’s ducts, furnace flue, chimney, all make it easy for new air to be pulled in to replace the lost air.

Since this new air is not heated, it results in cooling of the room thereby increasing your utility bills. If this air is pulled from the chimney flue, then you are effectively moving air from the outside into your home. This can increase humidity and bring allergens & pollutants into your living space. Increased humidity could create a conducive environment for molds. All this would make for an uncomfortable home.

If there are cracks in your duct or leaks in your recessed light fixtures, air could be pulled from those areas as well. This means that the new air might be pulled from the attic where there is insulation. Insulation contains fiberglass. In this case, your furnace could be pumping minute particles of fiberglass into your bedroom. This can be hard on infants, small children and older people. Over time this could result in respiratory issues.

The first cigarette doesn’t kill you, but the cumulative effects of smoking over a period of time will seriously injure your health. Similarly, sleeping in a room with something other than clean air being pumped into it will compromise your respiratory system over time.
A simple solution is to not sleep with the rooms closed. Sleep with door or windows open. If safety or weather reasons stop you from keeping your windows open, then keep your bedroom door ajar. For a more expensive solution, put a return air in each room.

How can you tell if your furnace has this problem?

The first thing that people living in the home with a heating issue notice is the smell. You may not be able to say what it is, but you will know that the smell is different and you may not like it.

There can be other tell-tale signs of a furnace issue. Do you notice dust after the cleaning person has done his/her job? Is there uneven heating in your home? You may feel that something has changed in your home resulting in a change in the environment, but you may not be able to pinpoint the issue.

To get ahead of any such heating issues, do an inspection every 5 years of your furnace and duct work. During these inspections, we also take care of any issues with rodents, water damage, leakage, etc. If you have recently done any modifications to your home that involved heating, insulation or related items, let us ensure that everything is still working correctly.

RC Mechanical is based in Redwood City, CA. Call us today at (650) 575-3915 for a whole house inspection. We have been providing heating and air conditioning expertise to the Bay Area for over 20 years. Homeowners in Redwood City and throughout the Bay Area count on us for all their heating and air conditioning needs.