Ted Fox’s favourite tip for home owners? Check your air filter! For plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical jobs, give Fox a call at 1-833-739-4569.

Ted Fox’s favourite tip for home owners? Check your air filter! For plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical jobs, give Fox a call at 1-833-739-4569.

Breathe easy! Improve air quality for a healthier home

It’s not just about clearing particles and microbes — good air filtration helps your furnace too

When should Okanagan home owners be most concerned about indoor air quality?

Outdoor air quality is affected through the summer by wildfires, pollen and pollution, but when does indoor air go stale?

“When the weather gets colder you close the windows, button up the house, turn on the heat and recirculate any dust that’s caught in your ducts,” says Ted Fox, owner of Fox Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical. “The quality of indoor air diminishes because you’re not bringing in as much fresh air.”

Fox’s favourite tip for home owners is to check your air filter — no matter the season, if you’re neglecting your air filter you’re reducing your air quality and potentially causing damage to your furnace.

“The Number One killer of all machinery is dust,” he says. “I sometimes visit beautifully clean homes, but the ducts are full of dust! Once your ducts are clean you may only need to dust once a month instead of once a week.”

How to choose a good air filter

Fox says many people make the mistake of buying too restrictive a filter, hoping to trap more particles and clean more air.

“If you buy too restrictive of a filter, you’ll wear your furnace out because air won’t be able to pass through.”

If you want to cleaner air, you have two filter options:

  • Go wide: Most filters are one inch wide, and there’s not much difference between the $1 and the $60 filters, despite what the packaging says. Installing a wider (thicker) filter will increase the surface area to trap more particles, without overworking your furnace. A wider filter may require some adjustments to your duct work.
  • Go electronic: Electronic filters allow enough air to pass through, and catch over 99 per cent of particles by polarizing the filter media using electricity. Contact Fox to learn more.

Filtering particles is great for air quality, but if you want to add another layer of protection to kill microbes like viruses, mould and bacteria , consider installing UV lights in your duct work. Once again they are not all created equal, and you should choose specifically for the size of home and the amount of air required to clean.


“Most of the year we have more humidity than we need in the Okanagan, but as it gets colder the air inside does get drier,” Fox says.

A plug-in humidifier is great for improving the air quality in a small space, but if you’re hoping to humidify the whole house, hiring Fox to install a whole-home humidifier will be most economical.

“You can adjust humidity levels to your personal preference, but generally 35 to 45 per cent humidity is good for protecting hardwood floors and furniture, as well as your skin,” Fox says.

Fox serves the Vernon area from Lake Country to Sicamous and west to Kamloops. For more home maintenance tips, visit foxandsons.ca or follow them on Facebook. Call 1-833-739-4569 to request service for plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical issues, or schedule service online.

air qualityHome ImprovementOkanagan

Just Posted

Dr. Christine Perkins is the new superintendent of schools for the Vernon School District, effective Aug. 1. Perkins moves to the North Okanagan from the Kootenay Lake School District in Nelson. (Vernon School District photo)
Vernon School District names new superintendent

Dr. Christine Perkins moves from Kootenay Lake district to take over from the retiring Joe Rogers

Vernon Public Art Gallery executive director Dauna Kennedy and board member Kyle Britton accept a $43,400 grant from the BC Arts Council one-time StrongerBC fund amid the COVID-19 pandemic April 9, 2021. (VPAG)
$43K boost for Vernon gallery

Province backs local art gallery with one-time pandemic grant

A 46-year-old man from Armstrong died in Revelstoke hospital after being injured in the Lumby area. (File photo)
Armstrong snowmobiler dies in Revelstoke hospital

46-year-old man injured in Tsuius Mountain area of Monashees around Lumby area

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Spallumcheen landlord’s home trashed by tenants

Rooms filled with junk, garbage, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Shayla, an 8-pound black and grey Havanese, was stolen from outside a store on Banks Road on Saturday. (Contributed)
Stolen pup located, Kelowna RCMP confirms

Mounties said on April 12 that Shayla, the 8-pound, black and grey Havanese dog, has been located safe and sound

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read