Heating and Cooling
All About Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is the air we breathe inside our homes and buildings. Recently more and more scientific research is being done to learn how Indoor Air Quality can affect our health and quality of life.
On average, people spend 90% of their time indoors. The EPA has recent findings that the air inside our homes is actually 2-5x more polluted than the outdoor air, even in the largest and most industrialized cities. The EPA has also ranked indoor air pollution among the top 5 of environmental dangers.
Indoor Air Quality is important now more than ever with new houses are being sealed up tighter, causing the air to become trapped in your home, which leads to many health effects that we are just now becoming aware of.
What exactly is in the air we breathe?
Common causes of poor air quality are chemicals found in plastics, from furniture, tvs, to wood and carpet adhesive. Pet dander is also one of the leading causes. One of the most common is household cleaning supplies. Chemicals within them contribute to many health problems, including headaches, asthma, and respiratory illnesses. The EPA has stated that air pollution has recently caused a large increase in the number of children with severe allergies and asthma. Mold and mildew are also more than likely present in your home if you have excess moisture, due to neglecting regular Maintenance on heating and cooling systems.
Ways to improve your indoor air quality
Eliminating all the things that cause air pollution would more than likely leave you with a mostly empty house, but there are ways to improve your indoor air quality without having to do that. Regular Maintenance on your heating and cooling systems, (spring and fall) is an important place to start. Poor ventilation can contribute to over half of air pollutants, so making sure your system is operating properly will save you money, as well as a headache.Whole House Duct Cleanings also drastically improve your air quality, and should be done every 5-10 years.
Having a humidifier installed is very beneficial. In the winter, heating systems struggle to maintain comfortable humidity levels. Humidifiers address the air throughout your home providing healthy, humidified air to every room.
Installing a HEPA air purifier, or a UV lamp is another way to improve your indoor air quality. UV lamps sit inside the indoor coil, and kill pollutants before they have a chance to enter your air supply. A HEPA filter is a type of mechanical air filter; it works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.
Adding a fresh air inlet to a heating or cooling system accomplishes two primary indoor air quality goals: It pressurizes a building, and increases indoor air quality by diluting polluted or stale indoor air. Adding a fresh air inlet to most systems is a simple and usually inexpensive solution.