If you are concerned about the quality of the air you breathe in your home or office, there are ways to improve it. Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor is trained to evaluate the quality of your indoor air and recommend equipment and practical tips to help keep it clean. Some equipment works with ducted HVAC systems. Other equipment works independently. The licensed technicians at Ireland Heating and Air Conditioning in Lake Forest, Illinois, can evaluate the quality of the air in your home or office and recommend ways to have healthier indoor air.
Importance of Keeping Indoor Air Clean
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors. As buildings have become more airtight to meet energy efficiency standards, natural ventilation and air exchange has decreased. This leads to a buildup of pollutants that can affect health. Concentrations of indoor pollutants can be up to five times higher than outdoor pollutants.
Common indoor pollutants include:
- Bacteria, mold and viruses.
- Combustion byproducts, including secondhand smoke.
- Volatile organic compounds from paint, cleaning products and building materials.
- Animal dander.
- Dust mites and insect residue.
- Outdoor pollutants that infiltrate the building, such as radon, dust and chemicals found in water and soils.
These pollutants can aggravate health issues for those with asthma, allergies or other pulmonary problems, young children and older adults. Some can cause health problems for anyone.
The EPA defines three ways to improve indoor air:
- Increase ventilation.
- Remove sources of pollutants.
- Use air cleaners.
Increasing ventilation includes both natural and mechanical means. When possible, open doors and windows to let in fresh air. Use exhaust fans in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room to increase air circulation and pull hot, humid air out of the house. Ceiling fans improve airflow within rooms.
The certified professionals at Ireland Heating and Air Conditioning often recommend whole-home ventilation systems that work with your HVAC system. Energy-recovery and heat-recovery ventilators exchange fresh outdoor air with stale indoor air. They are energy-efficient, remove excess humidity and include filters that capture airborne pollutants before they enter your home. We can evaluate your home or office and recommend products that suit your budget and comfort needs.
Remove Sources of Pollutants
There are several ways to remove sources of pollutants. Paint, glue, hairspray, cosmetics, pesticides and cleaning supplies are a few common household products that are sources of VOCs. Whenever possible, use these products outside or in a well-ventilated area.
Sealing air ducts also keeps pollutants from entering your home. Leaking ducts allow dust, biological agents, pollen and other pollutants to enter the HVAC system. As much as 30% of conditioned air can be lost through holes and poor connections within the duct system. Leaking ducts also allow humidity to enter the system, which creates an environment for mold to grow and affects comfort. Aeroseal duct sealing closes the holes, which keeps pollutants from unconditioned spaces from entering your home.
Use Air Cleaners
Upgrading HVAC filters removes airborne pollutants as small as .3 micron, including smoke, VOCs, animal dander and biological agents. Other products include:
- UV lights installed within ducts kill pathogens before they enter the system.
- Whole-home air purifiers capture airborne contaminants.
- Stand-alone room air purifiers with high clean air delivery rates help clean the air in any room of your home.
- Humidification systems keep humidity levels comfortable throughout the year.
- Stand-alone air scrubbers filter air and maintain consistent air pressure to enhance indoor air quality.
- Carbon monoxide alarms detect unsafe levels of this odorless gas.
Contact the Indoor Air Experts at Ireland Heating and Air Conditioning
As a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, our technicians are trained on state-of-the-art equipment. We ensure that the equipment we recommend is compatible with your HVAC system, improves comfort and enhances energy efficiency. For more information about improving the quality of your indoor air, contact us today.