How can I improve the quality of the air in my home?
There is no one “best” way to improve your homes IAQ. The best advice is not to be on your guard for experts that recommend a cure before diagnosing the problem. IAQ problems may originate from many different sources. Before we get into some specific steps to take, let’s take a look at some potential sources that can cause problems.
Every home needs the introduction of fresh outside air. Most studies indicate that the air inside our homes is more polluted than the air outside. This pollution comes from a concentration of Volatile Organic Compounds released into the air by common products used in nearly every home. Tightly sealed homes are great for energy efficiency, but could be the cause of serious IAQ problems. Equipment used to bring outside air into the home should be regularly service and maintained. Most older homes in the Central Texas area leak enough air thru cracks and windows the recirculation is not a problem.
Homes that leak too much air thru doors, windows and cracks may have IAQ problems due to dust, pollens and other allergens that enter the home. Even a mild breeze can cause a pressure differential between two sides of a house. It is the pressure differential, and not the breeze that caused outside air to enter the home.
Leaking duct systems can also cause a pressure differential between the inside and outside of your home. This pressure differential can cause dust and pollens to enter a home.
Molds inside air handlers, evaporator coils and duct systems are commonly caused by excessive moisture. Homes with oversized air conditioning systems, poorly insulated ducts, undersized duct systems, and a host of other problems are prone to molds and other moisture related IAQ problems.
Homes with gas furnaces should be checked often for carbon monoxide. Installing and maintaining a good quality carbon monoxide tester should be a priority. High levels of carbon monoxide may be deadly, but even low levels can cause flue like symptoms, and other long term health problems.
Home sealing became popular during the energy crises in the early 70’s. The 1970’s cure for quickly rising energy costs quickly lead to “dirty sock syndrome.” IAQ problems were divided into three categories, Particles, Germs, and Gasses. The caused and the solutions to each category of problem vary.
The right answer is not always a better filtration system, a UV light, or any of the popular IAQ gizmos. The first step is to consult with an AirOne professional who can help identify the cause of the IAQ problem.
If your Indoor Air Quality problem is the same as your Outdoor Air Quality problem, the seasonal pollen allergies common to the Central Texas area, a good indoor air filter is the first place to start.
AirOne Air conditioning carries a complete line of whole house air treatment options to clean, deodorize and disinfect the air in your home.
Improving Air Quality Inside Your Home
There are several steps you can take to improve the air quality inside your home:
The First and most important step is to make sure your system is installed and operating correctly. Poorly installed or maintained systems can reduce indoor air quality by 1) introducing unfiltered air into the system, or 2) ignoring various conditions which create an environment for the growth of molds inside the air handler and duct system, or 3) equipment that fails to maintain proper indoor humidity levels.
The Second and most cost effective step is to invest in a quality air filtration system. The precise level of air filtration that’s right for you depends on the sensitivity level of those living in the home.
The minimum level of air filtration should be designed to keep your heating and air conditioning system clean. Design considerations must account for an adequate filter face area for the air flow resistance of the filter.
The medium level of air filtration should be designed to eliminate allergen particles like pollen, mold spores & pet dander.
For the maximum level of air filtration, consider electronic air cleaners designed to remove allergen particles as small as bacteria and respirable dust.
REME – The Ultimate solution for homes with occupants with severe to moderately severe respiratory problems. Many homes require solutions that must gobeyond the limits of air filtration. Reme technology type indoor air quality systems are often found in heath care facilities and where groups of people are confined in restricted spaces for prolonged periods of time.