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 to be on your guard against “IQA Experts” that recommend cures before diagnosing the problem. IAQ problems originate from many different sources.
Recirculation: Every home needs the introduction of fresh outside air. Studies indicate that the air inside our homes is (more often than not) more polluted than the air outside. Since indoor air is constantly re-circulated Volatile Organic Compounds released into the air by common products used in nearly every home tend to become concentrated. Tightly sealed homes are great for energy efficiency, but could be the cause of serious IAQ problems. If your home is has specalized equipment used to bring outside air into the home, that equipment should be regularly service and maintained. Most older homes (pre 1970) in the in Central Texas leak enough air thru cracks and windows that problems due to recirculation are not a big problem.
Air Leaks: 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. As with most things, when it comes to introducing fresh air into a home, the key is balance and moderation.
Duct Leaks: Leaking duct systems can also cause a pressure differential between the inside and outside of your home. This pressure differential may be the cause of excessive amounts of dusts and pollens being pulled into a home.
Molds: 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.
Carbon Monoxide: Homes with gas furnaces should be checked often for carbon monoxide. Installing and maintaining a good quality carbon monoxide tester should be a priority. Carbon monoxide may be deadly at high levels, 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. Sealed homes from air leakage was the 1970’s cure for quickly rising energy costs lead to a condition often refered to as “dirty sock syndrome. IAQ problems can be 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 Texas Hill County … 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…call 512-392-0022