We often hear warnings about the air quality outdoors, especially during allergy season or if there’s a fire in the area. For people with asthma, allergies, or health concerns, these warnings are key in helping them keep their health in order. What we don’t always get are warnings for the air quality inside our homes.
In today’s blog, we’re going to be covering everything you need to know about indoor air quality and what you can do to help keep you and your family breathing clean air at home.
What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
Your home’s indoor air quality is dependent on the amount of air pollutants in your home. Though people who have air conditioning systems have a better level of filtration in their home than people who simply open their windows during the warmer months, it’s still important for everyone to check on their air quality.
If someone is living in poor conditions, they may feel the health effects of bad indoor air quality for years to come. That’s why it’s so important for homeowners and business owners to frequently maintain their systems or work with a team like AG Roehrig and Sons.
Everything from dust, pollution from the outdoors, viruses and flus, gasses, mold, and asbestos can be present within your home. In some cases, homeowners may not even know these things are present. If a home inspector hasn’t been called in, things like mold and asbestos may never be detected until negative health side effects become a problem.
Humidity can also be another factor contributing to poor indoor air quality. On an average summer day, your home’s humidity should be between 50-55% RH. This can be acheived by using a whole house dehumidifier or a 2-stage AC. You’ll notice high humidity in your house when the ac isn’t running as much, like during the autumn months because air conditioning units also dehumidify homes while they run. When you walk into a house with AC on a hot humid day and feel that wall of cold at first, that’s moisture being evaporated from your skin. Keeping your house at the right humidity level also helps improve your indoor air quality.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality
Though it’s nearly impossible to filter everything out of your home’s air, it’s important that you take air quality management seriously. Some homeowners choose to tackle these responsibilities on their own and work maintenance into their schedule. If you’re unsure of where to start, or if you don’t have the time, you can always reach out to us and schedule a consult so that we can create a plan of action to keep your home’s air clean.
Make Sure You Have the Right Air Filter
Many people choose to use a standard 1” thick filter. These do a decent job at filtering the air, but you’ll want to make sure that you’re regularly replacing it since they tend to get full after just a few months.
You can also opt to use a high efficiency filter or even an electronic air cleaner. With these options, the filter will come with more surface area that has a tighter woven media to filter the air through. These do a better job of catching anything that may be coming through your air conditioning, from dirt and dust to mold spores.
If you live in an apartment or home that you rent, you may also take it upon yourself to check on your air filters and replace them frequently. Some landlords may change their filters out once a year, or not at all, so make sure to take a look yourself.
Get Fresh Air to Circulate
If you went away for the weekend, you may notice that your home feels stuffy when you return. This is because fresh air wasn’t injected into the system and circulated properly.
Some people think this is a normal occurrence, but it could actually point to poor indoor air quality. Your unit should be constantly pulling fresh air from the outside into your ductwork before filtering it before distributing it through the house.
By doing this, you could keep you house from getting stagnant, prevent mold and bacteria from growing, and maintain great air quality within your home.
If you have an old AC system, or are unsure of how much fresh air you’re getting, please reach out to us to schedule an appointment.
Use a UV Light
Many people don’t know that putting a UV light in your air supply or return ductwork, or both, can help your indoor air quality tremendously. This is especially true if you have an evaporator coil or humidifier for your AC, since both of these use water.
Since aspects of your air conditioning use water, UV lights will help prevent mold or algae growth to best maintain your air quality. Some companies make UV lights with charcoal filters that can also help remove any scents that may be unwanted. As we mentioned in the previous point, your AC should be pulling fresh air from outside. If this is happening, UV lights and their charcoal filters will help remove any unwanted smells from the outdoors.
If You Want to Know More About Indoor Air Quality, Contact Us
It can be overwhelming to completely manage your air conditioning and the air quality of your home and business. If you have any questions, or want to schedule an appointment with us, please reach out to us.