Every home has problems like odors, germs and chemicals in the air. When the house is closed tight over the cold weather months, these airborne problems are stuck inside with you.
As we try to make our houses more energy efficient, we also trap air quality contaminants inside. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, “Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are a primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes.”
What causes indoor air quality problems?
You don’t need to live near a landfill or a manufacturing factory to have air quality issues. Here are some common problems with indoor air:
Normal everyday living can stir up and circulate dust, dander, and pollen particles throughout the home. As we walk throughout the rooms, across carpeting, brush past draperies, or move furniture and other items, the particles re-distribute based on the movement and air flow from room to room.
Humans also contribute to air quality. Germs spread through sneezing or coughing can travel nearly 200 feet, according to research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The research showed that the particles in a sneeze traveled further in a cloud, and this cloud gets relocated through indoor air movement.
Mold and mildew
Mold particles and mildew are frequently present in bathrooms, basements, and older air conditioning systems. These particles start out small, but can quickly spread, often unnoticed. Mold feeds on porous material, such as drywall, and can grow within your wall and beneath your floor before you notice a big problem.
Pet odors, cooking mistakes, smoking, spraying cleaning solutions and other normal things that happen during our daily routine all bring about their own unique odor.
If you’ve ever noticed the smell of burnt toast throughout the entire house, it is because those odor-containing air particles have traveled from the kitchen, reminding you of your toaster mishap.
How can indoor air quality be improved?
The EPA indicates three main strategies for improving air quality indoors:
Source Control – some adjustments can be made to eliminate the cause of indoor air pollution. This may include better cleaning of fireplaces and chimney flues, proper adjustments on gas stoves, and containment of asbestos or other potentially harmful areas.
Improved Ventilation – some new home designs include mechanical systems that bring outdoor air into the home. These energy-efficient heat recovery ventilators, also known as air-to-air heat exchangers, help circulate the air through each room.
Air Cleaners – many types and sizes of air cleaners are available, ranging from relatively inexpensive table-top models to sophisticated whole-house systems. The effectiveness of an air cleaner depends on how well it collects pollutants from indoor air and how much air it draws through the cleaning or filtering element.
How Home Furnace Systems Improve Indoor Air
Have a professional HVAC Technician assess the current home heating space requirements. He can also determine the best solutions for energy efficiency and effective operation to provide the best furnace for your space.
A heating system can also help purify every square foot of air throughout the home. The Guardian Air™ system with REME Technology attaches to the furnace ductwork, creating a proactive approach to killing bacteria and viruses in the air and on surfaces.
It sends advanced oxidants throughout the duct system, visiting each room to kill microbials at the source. This technology is often used at medical facilities, hotels, and other public areas to purify the air.
The purification system also helps clump together air particles that contain dust and pollen, allowing the furnace filtration system to capture these particles better, eliminating them from your rooms.
Proper levels of moisture in the air during cold, dry weather can also make a difference in heating comfort. Too much moisture from stand-alone humidifiers may be difficult to regulate. A whole-house humidifier attached to the HVAC system will help control moisture levels when you need it most.
If you’d like to improve your indoor living and breathe better quality of air this winter, contact Naugle Plumbing and Heating to assess your current HVAC system. Recommendations for air and moisture heating systems may help improve your comfort inside this winter!