What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
Air quality is the measure of the concentration of pollutants in the air. And surprisingly, the air quality inside homes is often worse than outside. The pollutants can come from various sources like paints, carpets, cleaning products, smoke, airborne pollutants, and more.
The most common pollutants that affect indoor air quality are particulates and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Particulates are tiny pieces of dust, dirt, and other debris that float in the air. VOCs are gases emitted from different materials such as paints or furniture.
The most common symptoms of poor indoor air quality are eye irritation, headaches, sore throat, and dry skin. Poor IAQ can also cause asthma attacks in people who already have asthma or make them more likely to develop asthma in the future. Needless to say, air quality is very important and we’ll show you how to make it better in your home.
1. Increase Ventilation with a Properly Functioning HVAC System
HVAC systems are a necessity for any home or office. They provide heat, cooling, and ventilation to the building. However, some homeowners may not know how to maintain their HVAC system properly.
A poorly functioning HVAC system can trigger health problems like asthma and allergies due to poor air quality. It can also cause a buildup of mold in your home or office. A poorly functioning HVAC system is also expensive to run because it’s less energy efficient.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to keep your HVAC system in good condition:
- Keep vents clean by vacuuming them regularly
- Change filters every month
- Clean the condenser coils on the outside of the building with a garden hose once a year
Additionally, we offer comprehensive maintenance plans for homeowners with HVAC systems in The Woodlands and surrounding areas.
2. Regularly Clean Your HVAC Unit and Furnace Filter to Minimize Dust & Pollen from Collecting
Dust and pollen can collect in your HVAC unit and furnace filter. This can cause a buildup of dust, which will make your HVAC unit less efficient and reduce the air quality in your home. Regularly cleaning your HVAC unit and furnace filter will help to minimize the amount of dust and pollen that collects in the filter and reduce the amount that makes it into your air.
The frequency at which you should change your filter is dependent on many factors, including the type of filter you use, how often you use your heater or air conditioner, whether or not you have pets in the home, etc. Most of the time, people are not aware that they need to change their filters on a regular basis. But if you neglect this, you will be breathing in dust and pollen which can make your allergies worse.
3. Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to improve indoor air quality
HEPA filters are a type of air filter that has an efficiency rating of 99.97% at capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns. HEPA filters work by collecting particles from the air, which includes hair, dust, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores.
There are two main types of HEPA filters:
- A standalone unit that purifies the air of the room that it’s placed in.
- An inline HEPA filter which sits inside the ductwork and can be installed in any room with an opening for ductwork.
For the standalone filters, you can purchase these online or at your local store. The inline filters should be installed by an HVAC professional who can also advise you on the proper one to choose.
4. Open up windows and doors periodically to improve air quality
In the winter, people tend to close their windows and doors to keep themselves warm. However, this has the effect of trapping moisture and pollutants inside the house. This can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues. It’s best to open up windows and doors periodically, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. This will help clear out any of the debris or pollutants in the air and bring fresh air into your home.
For help improving the air quality or any other HVAC-related issue, contact the experts at Allied Heating & Air Conditioning.