Indoor Air Quality Lacking? Improve It In 3 Steps
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is as important as air quality outdoors. As pollution levels inside can exceed 100 times outdoor levels, in today’s airtight, energy-efficient houses you’re certain to get a concentrated dose of whatever’s present in your household air. Indoor air quality can be diminished by both internal and external sources of contaminants and is dependent on factors such as adequate ventilation and the use of air cleaning technology.
Here’s how these three elements affect your breathing air and your family’s health.
Eliminating or reducing sources of contaminants both interior and exterior is usually the most effective means of improving indoor air quality. Indoor pollution from gas-fired furnaces or appliances can be remedied by adjusting burners and combustion factors. Utilizing carpeting and furnishings with low VOC (volatile organic compound) contents such as formaldehyde can reduce chemical fumes. Biological contaminants like mold and pollen may be remediated at secondary locations such as inside ductwork or in unconditioned zones like attics. However, because these contaminants originate from outdoors, total control may be difficult.
Airtight houses have little air exchange with the outside, while leaky homes have too much. Simply opening doors and windows permits an uncontrolled influx of external air. New technology like heat recovery ventilators (HRV) allow the influx of fresh outside air at precisely the same rate as stale indoor air is exhausted, preserving the neutral indoor air balance. HRVs also extract heat from outgoing air and add it to incoming cold, fresh air to compensate for energy loss.
Indoor air cleaners are available as both individual room models and whole-house units that mount directly inside your ductwork. Air cleaning technology ranges from simple mechanical filtration with high-efficiency pleated filters to electrostatic filtration that captures airborne particulates and ultraviolet light arrays to kill biological contaminants such as mold spores and bacteria.
Sobieski Services makes healthy indoor air quality in your home environment a continuing priority.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Leo Reynolds