Some Facts about Indoor Air Quality
Buildings have become more airtight to reduce energy waste. Sealing cracks using weatherstripping and adding insulation will help to improve energy efficiency. Keeping windows and doors closed all the time can result in greater levels of pollutants inside our homes. High humidity and high temperatures can also contribute to higher concentrations of indoor pollutants.
There are several categories of agents that affect indoor air:
- Biological pollutants like bacteria, mold, pollen, animal dander, and particles from cockroaches and dust mites
- Second-hand smoke
- Combustion pollutants from fireplaces, wood stoves, and heaters that use oil, gas or coal
- Radon, a radioactive gas common in some areas of the U.S.
- Formaldehyde, a chemical found in many household products including plywood, carpets, and upholstery
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paint, adhesives, pesticides, cleaning supplies, and craft materials
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
There are three major ways to improve the quality of your indoor air: eliminate the sources of pollutants, improve ventilation by bringing in fresh air from outside, and clean your home and HVAC system. Seasonal system tuneups include inspecting for leaks and poor combustion. Properly maintaining furnaces, gas cooking ranges, and heating sources that emit gases reduces the likelihood of excessive carbon monoxide emissions into your living space.
Indoor Air Quality Products
J & J Mechanical, Inc. can help identify sources of pollution and recommend ways to increase indoor ventilation and clean the air that you and your family breathe. Several devices attach to a whole-house HVAC unit, while others are stand-alone units that can be used in a single room. Both types capture airborne particulates and regulate humidity. Effective indoor air quality products include:
- Ultraviolet lamps
- Air purifiers
- Air humidifiers
- High MERV-rated air filters
- Fans and other exhaust systems to increase ventilation
Increasing ventilation to bring in fresh outdoor air and exhausting sources of pollution from the outside help refresh indoor space and lower pollutant levels. Adding exhaust fans to bathrooms and kitchens to removes excess humidity and cooking odors.
The filter on your HVAC unit captures airborne dust and other particulates. Cleaning or changing the filter regularly keeps these pollutants from building up on the filter and re-circulating through the building. Many standard HVAC filters do not capture smaller particulates. Air filters with higher ratings capture smaller-sized particulates. We can recommend an appropriate filter type for your indoor air needs. Contact us about your indoor air quality concerns anytime.