What Accessories Can Help With My Indoor Air Quality?
In our American culture, the average adult spends nearly all their time indoors, whether at work or at home. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports this amount of time reaches upwards of 90 percent for most people, and even higher for the very young, elderly, and those with limiting health conditions. That places the importance of good indoor air quality at a whole new level.
Our Arise Services team wants to introduce you to the different indoor air quality accessories we recommend. Investing in one or more of these technologies and tools will provide cleaner, less polluted indoor air for your home and can help you and your family breathe a little easier.
All Heating, Ventilation, or Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems utilize some type of air filter to capture air particulates as the air flows from your home and through your indoor air conditioning system. There is a wide and sometimes confusing variety of filters on the market. While the dimensions of your particular filter are set by your HVAC system, the other options to consider are material, thickness, lifespan, rating and cost. Filters range from an inexpensive single layer of loosely woven or pressed fibers to a ultra-effective five-inch pleated media with maximum surface area, to washable and reusable filters. A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) rating identifies the filter’s ability to capture some of the smallest air particulates.
It is important to change your air filter regularly (according to the manufacturer’s instructions) to keep the air you breathe clean and to keep your equipment working efficiently. We recommend changing your filters monthly during the cooling months.
A word of caution: extremely high efficiency filters may be detrimental to your HVAC equipment as they can block airflow that is necessary to your equipment’s function. Too little airflow can cause your system to freeze up in the cooling season. Our Arise Services professionals can assist you in selecting the correct filter for your home.
HEPA Air Purifiers and Filters
Free-standing room Air purifiers, as well as air filters with the HEPA designation, can remove up to 99.7 percent of all particles that measure greater than 0.2 microns. This includes household dust, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, and many other airborne particles. It’s important to change HEPA filters regularly. When you combine HEPA filters with HEPA purifiers and HEPA vacuum bags, you can make a big improvement in your indoor air quality.
UV Treatment Systems
Ultraviolet (UV) lights have traditionally been used in hospitals and other health care facilities to kill bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens in the air. Today, homeowners can piggyback on this technology by investing in UV technology for their HVAC equipment. UV lights are installed in the indoor evaporator coil to provide a germicidal benefit to the air that passes through the path of the UV light, killing and preventing further growth of mold and bacteria in the evaporator coil or drain pan, and preventing active pathogens from becoming airborne.
Electronic Air Cleaners
Installed in line with your HVAC system, electronic air cleaners are a whole-house solution to generating cleaner air. These systems use a multi-filter process with electricity to create a positive/negative charge to trap and/or kill up to 99.98 percent of all air particulates. Essentially, these cleaners combine the best of all available indoor air purification technologies to do a nearly complete job.
Air sanitizers go a step further than a typical UV or electronic system by releasing friendly oxidizers into the circulated air to aggressively attack and neutralize air particulates such as VOCs, smoke, odors, bacteria, viruses, mold spores, pollen and many other airborne particles. This technology continuously purifies the air throughout the conditioned space, and includes the ability to kill newly-introduced microbials within milli-seconds (sneeze, cough, etc.)
Fresh Air Ventilation
A Fresh Air Ventilation system is designed to draw fresh air into the home. This system includes a controlled dampered duct that draws outdoor air into the air conditioning system. This is an economical way to introduce fresh air into your home.
Energy Recovery Ventilation
Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) systems are designed to exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air by bringing in and conditioning outdoor air while pushing out the stale indoor air from your home. These exchangers will adjust the temperature and humidity of outdoor air before circulating it through your air duct system.
Stand-alone or whole-house humidifiers can be particularly helpful in Texas winters when the air is extremely dry. Bringing relative humidity levels back up to an ideal of about 50 percent means less static electricity, dry skin, and scratchy throats. In addition, humidifiers can help protect your home and its contents (floors, furniture, frames and décor) from drying out, warping, cracking, shrinking or other damage caused by too dry of an environment.
Fast-forward to summer, and you may find you have the opposite humidity problem in the Austin, TX area. Summers can feel even hotter when humidity levels are high. A well-maintained air conditioning system can help to ensure moisture is removed from the conditioned air in your home, to the tune of seven or eight gallons per day.
Some homeowners may want to invest in a whole-house dehumidifier to use during the summer months. Excessive humidity in the home can make it more difficult to cool your home, can contribute to mold and other allergen growth, and can cause condensation or moisture damage to the structure and contents of your home.
Arise Services Is Your Clean Air Expert
For more details on any of these indoor air quality accessories, call Arise Services in Cedar Park, TX. Our team of professionals will be happy to help you review and select the technologies that best fit your lifestyle and budget. Call 512-267-5000 or request service online today.