Did you know there are up to 100 times more contaminants inside a building than outside? That’s why managing indoor air quality is important for both residential and commercial buildings. This guide will help you understand what affects air quality and how you can improve it for your home or business in Letohatchee, AL.

What Influences Indoor Air Quality?

Firstly, a simple way to understand air quality is to look at the number of pollutants in the air. While the Air Quality Index is a measure of outdoor air quality in the United States, there’s no single rating for indoor air.

Different companies may use various devices to test your indoor air quality. Some of the different things they may count or measure include:

  • Total organic volatile compounds.
  • Particulate matter.
  • Carbon dioxide.
  • Formaldehyde.
  • Temperature.
  • Humidity.

The goal of improving indoor air quality is really twofold. First and foremost, it’s to make it easier for people to breathe. The secondary objective is to help your heating and cooling systems work effectively.

Types of Indoor Air Contaminants

As indicated above, there are several types of indoor air contaminants. These broad categories include particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and biological contaminants.

Particulate matter is what most people think of when it comes to air quality. These are small particles of solid or liquid matter that float around your home. These could include dust, salt, water and more.

VOCs are organic compounds with high vapor pressure and low water solubility. Common VOCs you might find in your home include acetone, formaldehyde, ethanol and alcohol.

Biological contaminants come from biological sources like plants and animals. These include pollen, viruses, bacteria and animal dander.

The Importance of Moisture

Humidity is extremely important for controlling indoor air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends maintaining indoor humidity between 30% and 50%. The best way to help create proper humidity throughout your home during dry seasons is by adding a humidifier to your HVAC system.

When the humidity drops too low, it causes the contaminants to dry out, becoming even lighter. This keeps them suspended in the air longer rather than dropping onto surfaces. It also causes some things to release even more contaminants.

On the other hand, if the humidity is too high, it encourages the growth of some biological contaminants. Keeping your humidity under 50% helps prevent some of the triggers for allergies and asthma. A dehumidifier can help you do that.

Enjoying Fresh Air With Ventilation

Good ventilation is important for improving air quality because is lets you dilute air contaminants with less contaminated air. Most homes have natural ventilation through cracks and other air leaks, so there’s no need for further action. However, in tightly sealed houses, especially newer ones, you need to add ventilation.

This is where a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, comes in handy. Not only does this device draw in fresh air, but it also preconditions it using the exhaust from the system.

Cleaning With Air Purifiers

Your system already has an air filter to keep a lot of contaminants out of the system. However, an air purifier will help remove even more from your air, including viruses and bacteria. If you have a purifier like the Infinity Air Purifier DGAPA, it also passes an electrical charge through the filter to render these particles inert.

Reaching the Next Level With UV Light

Finally, you can further improve your indoor air quality by adding an ultraviolet light to the system. The ultraviolet radiation damages the genetic structure, preventing molecular replication. Adding a UV bulb to your system helps render the contaminants that are too small for your purifier to catch inert.

Take the plunge and make a plan to improve your indoor air quality. Call Air Conditioning by Luquire to schedule an indoor air quality consultation for your home in the Letohatchee, AL, area today.

Image provided by iStock

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