Indoor air pollution is a major problem and one that affects virtually every single home. The good news is that there are a variety of different options that can help overcome issues with pollution and quickly improve your home’s air quality. Today we’re going to discuss some of the different indoor air quality services and solutions available to help you know which one is right for your home.
Professional duct cleaning can provide great benefits for your home as it can both improve indoor air quality and increase the effectiveness of your air conditioning and heating. If you’ve noticed that your home has started becoming much dustier than normal, the problem is likely related to dirty ducts.
The ductwork in most homes is full of dust, lint, hair and other debris. Most air ducts also contain lots of allergens such as dust mites, pollen, pet dander and possibly even mold spores. Whenever your AC or heating runs, some of the allergens and debris inevitably ends up being circulated throughout the ducts and blown out of all of the vents. The only way to remove all of the debris and prevent air quality issues is to have your ducts professionally cleaned, which is something that most experts recommend you have done every few years.
All of the debris inside the ducts can attract pests like mice and cockroaches and may lead to the pests nesting inside your home’s ducts. This is why it is also recommended that you have your ductwork cleaned any time you’ve had issues with pests in your home as there is a good chance your ducts could be filled with mice droppings or even dead pests.
Another sign that can indicate you need to have your ducts cleaned is if you notice that the air coming out of your vents smells moldy or musty. This issue typically indicates that mold or mildew is growing inside your ductwork, which is a problem that won’t go away on its own and will require you to have the ducts professionally cleaned.
Duct cleaning is also important for ensuring that your HVAC system functions effectively. All of the debris inside the ductwork often starts to lead to airflow issues. When the ducts are overly dirty, it leads to an increase in air resistance. This increased air resistance can make it more difficult for the HVAC blower to circulate air through the ducts, which means that there will be less air coming into the system and less hot or cold air coming out of your vents. As a result, your heating and cooling systems will have to work harder, run longer and use more energy.
Mechanical ventilation typically isn’t necessary for older homes, but it is extremely important in newer buildings. Older buildings tend to have lots of gaps in the exterior envelope where air can get in and out, but newer buildings are usually much better built and have an exterior envelope that is almost completely airtight. This means that there is no way to replenish the air, which leads to it quickly becoming stale and polluted. A lack of ventilation can also quickly cause issues with high indoor humidity.
A mechanical ventilation system can prevent all of these issues and help to ensure the air in your home is fresh and clean. There are a variety of different ventilation systems, but they all essentially work in similar ways. The systems have two fans that spin in opposite directions to both draw the stale, polluted air out of the building and bring fresh, clean air inside. Most ventilation systems also transfer heat between the incoming and outgoing streams. This means they essentially preheat or precool the air as it is drawn into the building so that the incoming air doesn’t quickly cause the temperature in the home to increase or decrease. Some systems also absorb moisture from the incoming air and transfer it to the outgoing airstream to keep the home’s humidity level from rising too high.
Whole-Home Humidification or Dehumidification
Whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers can also be an effective option for improving indoor air quality and increasing your home comfort. Low indoor humidity typically isn’t much of an issue in Georgia, but high indoor humidity definitely can be. If your home’s relative humidity is above 60%, you’ll often start to have issues with condensation forming on your windows, walls and possibly inside your ducts. All of the condensation can cause water damage, but the bigger issue is that it can allow mold to quickly start growing.
Mold spores are a major allergen and can trigger allergy symptoms and asthma attacks or cause issues for anyone with respiratory or breathing problems. Having black mold in your home is an even bigger issue as it is toxic and can lead to illness or cause breathing difficulties.
A whole-home dehumidifier is an extremely effective option for preventing mold and other issues caused by high indoor humidity. This type of unit is installed inside your ductwork and works similarly to your air conditioner. That is, it uses extremely cold refrigerant to cause moisture in the air to condense as it flows through the unit, and all of the water that the unit collects then drains out into your plumbing system. Whole-home dehumidifiers will typically run the entire time your AC is running, but the units can also shut off automatically if the humidity in the home is at the desired level.
Whole-home dehumidifiers aren’t just great for controlling humidity, but they can also increase the effectiveness of your air conditioning and lower your energy bills. This is because your AC system has to work much harder when the air flowing through your ducts is extremely humid. By removing much of the humidity before the air flows into the air handler and blows over the evaporator coil, a whole-home dehumidifier can take some of the strain off of your AC. The dehumidifier also slightly cools the air as it passes through it, which helps to further increase the effectiveness of your AC so that it cools more quickly.
Air Purification and Filtration
Whole-home air purifiers and filtration systems are obviously some of the most effective options for preventing indoor air quality issues. There are a range of different units available. Some use physical filters that will trap a huge amount of allergens and other airborne pollutants and contaminants, while others use electrostatic filters that attract and hold onto airborne particles. There are also others that send out charged ions throughout the building, which also attract particles and then destroy or deactivate them. Many units have UV lights as well. These essentially kill organic microorganisms like mold spores, dust mites, bacteria and viruses.
When installed correctly, most air purification or filtration systems will remove more than 90% of all airborne contaminants in as little as 24 hours. This makes them ideal for anyone with severe allergies, asthma, COPD and other respiratory ailments. These units are also a great choice even if you’re perfectly healthy as studies have shown that the air in the typical home is anywhere from three to five times more polluted than the air outside the home.
At Precision Heating & Air, we offer an extensive range of indoor air quality services and equipment, and our team can evaluate your home and help you choose the best option. We offer professional duct cleaning, and our technicians also install air purifiers, dehumidifiers, filtration systems, ventilators and a range of other IAQ units. For more information on our indoor air quality services or to schedule any other HVAC service in the Dallas area, contact us today.