How Do I Improve My Air Quality?
Whether you suffer from seasonal airborne allergies or you find the air in your home is stale or less than pleasant, you need to do what you can to improve the air quality of the house. There are a number of ways you can do this, most of which cost very little to implement. By making just a few changes you’ll see a substantial difference in the quality of your home’s air.
The Importance of Air Quality Testing
The first step to improving your air quality is to have an air quality test performed. Air quality testing uses sensitive equipment to measure the concentration of different airborne particles inside the home. Testing is essential as you obviously need to know what problems you’re dealing with in order to determine how to best solve them.
The air inside your home is potentially filled with all sorts of allergens, pollutants, and contaminants, all of which could potentially impact your health. Mold, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens can create issues for anyone who suffers from respiratory issues like asthma, COPD, and allergies. Bacteria and viruses are some of the other potential issues you may need to worry about.
Worse still, most homes are also filled with potentially dangerous chemicals known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These chemicals are given off naturally by furniture, cleaning products, building materials, and even cooking inside your home, and many of them are potentially carcinogenic or pose other long-term health risks. The fact that VOCs are naturally occurring and come from so many different sources means that it’s nearly impossible to fully eliminate them from the home. Nonetheless, there are various air quality solutions that can help minimize the concentration of VOCs by filtering them out of the air.
Air Scrubbers and Whole-Home Air Filtration
Air purifiers, scrubbers, and filtration systems are all options that can help improve your home’s indoor air quality. Both free-standing portable units and whole-home systems are available. Whole-home systems are generally always the better choice since they enable you to clean the air inside your entire home instead of just one room. However, whole-home systems are only suitable for buildings with existing ductwork as these units are installed as part of your forced-air HVAC system.
Whole-home air purifiers and filtration systems utilize highly efficient filters that trap the majority of VOCs, allergens, and other airborne particles. These units utilize the fan on your HVAC system to force air through a filter or series of filters and can drastically reduce the concentration of airborne particles in as little as an hour.
There are also many ozone air purifiers on the market, but these are never recommended. For starters, ozone purifiers are generally ineffective at eliminating most airborne pollutants. However, the bigger reason that they are a bad idea is that they can potentially damage your health. The reason is that these units produce ozone, which can have numerous potential health risks at high concentrations. Ozone has also been shown to react with formaldehyde and other chemicals to create additional pollutants.
Air scrubbers also filter out particles from the air, but they work much differently than purifiers. Instead of using a filter, an air scrubber uses a combination of light waves and ionization technology to eliminate bacteria, viruses, allergens, and pollutants from both the air and the surfaces inside your home. These units have been proven to eliminate up to 99% of surface contaminants and over 90% of airborne contaminants, which makes them one of the most effective air quality solutions available.
The summers in South Texas can be extremely hot and humid. As a result, many homes have issues with high humidity, and this can directly impact both your indoor comfort and your air quality. Excess indoor humidity can create the perfect conditions for mold to grow inside your walls or in your basement, attic, or ductwork. High humidity can also create the ideal breeding ground for cockroaches, dust mites, and other pests, which are another major source of allergens.
The ideal indoor humidity level is around 50-55%, but many Texas homes have humidity levels that are far higher than this. If the humidity level rises much above 60%, it can lead to issues with mold and pests and also impact how well your air conditioning works. In situations like this, a whole-home dehumidifier can be a great option for both improving your indoor air quality and the efficiency of your cooling system.
A whole-home dehumidifier works in conjunction with your HVAC system. These units contain a series of refrigerant coils that cool the air passing through them in order to draw excess moisture out of the air. Although they do use some energy, they can actually help to reduce your cooling costs by ensuring your AC works more efficiently.
Change Air Filters
The fastest way to improve the quality of your home’s air is to change out the air filters. By swapping out the air filters every two to three months you’ll see a drastic improvement in the quality of your household’s air.
Bringing plants to your home is a fantastic way to improve your air quality. Many plants will absorb carbon dioxide while giving off oxygen at the same time. This way, you’ll always have a way to live with refreshing air circulating inside your home.
Stop Smoking Inside
If you smoke now is the time to take the cigarettes outside (or to stop completely). The smoke will not only end up circulating in the air but it will cling to walls and windows.
Sometimes the problem isn’t specifically with the air but with your HVAC system. Mold may have developed somewhere in one of the vents, or dust could have collected somewhere. It’s always recommended to take advantage of annual HVAC inspections. This way you’ll not only improve the quality of air inside of your home but you’ll also improve your energy efficiency when running the AC.
Your Heating Contractors in Rosenberg
Since 1969, Custom Comfort Air has strongly believed in 100% customer satisfaction. From our friendly phone operators to our certified technicians, we care deeply about your comfort. In addition, we carry the best products in the industry. We’re proud to be a Lennox Premier Dealer, so you’ll be sure to receive the best products at affordable prices.
If you’re concerned about the air quality in your home, the experienced team at Custom Comfort Air can help. We offer air quality testing and also carry a range of indoor air quality solutions, including air purifiers, air scrubbers, and whole-home air filtration systems. Our expert HVAC technicians also work on heating and cooling systems, heat pumps, ductless AC units, and more. With locations in Rosenberg and Sugar Land, TX, Custom Comfort Air serves customers throughout the Houston area. Contact us today to learn more about the ways you can improve your home’s air quality.