9 Ways That HVAC Technology Can Help Cut Down on Indoor Air Pollution
There is a lot of information available regarding the quality of the air we breathe outdoors, but how about the air we breathe at home? With the average person spending a great deal of their daily life at home, making sure that the air we breathe indoors is safe should be a concern. Here are several ways that you can reduce indoor air pollution using HVAC technology.
1. Changing Your Air Filter
One of the simplest things that you can do to cut down on indoor air pollution is to regularly change your air filter. According to air filter manufacturers and most HVAC companies, you should wait no longer than 90 days before putting in a new air filter. This is because your air filter removes dust, pollen, and other small particles from the air. Doing so prevents you from breathing in all of those contaminants. If an air filter is not changed, it’s less effective at catching all of those particles, and your indoor air quality can be compromised. Your air filter should be your first line of defense against airborne pollutants in your household.
While you should not go longer than 90 days without a new air filter, you can change them more regularly to experience even cleaner air. It is recommended that you check your filter once a month to see if it is time for a new one. You can do this by looking for an accumulation of dust and other particulates.
2. Using UV Technology
An HVAC UV light can help to purify and clean the air in your home. This is a special ultraviolet light that is similar to the light produced by the sun but with a much greater degree of intensity. The illumination that is created with UV light destroys the nucleic acid of bacteria, leaving the germs unable to replicate and killing some of them outright. Along with bacteria, UV lights can deactivate or kill mold, viruses, and other airborne pathogens.
If you are unfamiliar with UV lights, this may sound very new and high-tech. In actuality, the technology has been around for over a hundred years and is used in hospitals, restaurants, and other businesses to sterilize equipment. In terms of effectiveness, it has been found that UV lights can reduce bacteria and mold in a home by 97%. Typically, these types of lights are either installed near the evaporator coil of your system or in the supply vents of your ductwork.
3. Upgrade to HEPA Filters
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. HEPA filters are considered the top benchmark for filtering air. They are so reliable at filtering the air that they are most commonly used in medical centers. With HEPA filters, you can count on the filtration of a minimum of 99.7% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. These filters are thick and can potentially lower the airflow in some HVAC systems. It is important to consult with a professional to determine if your system is properly equipped to handle switching over to HEPA filters.
4. MERV 13 Air Filters
If it turns out that your HVAC system cannot accommodate HEPA filtration or retrofitting would be too costly, another option is to go with a MERV 13 air filter. These are popular air filters that can remove particles that are larger than 0.3 microns. They are a good choice for systems that cannot handle the strain that a HEPA filter would cause. While a MERV 13 cannot trap particles as small as a HEPA filter can, it still effectively reduces air pollution by stopping dust, pollen, etc. It is also effective in reducing the spread of viruses by stopping particles that can act as carriers.
5. IAQ Testing
One of the best lines of defense against indoor air pollution is having the knowledge that it is there in the first place. You can schedule an indoor air quality test with a trained professional. This type of test measures your indoor air for such things as allergens, radon, and mold. It can also tell you if the levels of these contaminants in your air are safe or dangerous. A typical test takes about one to two hours.
During an indoor air pollution test, a specialist uses special technology to take humidity readings, collect air samples, and check areas of concern like your HVAC system. An analysis of indoor air pollution can cover the identification of over 100 volatile organic compounds and thousands of types of mold. You are then furnished with a report, lab results, and professional recommendations.
6. Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems
VRF systems have a variety of benefits. One of them that can help with air pollution is the ability to create different climate zones in your home. A VRF HVAC system can detect the precise heating and cooling requirements of each room and make the necessary adjustments. By adjusting each room to its ideal humidity level, you can help minimize the accumulation of contaminants like mold spores, which thrive in high-humidity environments.
7. Professional Mold Remediation
If it is suspected that mold has made a home in your ductwork and is compromising the air quality in your home, professional mold remediation can be helpful. HVAC specialists have a variety of tools and chemicals for cleaning and clearing out the mold, as well as special HVAC technology like mold-resistant duct coating to help keep it away.
8. Ventilation Design
It has been found that having a properly designed ventilation system can do a lot toward reducing air pollution in a home. Exhaust fans, for example, can remove dangerous fumes as well as the concentration of virus particles present in the air. In order to replace the air that is pulled from the exhaust with fresh air, make-up air units are sometimes used in homes, particularly in heavily utilized kitchens.
9. Routine Maintenance
Having a routine maintenance inspection with a qualified HVAC professional can help make sure that all of your HVAC technology is working properly to reduce indoor air pollution. It is recommended to have a routine maintenance inspection at least once a year.
Speak to a Professional About Reducing Indoor Air Pollution
If you are in Charlotte, NC, or the surrounding area and are wondering how to best reduce your indoor air pollution with HVAC technology, speak to the team at Integrity Heating & Cooling. We are a locally owned and operated AC and heating provider with over 35 years of experience. Our team of professionals delivers exceptional customer service to a wide variety of residential and commercial clients throughout the community. Our goal is to provide every customer with services that improve their comfort and energy efficiency as well as make their environment healthy and safe. Along with improving your indoor air quality, we are here to meet any of your heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance needs. If you are ready to improve your indoor air quality, give Integrity Heating & Cooling a call today.