By Alexandra SchauerPublished On: October 22, 2013Categories: HVACComments Off on How To Improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) At Home
Indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental dangers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A healthy home means healthy living. That’s why it’s important to improve indoor air quality. It starts with identifying why homes have poor indoor air quality.
Maryland indoor air quality (IAQ)
Every day, we breathe nearly 3,000 gallons of air. Imagine the impact if the air quality is poor.
The number of children and young adults with severe allergies and asthma continues to climb every year. Poor indoor air quality is thought to be a factor. Other issues linked to poor indoor air quality include lung cancer and heart problems.
There are numerous contaminants that can affect your air quality. These include:
Mold and mildew
Volatile organic compounds
Heating equipment, including stoves, heaters, fireplaces, and chimneys
Upholstered furniture and certain wood products
Broken compact fluorescent lights
Glass and adhesives
Air freshening devices
These are common items in every home. So, the key is controlling them by improving ventilation and controlling the temperature and humidity in your home.
How to improve indoor air quality
Inadequate or unevenly distributed airflow doesn’t just make your home feel stuffy; it can lead to a dangerous build-up of pollutants. Residences built to minimize the flow of outdoor air into the home are especially prone to this issue. However, even homes with good ventilation can be negatively affected by severe weather conditions.
Improve ventilation in the short term by opening windows and turning on fans. Get better ventilation in the long term by having Minnick’s check out your HVAC system a minimum of once a year to ensure it’s bringing in plenty of fresh air.
Like poor ventilation, hot temperatures can worsen the effects of pollutants. In addition, the hotter the air temperature, the more moisture it can retain, increasing your home’s humidity. To address temperature issues, schedule an energy audit.
Minnick’s Energy Audit tests the performance of your home. Plus, it finds hidden sources of air loss. It’s a cost-effective way to improve Whole-Home Comfort.
BGE and Pepco customers pay just $100 for an energy audit through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. In addition, utility customers qualify for up to $7500 in energy rebates.
During an audit, air quality is assessed by verifying adequate ventilation.
Excessively humid air is unpleasant enough outside, but in your home, it can lead to many air quality issues. High humidity (more than 50%) increases the build-up of mold and mildew, facilitates the release of formaldehyde and other chemicals from furniture and building materials, and leads to more dust mites, which release allergens into the air.
Dehumidifiers can both reduce moisture in your home and save you money on energy. However, before purchasing a dehumidifier, have Minnick’s perform an energy audit to find out what is causing your home’s increased humidity.
The HVAC professionals at Minnick’s have extensive experience in solving indoor air quality problems. Minnick’s guarantees a professional, high-quality installation of all HVAC systems, using manufacturer’s specifications to ensure optimal performance, increased energy efficiency, lower utility bills, reduced carbon footprint, increased comfort, and a safer, healthier home.
As we tell homeowners, the first step to solving many of your comfort and health issues is to look at your Whole-Home Comfort. The house is a whole system, with each part – from the attic to the basement – correlating with one another, so when one component is not working effectively, it can create problems for every other component. An energy audit allows experts to identify the key culprits behind indoor air pollution—including poor airflow, inadequate ventilation, improperly installed heating and cooling elements and ductwork, and much more.
As an added bonus, an energy audit will likely identify ways to save you money on your monthly utility bills—in addition to protecting your health.