Indoor air pollution is a growing concern in Omaha and throughout the U.S. as we’ve learned more about the negative health impacts. The good news is that homeowners now have a wide range of options through which they can improve indoor air quality in their homes.
The Quality of Your Indoor Air
Knowing how to improve air quality in your home begins with understanding what’s wrong. You can get this information through professional indoor air quality testing. An energy audit is also recommended as it will provide insight into any fundamental ventilation and moisture issues. Moving forward, you can invest in an indoor air quality monitor for your home. You should also schedule professional IAQ testing again every two years as this is the EPA-recommended minimum for radon testing.
As construction techniques have improved, air infiltration has all but been eliminated from modern home design. This has resulted in very energy-efficient homes. It has also led to high indoor air pollution levels during the heating and cooling seasons due to little or no natural ventilation. The best way to solve this problem is through a mechanical ventilation system. It will introduce adequate fresh air to the home. Proper ventilation can also help limit humidity in the summer and result in more efficient heating during the winter.
Particulate matter or PM is made of suspended solids and liquids in the air. This is one of the core aspects of air pollution and a leading cause of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. Most air purification systems on the market have a mechanical stage. HEPA or high-efficiency particulate air filters are a particularly prevalent choice in this space. These filters can remove 99.97% of all PM down to 0.3 microns in size with standard filters and 0.1 microns with medical-grade filters.
HVAC Filters Are Not IAQ Filters
If you want this type of air filtration in your home, you’ll need either a portable or whole-house air purifier with a HEPA stage. The HVAC filter in your home is there to keep particular matter out of the system. You can’t simply upgrade it to a HEPA filter. This will lead to increased static pressure and therefore lower efficiency, higher costs, and greater wear and tear.
Dehumidification & Humidification
Humidity is important for home comfort but also IAQ. Consider that high humidity makes a home more prone to mold and dust mites. Low humidity makes its occupants more prone to respiratory irritation. Portable solutions are an option and can be used in rooms as needed. There are also both whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers available. These integrated systems have energy efficiency benefits as well.
While a HEPA filter can trap PM, it has little effect on gases, chemicals, and odors. To deal with those issues, you’ll need some form of absorbent filtration. The most common example is activated charcoal. As the air flows through this media, the charcoal absorbs not only smells but volatile organic compounds and many other toxic impurities. The vast majority of air purification systems on the market have at least two stages, which are a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter.
If your goal is to kill microbes, then you need a UV air purifier. It will kill germs, viruses, dust mites, and many other contaminants that can’t be dealt with via mechanical or absorbent filtration. Some whole-home systems feature all three stages. You can also add UV filtration through UV lights and other products. Air cleaning systems were originally designed for the International Space Station and are now available for home use. They involve UV radiation but also charge particles that then serve as surface disinfectants.
Choose Reputable Brands and Proven Products
When choosing the best indoor air quality technologies for your home, we encourage you to seek out a company that specializes in it. A local and established HVAC contractor can not only help you make the best choices for your home but also maximize your budget.
Your Local IAQ Pros Serving Omaha and the Surrounding Areas
Xtreme Heating & Cooling LLC has been proud to serve Omaha and the neighboring communities for more than a decade. If you’d like to improve air quality in your area home, our team can help. We offer air purifiers, UV lights, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers as well as a full range of residential and commercial heating and cooling services, including geothermal systems and smart thermostats. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, call today or contact us online.