According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside homes is often more polluted than the air outside. Contaminants like dirt, dust, pet dander, pollen, and volatile organic compounds can accumulate. They often lead to eye irritation, sore throats, dizziness, fatigue, rashes, headaches, and other health problems. You can improve your Bossier City, Louisiana, home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) by taking steps such as using ventilation, adding a UV air purifier, installing a conventional air purifier, and maintaining your HVAC system.
Newer homes usually have plenty of insulation to make them more efficient. However, contaminants can easily accumulate inside over time. Opening doors and windows when the weather is pleasant and having exhaust fans installed in your bathrooms and bedrooms can keep your indoor air quality high.
To avoid wasting energy, you can also use an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). It works like a heat pump to transfer heat toward incoming fresh air in winter and cool it in summer. You can also get rid of bad smells or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemicals include benzene, acetone, formaldehyde, and toluene. They’re in many air fresheners and cleaning products, and your HVAC system’s air filter can’t remove them. Ventilation can help you avoid health problems like headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and sore throats.
Adding a UV Air Purifier
UV air purifiers use ultraviolet light to damage the DNA of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and dust mites. They use UVC light which is usually blocked by the atmosphere. It has a shorter wavelength than the UVA or UVB light that causes sunburn, and it can keep many small organisms from reproducing. That way, you can prevent biological growth that could harm your home’s indoor air quality and damage your HVAC system, your ductwork, and the rest of your home.
You can have a professional like Pioneer Comfort Systems attach a coil sterilization light to the inside of your HVAC system’s air handler, or you can have an air sterilization light installed in your ductwork. Both types of UV air purifiers can prevent illnesses and help you save energy. You should change the UV light about once per year to keep it working well.
Installing a Conventional Air Purifier
Traditional air purifiers or air cleaners use air filters similar to the ones in HVAC systems to catch pollutants. The filters can trap the small particles and microorganisms that standard HVAC filters miss, and they can make people with asthma or allergies more comfortable. They can also reduce dust, help your HVAC system save energy, and prevent inconvenient, costly breakdowns.
You can choose a small, inexpensive portable unit that can work on one or two rooms at once, or you can have a whole-home air purifier installed inline with your HVAC system. To keep your air purifier working well, change the air filter once per month, along with your HVAC system’s filter.
Maintaining Your HVAC System
To catch problems before they become severe, have your heater and air conditioner inspected by an expert HVAC technician in fall and spring. You should also check your air registers and your ductwork for dirt or dust and have them cleaned if needed. Just remove one of your air registers and place a damp washcloth or paper towel on the side of the duct. If you can easily attract dirt or dust, you should have your ductwork cleaned by a professional.
Make sure that carpeting and furniture aren’t blocking your air registers, and keep shrubs and other vegetation away from your outdoor unit. If you see grass clippings, leaves, or other debris on the top, rinse it off with a garden hose. You can also protect your outdoor unit by adding an awning. It will also conserve energy by providing shade in summer.
Pioneer Comfort Systems has more than 55 years of heating, cooling, plumbing, and indoor air quality experience. We can help you keep yourself and your family comfortable, and we get the job done right the first time. We’re aware of manufacturers’ recommendations as well as state, local, and federal building codes. For excellent, friendly service, call us anytime at 318-795-8000.
Image provided by Shutterstock