Indoor Air Quality: What’s Hurting You and How to Fix It
Indoor Air Quality: What’s Hurting You and How To Fix It
We all love being safe and secure in our homes, especially during allergy season, while a pandemic-level virus roams around the world. While our homes may be a respite from the warmer temperatures and restrictions of social distancing, poor indoor air quality may make many of us sicker than the air outside!
Indoor Air Quality is a Lifesaver
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is simply a reference to the condition of the air in and around the buildings where people live and frequent. And poor indoor air quality can lead to irritations around your eyes, ears, nose and mouth, or even more serious health concerns like heart disease, unexplained illness, and respiratory disease if the exposure to indoor pollutants occurs over a longer period of time.
Pollution is in the Air
Our founder, Devin Skipper, likes to say that the solution for pollution is dilution, and he’s right! But before we get to solving the issues around indoor air pollution, let’s talk about kinds of pollutants, and then run through a wide range of causes for heightened pollution levels in your home or office.
Intermittent pollutants are wide-ranging but can be marked by their infrequent use. And since they aren’t used continuously, it is much harder to determine their relative hazardousness. Smoking tobacco products, burning candles,cooking,and household cleaning products often send harmful pollutants into the air, and if your home has poor ventilation or faulty appliances, the effects of intermittent pollution can be just as bad.
There are pollutants, however, that are consistently present in many residential and commercial areas. These persisting pollutants include, but are not limited to, asbestos, lead, carbon monoxide, pesticides, radon, and nitrogen dioxide. And many of these biological pollutants develop indoors because of chimneys/fireplaces, stoves, heaters, construction, and general maintenance in around buildings.
Ventilation is Your Space Breathing
Imagine that your house or office space is like human lungs. Proper ventilation then, is just a building’s way replacing older, breathed-in air, with the new air outside. And so, the ability of a building or home to breathe is a direct indicator of how high the levels of potential pollutants are on the inside.
Indoor air that cannot escape, due to poor ventilation, produces moisture, gases, and odors that encourage pollutants and bacteria to develop inside our homes and buildings. So quality ventilation brings in enough outdoor air and thoroughly circulates that air throughout the indoor space, so as to dilute the existing indoor air of its pollutants. That’s also why certain appliances like stoves, and whole rooms, like bathrooms, require their own specific ventilation systems, due to their high capacity for pollution.
Filtering the Air Around You
Indoor air filtration is really just a method of cleaning indoor air, or cleaning the outdoor air as it comes indoors. Proper air filtration looks to remove those particles in the air that cause direct harm in higher concentration levels, or the particles that are often most associated with pollutants and allergens.
At Salt Air HVAC, we offer a wide-range of indoor air filtration solutions. Ventilators work to promote air circulation, humidifiers balance proper air moisture, while UV air purifiers and filters work to reduce the airborne particles and dramatically lower pollutant levels in your space. So if your home, office, or store are filled with dust, pollen, or an odor you can’t seem to clean, the issue may just be the filtration.
Humidity: An Installation Accident
There are so many factors that go into humidity imbalances in your homes and offices, and we’ve already explained how humidifiers work to help maintain proper air quality. But humidifiers and dehumidifiers can only do so much for an entire building. And often, the issues around humidity are an indicator of a much bigger problem with your entire air conditioning system.
Essentially, if your space has an air conditioning unit that is not sized properly, you will find a whole host of issues eventually. Under-sized units are overworked, never cool properly, and will either always perform poorly or just overheat. But an over-sized unit will cool the air too quickly and will not remove the appropriate amount of moisture from the air, resulting in a clammy environment that is ripe for pollutants to develop.
How can you safeguard against purchasing a unit that isn’t sized for your space? Hire well! Ask your appraisers and installers if they’ve measured and performed a load calculation to determine the proper BTU’s for your space. What you’re actually asking them is whether or not they have taken the time to calculate the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water by one degree. And while that may not mean much to the average homeowner or commercial property manager, it means everything in proper air conditioning and heating!
So whether you’re looking to get a system that ensures the highest quality of air is coursing through your home or building, or you’re looking to increase your indoor air quality, Salt Air HVAC is here to answer your questions, calculate the best solutions to meet your needs, and get the jobs done right! So give us a call today, or fill out our form online, and we will get right back to you.