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Fresh Breaths: How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality ASAP

Buildings with tight perimeters conserve energy, but eliminating fresh air pathways can negatively impact indoor air quality (IAQ). Harmful pollutants such as pollen, smoke, dirt, dust and dander often become trapped inside the living area. Excess moisture in your HVAC system provides the nutrients that fungi and mold require to thrive and propagate.

Ongoing medical research continues to link indoor air pollution to a variety of respiratory aliments including sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, rashes and breathing difficulties. If left unaddressed, contaminated indoor air can aggravate serious medical conditions including bronchitis, asthma and chronic lung disease. The situation has become so grave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified substandard indoor air quality as one of the five worst environmental hazards.

In order to ensure the air inside your home or office remains healthy and safe, it’s important to implement a comprehensive IAQ strategy.

Schedule Indoor Air Quality Testing

Homeowners can purchase inexpensive devices to detect the presence of carbon monoxide and radon gas. A visual inspection of your floors, ceiling, walls and the HVAC system can help locate expanding mold and fungi colonies. To identify complex and hidden issues, it is important to hire an IAQ professional. Technicians use a combination of test kits, particle counters and gas detectors to identify the location and type of toxins causing the contamination.

Install a High Efficiency Filter

Central air filtration is an essential component in an effective IAQ system. Filters trap particulate matter as the air cycles through the HVAC air handler or return air grille. There are many different filter configurations including fiberglass, pleated, cabinet, electronic and HEPA varieties. ASHRAE developed the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating system to provide a simple way for consumers to compare the effectiveness of different brands and models of filters. HVAC professionals generally recommend installing a filter with a MERV rating ranging from 7-9, but it’s important to verify your system can accommodate the additional friction loss associated with a high efficiency filter.

Add Mechanical Ventilation

Mechanical ventilators are calibrated according to ASHRAE standard 62.2 to provide air exchange in tight homes and buildings. Passive units operate when the HVAC system is engaged while active units incorporate a fan for continuous cycling. As fresh air is drawn in from the outdoors, the same amount of stale indoor air is exhausted. Advanced units include an energy recovery feature that captures some of the thermal energy normally lost in the exchange process.

Clean the Ductwork

Over time, the ductwork in your HVAC system becomes filled with dirt, dust and filthy grime. As the system cycles, some of these unhealthy contaminants are redistributed into the various rooms of your home. Professional duct cleaning services help remove the accumulated debris from the air distribution system and vital equipment components. An industrial strength vacuum is attached to the ductwork, and a compressed air whip helps dislodge stubborn material from the duct walls. When the process is finished, a safe eco-friendly biocide is sprayed inside the ductwork to eliminate the growth of mold and fungi.

In life, there’s nothing more important than the well-being of your family. Alleviate the cause of allergy and asthma symptoms by implementing a comprehensive IAQ strategy that will help keep the air inside your home fresh. Contact the professionals at Ful-Bro Heating and Air Conditioning today to make sure your Columbus, Georgia, area home is safe and healthy to live in.

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