When it comes to air pollution and air quality, most of us only think about the air we breathe outdoors; however, you might be very alarmed to learn that the air quality in your home and office can be equally as hazardous as the air outside. Some of this is due to the increase in pollution in general, but another significant factor is the increase in the efficiency of many homes.
Being significantly more airtight is excellent when considering heating and cooling costs. But what you are not thinking about is all of the contaminants and pollutants trapped inside your home. One of the telltale signs of indoor air pollution is that annoying layer of dust that quickly appears on your furniture and flat surfaces. More than annoying, it is hazardous to your health. That is why a whole home or office air purification is essential.
BENEFITS OF AIR PURIFICATION
We all know that clean air is essential, but it can be shocking to see even a partial list of the benefits of a complete air purification system, including:
- Reduces Asthma Symptoms
- Reduces Allergy Symptoms
- Eliminates Harmful Chemicals
- Eliminates Harmful Asbestos Particles
- Removes Harmful Radon
- Reduces Potential For Airborne Diseases
- Removes Odors
- Improves Sleep
- Increases Life Expectancy
- Reduces Dust
- Increases The Life Of HVAC Equipment
THE VARIOUS TYPES OF AIR PURIFICATION
There are several air purification systems that the Blue Ox team can install in your home's HVAC system. We have provided a short description of each purification type to help you understand how these systems function and what pollutants they focus on removing from the air in your home.
- Electronic Purification: These devices are integrated into the HVAC system to remove particles like dust, smoke, pet dander, pollen, and mites. They use electrostatically charged plates to trap the debris particles as they pass through your home's HVAC system. The process is similar to dust sticking to the electrostatically charged screen on a television or a monitor screen. The most efficient systems remove over 90% of these pollutants and are very helpful for those with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues.
- UV Purification: UV light is very useful in eliminating germs and mold spores. These systems have been used to purify water in treatment facilities for years. In addition, you might have seen UV air purifiers used in a medical facility, hospital, or laboratory setting. And they are now being adapted to clean the air in residential and office settings. A UV system, combined with an electronic unit, offers some of the purest and healthiest air found in an indoor environment.
- High-Efficiency Pleated Air Filters: Most HVAC systems have only a very basic filter. These filters' primary function is to protect the HVAC equipment rather than provide you with clean air to breathe. These filters only remove around 5% of the particles in the air that are considered hazardous to the equipment. Replacing basic filters with a high-efficiency selection will substantially increase the air quality. Many filters remove over 20% of the particles, while some filter out over 50% of the pollutants that cause allergies, hay fever, asthma, and other breathing problems. But be sure to consult an HVAC expert before replacing your standard HVAC filter with a HEPA model. The added density of the HEPA filter can require an upgrade to the air handling unit to ensure that the HVAC system is able to pull enough air through the filter to function correctly and not damage the fan motor.
THE TRUTH ABOUT INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Would you be shocked to learn that the air inside your home could contain five times as many pollutants as the outside air? According to the EPA, that is a very accurate comparison. The most significant contributors to the concentration of chemicals and other particles in indoor air are the lack of circulation and air exchanges in a building that boosts the degradation of the air that many people believe is the safest and most pure on the planet. At the worst end of the spectrum, air samples from some homes were found to have ten times more pollutants than the outside air in the same region.
This startling information is encouraging many residents in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to explore their options for air purification systems for their homes. The air quality experts at Blue Ox Heating & Air are eager to work with residents to determine how they can increase the air quality in their homes with air purification systems. Call 952-208-4570 to set up an appointment to learn more about these essential devices.
WHAT CONTRIBUTES TO POOR INDOOR AIR QUALITY?
Most homeowners in colder regions have sought ways to keep their homes airtight to increase energy efficiency and lower heating and cooling costs. However, with these more airtight homes come issues with poor ventilation and a steady buildup of indoor pollutants. The experts at Blue Ox Heating & Air can provide all the information you need to know about installing an air exchanger to increase the airflow in your home and help increase the air quality by eliminating the most common contaminants, including:
- Fine Particles – These particles can be generated when burning a candle, lighting wood for heating or cooking on a gas stove, as well as fine dust from around the house. Fine particles are also tracked into the house on shoes, clothing, and pet fur.
- Toxic Gases – This list of hazards includes carbon monoxide from cooking or heating appliances, radon gas coming up through the foundation from the soil below the house, ozone from items that use UV light, and even aerosol cans like deodorant and hair spray. Other toxic gases could also be entering your home from an attached garage or shop area where you are using paint, stain, sealant, or other chemicals.
- Household Product Chemicals – This list of offenders is long and includes airborne chemicals from beauty products, cleaning products, paint, lacquer, pesticides, and disinfectants, just to name the major contributors.
- Building Materials – Items used to build your home or items in it can continue to off-gas for years. Asbestos, formaldehyde, and lead are the most common chemicals released from carpets, mattresses, wood, fabric, and even new clothing.
- Outdoor Allergens – Walking into your home, you carry a host of allergens from outside, including pollen and mold spores that remain inside the house to create allergies and asthma issues. Many of these contaminants can be controlled by creating a mudroom or controlled space to leave shoes, jackets, and outerwear coated with allergens. Bathing pets regularly to reduce pollen and other outdoor allergens from their fur is also helpful in controlling this indoor air contaminant.
- Tobacco Smoke – Second-hand smoke lingers in your home and presents more health issues to non-smokers than those smoking through a filter.
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR HOME'S INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Of course, the most successful solution to increasing the air quality in your home is a call to the experts at Blue Ox for a price quote for a whole home air purification system installation. But it is essential to understand that there are many ways that you can promote good air quality in your home, including:
- Never wear shoes into your home. Shoes worn outdoors carry pollen, dust, and dirt into your home, which degrades the air quality.
- Eliminate the use of aerosol cans in your home. Use health and beauty products dispensed in a pump bottle to eliminate the gas contaminating your indoor air.
- Eliminate chemical cleaners from your home and replace them with organic options. This step will eliminate many toxic chemical fumes and particles that are hazardous to your health and can degrade the surfaces you are cleaning.
- Dust and vacuum regularly to remove dust in the house.
- Wash all fabrics regularly, such as blankets, pillows, curtains, and other textile decor items.
- Eliminating carpet throughout your home will help reduce the allergens and contaminants that are decreasing the air quality inside your home and could create health issues for you and your loved ones.
- Open doors and windows at least once each week to allow for an air exchange.
- Inspect your HVAC air filter once a month and replace it as needed to ensure that it removes as much contamination as possible from the air inside your home.
To enjoy all of these benefits and the added peace of mind of knowing your loved ones are breathing the purest air possible inside your home, call Blue Ox Heating & Air at 952-208-4570 for an appointment with an air quality expert.