Everyone deserves to breathe healthful air, especially at home. Doing so can be a challenge in today’s modern world, however, when homes are well insulated for energy efficiency. Airtight homes have a downside: They trap contaminated air inside. Many products that we use daily at home contribute to bad indoor air quality, too. Cleaning fluids, pesticides, hobby materials, home improvement dust and even wet carpets emit harmful particles, polluting your air supply. Combustion debris and gases from cooking/home heating float through our indoor air along with pet dander, dust and bacteria. Here in the Tulsa area, we have the added challenge of a humid climate, which encourages mold growth.
Safeguarding indoor air quality: the three ways
- Source control: Your goal is to eliminate or minimize sources of poor indoor air quality. Limit the use of harmful chemicals in your home and ensure proper storage. When cooking or showering, use your exhaust fans (properly vented to the outdoors) to clear out cooking odors and humid, moist air. Schedule preventive maintenance to ensure your appliances and HVAC system work properly, limiting the possibility of gas leaks. For safety, install CO (carbon monoxide) monitors/detectors near sleeping areas and test regularly.
- Ventilation: Proper, balanced airflow throughout the home depends on a properly designed, sized and maintained duct system. Have your ductwork sealed to prevent energy loss and maintain air quality. Duct cleaning is advisable in some cases. Since A/C systems can’t provide adequate ventilation, whole-house mechanical ventilation is recommended.
- Air cleaning: No one air sanitizing method is perfect, but using a few specialized tools in combination can provide greatly improved IAQ. Whole-house air cleaning with UV lighting, when incorporated into your home’s air cleaning, heating and cooling system, helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Consider asking your home comfort contractor to apply broad-spectrum antimicrobial microbiocide to further inhibit harmful bacteria. For the best air quality, include a whole-home air cleaner with an advanced filtration system and highly effective air filter.
Concerned about indoor air quality? Contact the experts at Air Assurance. Visit our website to learn more or give us a call.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about improving indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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