There are few things as invigorating as a breath of clean, fresh air, but when the weather outside makes it impractical to open windows and doors, keeping the air inside your Columbus, NC home clean and healthy can be challenging. Stale household air isn’t just a nuisance. Poor indoor air quality is a leading cause of infections, allergies, chronic diseases like asthma and even lung cancer. Today’s tightly sealed homes make it easier to keep indoor living spaces at a comfortable temperature, but they also trap pollutants inside. The following tips can help you enjoy healthier indoor air without driving up your heating and cooling costs.
Addressing Indoor Pollution at the Source
Finding ways to keep the air inside your home from being contaminated in the first place isn’t as easy as you might think. Many chemicals are emitted by household products like cleaning agents and solvents every time that they’re used. Harmful pollutants like formaldehyde are constantly released from furnishings like carpet, upholstery and particle board. Fortunately, a number of healthy air products, including ventilators and air filtration systems, can help clean the air.
Controlling Humidity Levels
Humidity also plays a central role in indoor air pollution. High humidity levels not only promote the growth of allergens like mold, mildew and bacteria but also provide the ideal environments for insects and dust mites. When these allergens accumulate within your HVAC ductwork system, contaminants can be distributed throughout your home. Duct cleaning rids your ductwork of allergens, dust and debris and can improve the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling systems as well.
A well-maintained air conditioner can help control humidity levels too. Because cool air holds less water vapor than warm air, your air conditioner extracts moisture as well as heat from the air. Something as simple as a dirty or clogged filter can impair the equipment’s dehumidifying capabilities. Cleaning or replacing your unit’s air filter regularly results in healthier indoor air, but for maximum efficiency, air conditioners need to be regularly serviced as well. Proper maintenance ensures that your cooling system runs with optimal efficiency.
It’s not just biological pollutants, chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pose health hazards to you and your family. Combustion pollutants from improperly maintained gas stoves, fireplaces and fuel-burning furnaces and boilers present health dangers too. One of the most dangerous contaminants is carbon monoxide, an odorless and invisible gas that’s generated as a by-product during the combustion process. Furnaces and boilers are designed to exhaust harmful gases safely outside, but poor maintenance can lead to leaks and corrosion that can allow carbon monoxide to seep into living spaces. Enrolling in a preventative maintenance program is the best way to ensure that heating systems operate safely. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are recommended as well.
Air Filtration Solutions
The most efficient way to ensure that the air inside your Columbus, NC home is healthy is to install a whole-house air filtration system. These advanced units fit inside your ductwork and work in concert with your heating and cooling systems. Because the smaller that a particulate is, the more damaging it is to your lungs, filter efficiency is measured in microns. A micron is .000039 inches in size. Equipped with high efficiency filters that can block particulates as small as 0.3 microns, HEPA air filtration systems are some of the most effective air filtration systems available.
Energy recovery ventilators help keep the air clean by introducing fresh air from outside and exhausting stale household air outdoors. The air is pre-filtered before it enters your home. Thermal energy from the outgoing air stream is reclaimed as a source of energy for the system’s operation, allowing you to enjoy healthier air without significantly increasing your energy expenses. Heat recovery ventilators operate in a similar fashion except that they capture heat from the exhaust to warm in the incoming air.
At Gentry Heating, our professional technicians are careful to use low- or no-VOC products for every installation. As a member of the North Carolina Green Builder’s Council, we’re committed to offering products and services that are good for the health of the environment as well, including using eco-friendly refrigerants that won’t harm the earth’s ozone layer. Whether you’re interested in a new HVAC system or in additional ways to improve indoor air quality, you can trust the experts at Gentry Heating for safe, healthy and practical solutions. For more information about any of our quality products, contact us today.