If you or a loved one suffers from allergies or asthma, chances are you keep a close eye on the quality of the air outside. However, indoor air quality has an impact on allergies, asthma and overall health as well. Here are some indoor air quality solutions to choose from for your Oak Ridge, TN, home.
What Is Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor air quality refers to the quality of the air in your home. According to the EPA, indoor air pollutant levels are often two to five times higher than those outside. Since people spend most of their time indoors, it’s important to have good indoor air quality.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
There are several ways to improve the air quality inside your home. Cleaning your home at least once per week and vacuuming every other day cuts down on the level of pollutants in the air.
Opening the windows from time to time, even in the fall and winter, allows fresh air to circulate throughout the home. This keeps the air in your home from becoming stuffy and stale. It also reduces the amount of pollution inside your home.
The best way to improve air quality within your home is by investing in air quality products. These can include air purifiers, air cleaners, dehumidifiers and humidifiers. HRV and ERV systems also help improve air quality, and we’ll discuss those below.
Differences Between Air Purifiers and Air Cleaners
Air purifiers kill pathogens in the air that cause sickness. Plus, they’re less expensive than air cleaners in terms of operation. They also neutralize unpleasant odors and other pollutants.
Air cleaners filter the air and collect dust, pet dander and other allergens. They do not, however, address pathogens that make us sick or eliminate odors.
Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers
High humidity levels aid the growth of biological contaminants. This can contribute to asthma and other conditions. A dehumidifier helps with that by taking moisture out of the air.
Low humidity can cause dry, irritated eyes and flaky, itchy skin. Dry air can also inflame and dry out mucous membranes that line the respiratory tract. This could increase your risk of contracting a cold, the flu and other infections.
The humidity level inside your home should be between 30% and 50% for optimum health and comfort. A humidifier helps to increase the humidity levels within your home.
ERVs and HRVs
Modern homes have higher standards for increased energy efficiency. This means there are little to no drafts coming in them from outside.This can cause the air inside your home to become stale. HRV and ERV systems are the solution to the problem of homes having fewer drafts.
An HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) system uses the heat from exhausted air to preheat incoming fresh air. This helps you save money on heating bills since it reduces the amount of energy needed to heat the incoming air. Outgoing air and incoming air never mix in the system, so you don’t have to worry about new air becoming contaminated by outgoing air.
An ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilation) system works similarly to how an HRV functions. The difference is that an ERV system captures the humidity in the incoming air. This helps to keep the humidity level within the home at a comfortable level.
During the summer, this process reverses by removing humidity in the outside air before it comes inside the home. This saves energy since the air conditioning and dehumidifying systems won’t have to work as hard to maintain optimum humidity levels.
If you want to improve your indoor air quality, clean your house at least once a week, vacuum every other day, open your windows occasionally and consider installing one or more of these systems. We offer indoor air quality solutions that enhance home comfort. Contact Melton Heating and Air Conditioning today to discuss your indoor air quality needs.
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