The HVAC-Indoor Air Quality Link Explained in Layman's Terms
In many ways, indoor air quality (IAQ) is not a hot topic because of the common misconception that indoor air is better than outdoor air. The latter has more sources of pollution, including car emissions, while the former only has a few, such as the chemicals used in building materials and common household cleaners. But this is not really entirely accurate, because indoor air can be just as polluted as outdoor air.
This is especially true in enclosed spaces where poor ventilation, exposure to chemicals, and mold from water damage contributes to compromised indoor environmental quality. Fortunately, the quality of indoor air can be improved with the installation of air quality control appliances, particularly an HVAC unit.
Importance of Good Indoor Environmental Quality
Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency considers IAQ among the top five risks to human health? This is because indoor air, especially in enclosed spaces, can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air!
You may not see and smell the majority of the indoor air contaminants, but your respiratory system will be affected by them with each inhalation. Every cubic foot of the air you breathe carries millions of microscopic contaminants ranging from mold spores, pollen and dust mite debris to volatile organic compounds, among other toxic chemicals from building materials and household goods.
Constant exposure to these pollutants can result in minor and major health concerns, such as asthma and allergies. These contaminants in indoor air are usually the triggers for these health issues.
Ways HVAC Improves the Quality of Indoor Air
The good news: you can improve on the quality of indoor air in your home by installing the appropriate heating and air-conditioning (HVAC) appliance in your home. You should also ensure that you have regular AC repair and maintenance scheduled to keep the equipment in top shape. Your HVAC unit can run on the main grid or via solar panels, but the benefits will be the same.
Ask your HVAC technician about add-ons to your HVAC unit. Add-ons play crucial roles in ensuring better quality indoor air in the following ways:
Reduction. The HVAC unit can filter and neutralize the microscopic pollutants, thus reducing their impact on human health. Air cleaners can be installed in the unit, which will remove majority of the airborne pollutants every time air is pulled into its return air ducts.
Moisture control. The HVAC unit ensures proper humidification levels, which is a must in hot and cold environments. Too little humidity increases the risk for infections, while too much humidity encourages the growth of potentially harmful organisms, including dust mites, mildew and mold.
Source control. While not allowing people to smoke and to bring pets indoors is impractical for many reasons, the installation of ultraviolet treatment systems in HVAC units significantly reduce the sources of indoor pollution. These systems sterilize pathogens, thus reducing the risk of the build-up of harmful contaminants in indoor spaces.
Of course, other methods in air purification can be used, such as controlling the fresh air entering the indoor areas. Keep in mind that maintaining good IAQ in your home is a matter of combining several methods, such as zone heating, beyond the installation and maintenance of an air-conditioning appliance.
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Submitted on: 2015-08-10 23:51:26