In modern society, average adults spend nearly all their time indoors at work or at home. In fact the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports this amount of time reaches upwards of 90 percent for most people. That puts the importance of good indoor air quality at a whole new level.
Our A&E Heating & Air team wants to give you a comprehensive list of the different indoor air quality accessories available today. Investing in one or more of these technologies and tools will help you and your family breathe a little easier.
Stand-alone or whole-house humidifiers can be particularly helpful in Oregon winters when the air is cold and dry. Bringing relative humidity levels back up to an ideal of about 45 percent means less static electricity, dry skin, and scratchy throats. In addition, humidifiers can help protect your wood floors, furniture, and musical instruments from warping, shrinking, and other damage.
Fast-forward to summer, and you may find you have the opposite humidity problem in The Dalles. Summers can feel even hotter when humidity levels are higher. A well-maintained air conditioning system can help ensure some moisture is taken out of the air along with the heat.
However, some homeowners may want to invest in a whole-house dehumidifier or a stand-alone unit for space like a basement. Too much moisture in the air can make cooling down harder, contribute to mold and other allergen growth, and cause condensation or moisture damage to the structure of your home.
All heating, ventilation, or air conditioning (HVAC) systems require an air filter to catch large particles before your indoor air enters your furnace or air conditioning system. Filters range in quality and price, with the most inexpensive filters trapping only large particles and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters catching some of the smallest.
It’s important to change your air filter regularly, at least every three to six months or according to the manufacturer’s instructions, to keep your air cleaner and your equipment working efficiently.
UV Air Treatment Systems
Ultraviolet (UV) lights have traditionally been used in hospitals and other health care facilities to kill bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Today homeowners can piggyback on this technology by investing in UV home air treatment systems to do the same. Air is forced through a UV purifier, which uses shortwave UV light to kill mold, bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
HEPA Air Purifiers and Filters
Air purifiers, as well as air filters with the HEPA designation, remove 99.7 percent of all particles that measure greater than 0.2 microns. This includes household dust, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, and many other airborne particles. It’s important to change HEPA filters regularly. When you combine HEPA filters with HEPA purifiers and HEPA vacuum bags, you will make a big improvement in your indoor air.
Activated carbon purifiers are perfect for removing odors, gases, smoke, chemicals, and other fumes from the air. Many of these work in combination with a HEPA purifier to tackle most indoor air pollutants. Add in a UV purifier, and you’ll be successfully managing nearly all of the most common indoor air issues in your home.
Ionic Air Purifiers
Able to remove just about anything except smoke and odors, ionic air purifiers are another option to improve indoor air. Earlier models of these systems simply emitted negative ions that bonded with positively charged common indoor air pollutants. These particles grew heavy and fell onto floors and surfaces to be cleaned through dusting and vacuuming. However, the most advanced ionic air purifiers can now clean themselves.
Electronic Air Cleaners
Attached to your HVAC system, electronic air cleaners are a whole-house solution. These use static electricity, a HEPA filter, and an ionic system to trap or kill up to 99.98 percent of all allergens. Essentially, these cleaners combine the best of all available indoor air purification technologies to do a nearly complete job.
These systems are designed to bring in and treat outdoor air while pushing out the stale indoor air from your home. These exchangers will adjust the temperature and humidity of outdoor air before circulating it through your air duct system.
A relatively new technology, air scrubbing systems work with your HVAC system. Air is forced through a titanium dioxide-coated component and is treated with a UV light. In addition, the scrubbing system transforms contaminants into oxidizers, which can eliminate more pathogens in the surrounding air and even on surfaces. Gases, vapors, odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold, viruses, and bacteria are among the substances eliminated.
A&E Heating & Air Is Your Indoor Air Quality Expert
For more details on any of these indoor air accessories, call A&E Heating & Air in The Dalles, OR. Our team of professionals would be happy to help you review and select the technologies that would best fit your home and budget. Call 541-296-0701 or request service online today.