Home comfort goes beyond simply feeling good in terms of temperature and humidity. Clean air is a huge part of the equation. Unfortunately, most homes lack the ventilation necessary to expel everyday contaminants such as dust and pollen, and things only get worse if you have pets or a smoker in the home. Routine cleaning practices including vacuuming and dusting can make a difference, but sometimes your indoor air quality needs a more substantial boost.
Air purification systems
To protect your health and upgrade indoor air quality, you may be thinking about installing air purification alongside your HVAC system. This is an especially beneficial option if you have asthma and allergy sufferers in the home. Of course, not all systems perform the same; it's important to carefully select the right system for the job. When choosing an air-purification system, keep these four primary factors in mind:
- The efficiency of the purification process - The ionization method “electrifies” particles so that they fall to floor level where they will presumably be vacuumed. Some systems provide a charge to particles, then collect the particles using a plate with the opposite charge. Filtration devices, such as those that use High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters ensure that particles are permanently trapped in the unit. When comparing units, assess the air-purification systems' capacity to trap particles within the unit.
- Short- and long-term efficiency - Some filter systems score off the charts when tested for their efficiency--but only for a short time. Often, a unit's efficiency decreases once it runs for awhile. Check efficiency ratings for both short-term and long-term efficiency when shopping for air purification.
- The micron rating - The tiniest particles usually cause the most problems within the respiratory system, and average air purification typically removes far less than 10 percent of particles in the air. For optimal results, opt for high quality air purification that rates high in trapping a high percentage of the more problematic smaller particles, those as small as .003 microns.
- Odors -- Gas and chemical filtering removes burned food or litter box smells from a home, and the most effective air purification for odor control employs a gas or chemical-element filtration.
Air purification with high-grade, permanent particle removal provides the best indoor air quality for your home. But there is an even simpler way to give your indoor air quality a boost.
Routine filter changes
Routine maintenance is very important to the upkeep of your home. One important maintenance chore that should never be overlooked is changing the air filter in your HVAC system. In fact, a dirty air filter can be a major factor of HVAC system failure. Fortunately, changing the air filter regularly is a low-cost maintenance step that any homeowner can (and should) learn how to do.
The five primary reasons why you should change the air filter regularly include:
- It ensures system airflow. A dirty air filter restricts airflow, which makes the air handler work harder, and can ultimately burn out the fan motor. If this happens, you'll face an expensive repair.
- It improves indoor air quality. Poor interior air quality can aggravate allergies and cause breathing problems. A clean filter is one of the easiest ways to improve indoor air quality, and if someone in the home is sensitive to airborne pollutants, this is one of the most important preventative maintenance routines you can perform.
- It lowers lifetime costs. A dirty air filter allows more dirt and dust to get into the HVAC system. This can lead to increased annual maintenance costs, and ultimately has the potential to shorten the life of your HVAC system.
- It reduces energy costs. Changing the air filter regularly is the easiest way to save money on energy bills, because it helps keep your cooling and heating system functioning at peak efficiency.
- It’s an easy way to “go green.” A clean air filter reduces your carbon footprint by reducing the total amount of energy that your HVAC system uses.
- Changing the filter is quick, easy, and offers immediate indoor air quality benefits for your family.
If you're experiencing comfort and health issues due to poor indoor air quality, don't suffer quietly. Contact the professionals at Comfort24-7.com for expert advice. We serve Chicago, NW Indiana, and SW Michigan.