Your HVAC system holds the responsibility of ensuring optimal conditions inside your home. Ideally, it must do so while maintaining the best possible energy efficiency. The more efficient your system, the lower your monthly energy costs will be. Yet efficiency should not be prioritized to the point that it negatively impacts other factors, such as your indoor air quality.
Poor indoor air quality can lead to a number of unwanted effects, both short-term and long-term. As we discussed in our previous post, low-quality air may cause upper respiratory irritation, headaches, and general fatigue. Chronically bad air may lead to more debilitating respiratory diseases, as well as heart disease and cancer.
For these reasons, you must be proactive about maintaining good air quality inside of your home. If you would like to learn more about some of the tactics for achieving this goal, read on. This article will address three effective methods of improving the air quality inside of your home.
When most people think of poor indoor air quality, they imagine that the problem stems from outside contaminants getting in. To a certain extent, this represents a genuine problem. Things such as pollen, dust, and vehicle exhaust get into a home's air from the outside. Yet, indoor contaminants often contribute to poor air quality as well.
Indoor contaminants may include things like dust, carbon dioxide, microorganisms, cleaning supply fumes, and appliance exhaust. Over time, as the air in your home recirculates repeatedly through the HVAC system, the levels of such substances tend to grow higher. To ensure less polluted air, it is vital that your system incorporates a certain percentage of fresh outdoor air.
A trained HVAC technician can measure the amounts of fresh air entering your system and make changes as needed. If your home seems at risk of contaminant build-up, a greater proportion of fresh air will be routed into the system. This will dilute any pollutants, making them less likely to cause problems for you and your family.
2. Pressure Control
The pressure difference between conditioned and unconditioned parts of your home plays a huge role in how much dust and other unwanted substances get sucked in. When your system removes air from inside your home at a greater rate than it replaces it, this will create what is known as a negative pressure differential.
A negative pressure differential affects your HVAC system, which will attempt to balance out the pressure difference by sucking more air into these areas of the home. Unfortunately, more often than not, this air comes from dust-laden parts of your home like the attic, or crawlspaces. This problem can even affect single rooms if they do not receive as much airflow as other spaces.
To keep contaminants from getting in this way, contractors will first use special instruments to test for pressure differentials. Once identified, the negative differential can be eliminated by making changes to the amount of air flowing into a particular part of your home. Sealing up gaps and other cracks will also help to keep dust and other unwanted debris from getting sucked into your home.
3. Exhaust Systems
From ranges and ovens to gas water heaters, the appliances in your home can contribute to poor air quality if they are not vented properly. Exhaust fumes will quickly build up in your home. These noxious substances can lead to a number of serious health complaints. Even in small doses, they can contribute to a general sense of poor health.
Be sure to have a professional inspect your appliances for any signs of poor venting. If necessary, a new or more powerful exhaust system may need to be installed. This system will help ensure that any byproducts of combustion will be safely routed out of your home, instead of hanging around to cause problems.
Don't let poor indoor air quality get you down. Instead, reach out to our air quality experts at AC Technician Services.