There is more than one study that has been done that suggests the quality of the air you breathe inside your home may be several times worse than the quality of the air outside of it. This fact surprises many people because most people think that four walls and a roof will keep them safe from outside pollutants. The problem is many more pollutants originate and are in stronger concentrations inside of your home. Before you run down to your local superstore and buy a tent to live in, there are some things you can do to combat this indoor air quality problem in your home and it all starts with your HVAC system.
The primary goal for your home is to combine good insulation and energy efficiency with excellent air quality; it is the latter that many people neglect. It makes one wonder why because breathing good air should be every bit as important as staying cool or staying warm.
How Your HVAC System can Help?
There is a lot more that goes on with your HVAC system than just heating and cooling your home. The letters HVAC stand for “heating, VENTILATION, air conditioning” because manufacturers realized the important role that ventilation plays in an HVAC system. Your HVAC system is capable of circulating the air in your home 24/7 if you so desire. The more you exchange and circulate the air in your home the better the quality the air will be in it. This is true even if you don’t do anything special to the system. Most HVAC systems will draw in fresh outside air during the recirculation process.
During the circulation process the air that is brought into the system has to pass through a filter too. These filters can really help clean up the air in your home. Most furnaces only have cheap disposable filters in them but if you upgrade to a filter with multiple pleats or even better yet a HEPA type filter; you can clean a large amount of pollen, allergens, dust and other contaminants out of the air you breathe.
When purchasing a new filter don’t only look at the filter make-up but look at what is called its MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) value too. This number is representative as to how small a particle each particular type of filter can eliminate from the air. MERV values go from 1 to 16 on residential air filters and the higher the number the smaller the size of the air particle that filter can get out.
A high quality filter will also help keep the ductwork clean which is another important aspect of home air quality too.
Helpful System Add-ons
You can also control the amount of moisture in your home and sanitize the air even further with some helpful HVAC system add-ons. Humidifiers, dehumidifiers and UV light sanitizers will all increase the air quality in your home after they have been installed.
So don’t just let your HVAC system heat and cool your home, let it improve the air quality in it also.