3 Ways AC Systems Improves Indoor Air Quality
How Your AC System Improves Indoor Air Quality
Winter is almost gone; springtime is coming fast. Warmer temps bring the return to outdoor activities-yay! But when the trees and flowers break into bloom, it also brings an abundance of pollen, the trigger for seasonal allergies. Pollen gets everywhere, inside and out. If seasonal allergens trouble you, you should be pleased to know that help is available.
Your HVAC system is the first line of defense against pollen, and this is why:
- Air Filters—The First Line of Defense. Your air filter will trap a very high percentage of common pollen and mold spores.
- Common tree, grass, and flower pollen range in size between 20 and 30 microns—a micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter.
- Air filters are rated on a MERV scale, an acronym for minimum efficiency reporting value, with values ranging from 1-16. Common HVAC air filters are rated at 12. MERV 12 filters will trap 90% of particles 3 microns or larger, so they are quite capable of removing most pollen and mold spores.1
- Changing your air filter regularly (at least every 3 months) is very important for many reasons. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, consider changing the filter more often, perhaps once per month when pollen counts are high.
- Evaporator Coils—Removing Excess Humidity. Humidity makes surfaces sticky, attracting pollen and promoting the growth of mold and mildew.
- The ideal indoor humidity ranges between 30 and 50 percent; during the summer months, indoor humidity tends toward the upper range.
- During the summer, the humidity in southern Texas is often much higher than the ideal for indoor air. The air conditioner evaporator coil removes 5 to 20 gallons of water per day.
Your air conditioner is working to improve indoor air quality and relieve seasonal allergies.
- The Blower Motor—Moving Fresh Air. The blower motor is responsible for pushing air throughout your home, moving the entire volume of your home every few minutes.
- Both filtration and the removal of humidity are accomplished because the air is moving.
- Moving air smells and feels fresher; moving air does not feel stuffy or stale.
Outdoor air that makes its way into the house will be cleaned, cooled, and dehumidified for your comfort.
Tools to Remove Even More Allergens. While your HVAC system is working hard to remove pollen, pet hair, and mold from your environment, you can add accessories to enhance their removal. If a family member has breathing problems or respiratory illnesses, adding these tools can make breathing easier.
- UV-C Lights. Every summer, we are reminded to apply sunscreen to protect our skin from UV or ultraviolet light. We know that UV light damages cells. That works to your advantage to improve indoor air quality during allergy season. UV lights can be installed inside the ductwork of your HVAC system. As living airborne particles move through the duct, the direct UV light damages those living cells, making them inert, so they can be more easily trapped. UV light will neutralize pollen, mold and mildew spores, dust mites, bacteria, and viruses.
- Humidifiers/dehumidifiers. No two homes are exact duplicates—people try, but it never works. Some houses need a little boost to remove excess humidity; an environment can develop for the growth of mold and mildew. Laundry rooms, heavily used bathrooms, or perhaps a basement might receive too much moisture. For those homes, a small portable dehumidifier is available. Other homes fall well below that ideal humidity level and can dry eyes, noses, and throats. For those homes a small portable humidifier is available.
Have Questions About How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality?