How Ventilation Affects Indoor Air Quality Standards

Raise Your Indoor Air Quality Standards with Proper Ventilation

Yep, it is time to button up and prepare for cold weather. Should someone leave the door open a little too long, they can expect to hear “Shut the door! Were you born in a barn!” We caulk, weatherstrip, and do everything we can to prevent cold drafts during the heating season in an attempt to improve Indoor Air Quality Standards.

One of the consequences of tightly closing the house is a reduction in fresh air and heavy concentrations of common airborne contaminants. Now, don’t panic since your HVAC system is prepared to clean some of these particles. Let’s look at what might be floating around inside your home.

  • Seasonal Organic Matter. During the spring, a lot of flower and tree pollen blows everywhere. They enter the home through every opening and ride inside on bodies, clothes, and shoes. During the summer the common pollen comes from grasses and during the fall, some particularly nasty wildflowers (red weeds) set us to sneezing and dripping. These airborne beauties congregate indoors until they are removed.
  • Local Environmental Particles. Whatever is floating around near your home will make its way into the home. If you live near a large construction or industrial site, they contribute. If you live on a gravel road or near a major highway, they contribute. If you live near livestock, well they contribute also.
  • Manufactured Products. Every flooring system, item of furniture, paint, and stain gives off small amounts of volatile organic gases (VOCs) in various amounts.
  • Living Processes. Everybody, both human and pet, releases skin cells, hair, and other organic material. Cutting and cooking food releases odors (particles), some pleasant and some rank. Even cleaning products contribute to the total number of particles present in indoor air.
  • In commercial and industrial spaces, these particles can be magnified by the products present and the processes unique to the facility.

For the most part, these airborne particles are all quite common and harmless in minute concentrations—the normal indoor situation. However, high concentrations can lead to subtle health and productivity issues, in both residential and commercial locations.

  • An obvious problem stems from seasonal allergies. Often, an airborne particle triggers an allergic reaction to pollen, spores, or dander. This can lead to itchy, watery eyes and runny noses. Mild responses include a sore throat, headache, and body aches.
  • Poor indoor air quality often contributes to breathing problems, such as asthma, heart disease, and breathing illnesses. Tobacco smoke and carbon monoxide are more dangerous examples of air pollutants.

The inventory of indoor air pollutants seems endless, but this is not a scary project. Just enough information has been shared to demonstrate indoor air quality is a serious subject.

The best solution for indoor air pollution has already been installed in homes with central HVAC systems. The V in HVAC stands for ventilation, a process that thoroughly cleans indoor air.

  • With every heating and cooling cycle, the entire air volume is pulled through an air filter five or six times.
  • For that reason, it is important to change the filter regularly. A clogged filter reduces the airflow and makes the system work hard. Plan to change the filter at least once every three months.
  • Servicing and cleaning the rest of the system, including the ductwork, contributes to a cleaner indoor environment.

Your HVAC provider can suggest and install HVAC modifications and stand-alone products that help improve indoor air quality.

  • They can recommend an air filter upgrade, when available. Extremely effective filters tend to reduce airflow, so a technician can recommend the right air filter for your system.
  • Ultraviolet lights are an available modification that can reduce illness due to organic particles, such as pollen and dust mites. The lights are installed inside the ductwork. UV light disrupts the cell walls of organic matter, much like a sunburn does. The life form is neutralized, becoming a dust particle to be collected by the filter.
  • Stand-alone room purifiers use several layers of filtration to remove a wider variety of particles. A layer of activated charcoal can even remove odors.

Let All Cool AC Help Improve Your Indoor Air Quality Standards

Schedule your indoor air quality standards consultation by calling All Cool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email and let our NATE-certified indoor air quality technicians put their experience to work for you.