Choosing the Right HVAC Unit for the Best Indoor Air Quality
Exactly how much can your HVAC unit improve indoor air quality?
Living in the highly industrial and urban environment of the Houston Metro area we often worry about the quality of the air in our homes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we sometimes focus on outdoor air pollution and neglect our indoor air.
Additional EPA studies found that our indoor air can possess up to five to eight times the air pollutants and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) as the air outdoors. A majority of homeowners spend more time inside with poor ventilation which can create major health risks, especially for those with respiratory or cardiac pre-existing conditions.
Common Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Concerns
Seasonal allergens such as pollen seem to seep into our homes and pollute our indoor space. That yellow dust that seems to paint Southeast Texas finds its way through windows, doors, and every possible opening it can sneak into. In addition to our open doors and windows, pollen can be drawn into your HVAC system.
Considering factors beyond seasonal allergens, Houston’s industrial complex can add hazardous pollutants to our air. VOCs such as synthetic building and household materials, pesticides, cleaning agents, paint, air fresheners, and cigarette smoke can also reduce our air quality significantly.
Our homes can also harbor pet dander, dust mites, mold, and mildew, all of which can affect your health. This category of indoor air quality pollutant may be the most dangerous since they tend to go unnoticed and build up over the course of time.
No matter the source, each of these pollutants can be extremely dangerous for those who are chronically ill.
How Indoor Air Quality Can Be Improved with Quality HVAC Systems
All residential HVAC systems are equipped with an air filter that removes indoor air pollutants and VOCs. The air passes through the system to remove particles such as dirt, dust, bacteria, viruses, and pet dander. However, not all HVAC system filters are created equally.
We strongly encourage the use of High Energy Particulate Air Filter (HEPA) air filters. HEPA filters remove particles that are smaller than standard HVAC air filters. For a filter to be HEPA-rated it must effectively remove 99.97% of all particles that are 0.3 microns or larger.
Ultraviolet light purification systems can also be added to improve indoor air quality. These systems burn microbes that have entered your HVAC systems. UV-C light systems kill viruses, bacteria and other pathogens to improve indoor air quality.
How to Select the Right HVAC System for the Best Indoor Air Quality
If you are in the market for a new HVAC system, you must select a unit that can efficiently cool and heat your home, while providing the best indoor air quality. The first criteria is often a homeowner’s top priority.
Remember that a unit too small for the space will not adequately cool or heat the living space. If you select a system too large, it may not remove the humidity to the desired comfort level in your home.
For those that require superior indoor air quality, or that are just looking to breathe cleaner air, one of the HEPA Whole Home filter systems, and UV-C light purification systems previously mentioned are strongly recommended.
Purchasing an HVAC system that provides efficient heating and cooling and removes harmful toxins from the air to improve indoor air quality is the best buy for your money.
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