If someone were to ask you today about the indoor air quality in your home, would you be able to answer? The truth is, indoor air quality is something most people tend not to think about very often, but can have a significant impact on your health and comfort.
In this article, we’ll look at what is considered good indoor air quality and what aspects have the biggest impact on that quality.
What is Good Indoor Air Quality?
A home with good indoor air quality will pull in plenty of ventilation. This helps keep the levels of dust, allergens and chemicals in the air at a minimum. To achieve the optimal indoor air quality, there must be plenty of fresh air circulating through your home with dust and other pollutants being filtered out.
What Causes Indoor Air Quality to Diminish?
There are several things that can harm your indoor air quality, and your HVAC unit could very well be a major contributor to this problem.
Old AC Unit: If your air conditioning unit is a few years old, it is most likely not operating to its peak efficiency. It may not be doing a good job of circulating air through your home anymore and if the unit hasn’t been properly maintained in a while, it could be blowing dust or other allergens around your home.
Air Conditioner Filter: It’s no secret that a dusty or dirty air conditioner filter is going to reduce your indoor air quality and impact the efficiency of your unit. What you probably don’t know is that even a brand new filter can contribute to poor indoor air quality if you cheap out. Be sure to purchase a high-quality pleated filter that will trap both large and fine pollutants. Lower quality filters will only capture the largest chunks of dust.
Duct Work Problems: Maybe you have a nice new air conditioner and the highest quality filters, but your indoor air quality still isn’t as good as you’d hoped. The problem could be your duct work. If any section of your duct work is leaking or not properly attached, it will invite a whole new set of problems, air quality being just one.
Ductwork that is open or exposed will not only cut down on the efficiency of your unit, but allow pollutants to infiltrate your air supply and get distributed throughout the home. When mold or other grime starts to accumulate in duct work, it can quickly create an indoor air quality hazard.
Can You Audit Your Indoor Air Quality?
While there is no precise metric used to calculate indoor air quality, there are ways to determine what steps you can take to create cleaner air inside your home.
If you want to get a top-to-bottom analysis as well as an improvement plan, your best bet is to call in an experienced HVAC contractor. A good technician will be able to perform a thorough inspection of your entire heating and cooling system and make specific recommendations.
Of course, there are steps you can take yourself to improve your indoor air quality. Be sure to change out your air filter whenever it gets dirty and purchase high-quality, pleated filters that will capture the finer particulates.
Ken DiCicco is the CFO at Donley Service Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Donley provides a full range of HVAC service, installation and repair. Visit the company’s website at http://www.donleyservice.com.