Modern homes are securely sealed and insulated to maximize energy efficiency. Unfortunately, this is not so great for indoor air quality. In addition to installing, maintaining, and repairing the various HVAC systems required to achieve the thermal comfort of building occupants, HVAC contractors offer a variety of solutions to help address indoor air quality issues and concerns.
Keeping your home's indoor air as clean as possible is essential for protecting your household from allergies and health problems that arise from inhaling polluted air. Here's a look at some of the products available to improve the quality of the air in residential buildings.
As the name says, air purifiers are meant to sanitize the air by catching pollutants that roam freely in the air. They use an electric fan to draw in contaminated air and blow out clean, purified air. Standard versions feature a filter that traps airborne pollutants as air runs through them. The more advanced versions may neutralize the allergens, toxins, and other particles in the air without filtering them first.
Air purifiers are available as either portable or built-in units. Portable units are used to treat individual rooms while built-in versions are built into existing HVAC systems to serve as a powerful filtration system for the entire home. Since indoor air pollution is an ever-present threat, it's best to run your air purifier 24/7. Plus, there are no perceived problems associated with leaving your unit on all day.
It's important to know that air purifiers can't eliminate 100% of the airborne contaminants in your house, but they'll greatly reduce the concentration of indoor air pollution.
Too much humidity will not only make your home feel much hotter than it is but will also cause condensation problems such as mold growth within the home. Air dehumidifiers are designed to get rid of excess humidity, which poses a threat to the health and thermal comfort of families, especially those living in tightly built homes.
During the wintertime, dry air can cause a variety of human health issues, including dry skin, dry throat, blocked sinuses, itchy eyes, and static electricity (painful electric shocks when you touch certain surfaces).
Air humidifiers can provide healthy humidification of your home so that the indoor climate no longer needs to draw moisture from your body.
Keep in mind that you may require a combination of different types of indoor air quality products to maintain a comfortable and healthy indoor environment for your family. Consult an indoor air quality specialist to find out which products are right for you and your home.