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As homes become ever more energy efficient, indoor air quality becomes more of a concern. This affects everyone in your home, but especially those with allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions. Efficient HVAC equipment, a whole home air cleaner, a humidifier and duct cleaning are some of the tools available to keep your indoor air clean and free of pollutants, dust and allergens. Read on for information on how they work and more tips for cleaner, healthier indoor air.
Whole-home air cleaners work with your home’s existing forced-air heating and cooling system. Special filters that trap particles as small as a human hair are built into the return-air ducts. Unlike portable units, this type of system takes care of the air in your entire home with little or no extra effort on your part. As long as the fan is running, the air cleaner is working to remove dust, dirt, debris, and allergens such as pet dander. An added benefit is that your home will be cleaner as dust won’t collect on your floors and furniture. There are different types of air cleaners and filters. Your HVAC professional can help you find the one that is right for your home.
Humidity, the amount of water vapor in the air, also plays a role in indoor air quality. Too much humidity leads to the growth of mold and bacteria, while too little humidity can cause dry, irritated skin, nasal passages and throats, and make you more susceptible to allergies, colds and flu. Like air cleaners, whole-home humidifiers work in conjunction with your HVAC system, using a hygrometer to measure the humidity in your home and maintain the optimal level.
If your HVAC equipment is old, replacing it with a new, more efficient model can greatly improve the air quality in your home. While this seems like a big investment, keep in mind that today’s energy efficient equipment operates much more economically, and often qualifies for rebates and other incentives.
Not ready for a new furnace or air conditioner? Regularly replacing your air filters goes a long way toward keeping the air in your home clean, for very little money and time. Changing your air filter once a month also does a lot to keep your HVAC system running smoothly, with fewer breakdowns and for a longer time.
Dust, dirt, construction debris, pet hair, mites and other nasty stuff collects in your air ducts and, over time, can find its way back into your home. Having your air ducts professionally cleaned will improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and allow you to breathe easier.
Today’s smart programmable thermostats not only make your heating and cooling more efficient and cost effective, but can also make improving your indoor air quality almost effortless. Choose a model that also controls your humidifier and air cleaner.