Indoor Air Quality
If you’re constantly suffering from allergies, headaches or fatigue, it may have something to do with the air quality of your home’s. Experts say that over 70 percent of all indoor air quality problems can be traced back to how you operate and maintain your HVAC system. Learning how indoor air quality affects the HVAC system gives you the upper hand when it comes to improving your health and well-being.
Microbial Growth: The Enemy of Healthy Air
One of the most common problems faced by HVAC systems involves moisture and microbial growthe. For example, dirt, dust and bacteria can become trapped within the fiberglass insulation commonly used in many duct systems. When these materials absorb moisture from the air stream, it can spark the growth of mold, fungi and bacteria, all of which can spread throughout your home.
HVAC systems in hot, humid climates are more susceptible to moisture related microbial growth, as are HVAC systems in the summertime, when the air conditioner is in use. Latent moisture from humid indoor air or the air coming from the evaporator coils can easily turn downstream HVAC components into breeding grounds for microbes.
How to Clean Up Your HVAC System’s Act
Prevention is the key for improving indoor air quality. Here’s what you can do to make your home healthy:
- Have the HVAC system professionally cleaned on a regular basis. This will prevent dirt, dust and other particulates from settling within the system.
- Replace the HVAC system’s air filter each month. Most filters offer only basic protection against large particulates, allowing bacteria and mold spores to pass through. An air filter with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 11 removes up to 80 percent of particulates as small as 1 micron.
- Consider installing a ultraviolet (UV) lamp within the HVAC system. Exposure to UV light helps neutralize many forms of microbial growth, including certain bacteria and viruses.