Modern homes are much more airtight than they used to be. This is a result of the increased attention given to energy efficiency in home-building. Ideally, a tighter home envelope should be accompanied by effective ventilation that exchanges inside and outside air several times a day. Unfortunately, many homes lack proper ventilation, and they may even harbor many sources of indoor pollution.
If your home’s air feels stuffy, carries unpleasant odors, or allergic reactions seem to increase when family and guests spend significant time indoors, you should consider taking more aggressive steps to improve indoor air quality. These can include improved ventilation, better pollution source control, effective HVAC air filtration, and mechanical air-cleaning or purification. Listed below are a few more ways to improve indoor air quality.
Make sure areas of the house with high humidity, such as bathrooms and the kitchen, have exhaust fans that remove dirty air from the house (rather than rerouting it back inside). Consider mechanical ventilation, such as Energy or Heat Recovery Ventilators (ERV/HRVs).
When possible, reduce the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within the home. Close windows during allergy season, and use house plants to naturally filter indoor air. Make sure all combustion appliances are properly vented to the outside.
Effective HVAC Filtration
Choose furnace and A/C filters that are rated to remove the greatest variety of particulates from indoor air, including pollen, mold spores, dust mites, clothing and carpet fibers, pet dander, etc. However, take care not to use filters that are so good at filtration that they impeded airflow.
Air Cleaning or Purification
A variety of products that purport to clean indoor air are available on the market, though some work much better than others, and those that produce ozone may actually worsen indoor air quality. Some air-cleaning systems attach directly to central HVAC equipment, while others are stand-alone systems. The best of these air cleaners use a variety of strategies to clean indoor air, including high-efficiency (HEPA) filtration, ionizing purification and ultraviolet light radiation.
For more advice on improving indoor air quality in your Cincinnati area home, please contact us at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.