Indoor Air Quality / June 16, 2020
Indoor Air Quality: The 411 on Pollutants, Filtration, and More
With the summer heat in full swing, chances are you’re spending a lot more time indoors in air-conditioned comfort. On average, Americans spend 90% of our time indoors—and that’s certainly true when the temperatures soar to the triple digits. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure the air in your home is clean and pollutant-free, so you and your family can breathe easily.
While you may associate pollution with the great outdoors, the EPA states that indoor air is often just as polluted. Everything from dust and dirt to mold, chemicals, allergens and other contaminates can circulate in your home unchecked. While invisible to the naked eye, these pollutants can cause serious sinus symptoms, as well as aggravating conditions like asthma. Here’s everything you need to know about indoor air quality, and what solutions are available for filtration, purification, and more.
Just because you can’t see air pollution, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Everything from dust and dirt to dangerous chemicals could be circulating in your home.
This radioactive gas is formed in soil and can enter your home through cracks or openings in ground-level floors and walls. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.
Secondhand smoke is created from the smoke that is exhaled by a person or the smoke from burning tobacco products. There are more than 7,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke, per the CDC, and many are toxic and carcinogenic. Even if you only smoke outdoors, secondhand smoke pollutants can still cling to your hair and clothing.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
These chemicals can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. They’re found in things like paint, pesticides, cleaning products, air fresheners, building materials, and more. In extreme cases, exposure to VOCs can damage the liver, kidneys, and nervous system.
Mold and mildew
Mold and mildew thrive in dark, damp areas. Mold spores can float in the air and grow throughout the home. Mold and mildew can trigger asthma attacks, along with hay fever-type symptoms.
While we all love our four-legged friends, their dander can do a number on air quality. Pet dander is composed of microscopic flakes of skin and hair shed from dogs, cats, and other pets. People who are allergic to pets, or have asthma that is triggered by pet allergens, can experience trouble breathing and other respiratory symptoms due to the presence of dander in the air.
Dust and dust mites
The tiny dust particles throughout your home are made up of dirt, skin cells, hair, bacteria, dust mites, pollen and more. About one-third of household dust is created inside the home, while the remainder is brought from outside sources. Dirt and pollutants hitch a ride on the soles of our shoes or on the feet of our pets, and these pollutants then become dust.
Indoor air quality solutions
With so many potentially dangerous pollutants hanging around in your home, indoor air quality solutions are a must. During a home performance setup, our air quality specialists will evaluate your home’s indoor air quality and any existing ventilation systems. With your unique circumstances in mind, we may recommend air purifiers or filtration systems to give you the clean, healthy air you deserve. At Larson Air Conditioning, we specialize in the following indoor air quality solutions:
Air purification & air filtration
These whole-home air quality solutions work with your existing HVAC system, filtering and destroying airborne contaminants and pollutants before they circulate in the air you breathe. Depending on the system we may utilize media filters which physically trap pollutants, or electronic filters, which generate electronic fields to attract pollutants. For particles that are small enough to escape, air purifiers act as a second line of defense.
Carbon monoxide detection
Odorless and colorless, carbon monoxide is known as a “silent killer”. That’s why it’s important to have working CO monitors and alarms in your home. Our team can conduct CO testing if you suspect your family has been exposed to it, and we can install or maintain your existing CO alarms.
Heat & recovery ventilators
Our team installs and maintains both heat recovery ventilators (HVRs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs). The best option depends on your home, climate, and specific air quality needs. An HVR system transfers heat from stale exhaust air to incoming air, enhancing air quality and comfort during the winter. In the summer months, an HVR can subtly increase humidity in your home. Since Arizona is such a warm climate, you may want to opt for an ERV system. ERV systems go the extra mile and transfer humidity as well as heat.
Whether you choose an HVR or an ERV system, both have similar benefits. These include:
- Lower energy usage
- Elimination of stuffy and contaminated air
- Clean, fresh air without ozone production
- Perfectly balanced ambient humidity levels
In-duct LED air purifier
This whole-home purifier effectively reduces airborne and surface contaminants, pathogens and pollutants with the power of bi-polar ionization. First, ionized hydro-peroxide molecules are distributed throughout the air space whenever your HVAC system is powered on. Then, the hydro-peroxide molecules latch onto and destroy every contaminant they find. This process restores the air to its clean, natural state.
Exhaust fans have a whole host of benefits. They help remove humidity, pollutants, and odors from bathrooms, laundry rooms, closets, and kitchens—and any space that could use some help ventilating. They also control mold and mildew growth, protecting your home and your health by moving moist air outdoors.
Along with professional solutions, making smart choices throughout your home can make a major difference in air quality. Here are some tips you can use every day to fight indoor air pollution.
- Reduce asthma triggers like mold and dust mites with regular home cleaning
- Change your filters every month
- Regularly replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors
- Get rid of excess water or moisture to prevent mold
- Use your kitchen fan whenever you’re cooking
- Keep indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent—you can decrease humidity with a dehumidifier and increase it with a vaporizer.
Breathe easy with Larson Air Conditioning
Our indoor air quality solutions can help keep your home safe, efficient, and healthy. It’s our way of helping you breathe easy and giving you one less thing to worry about. Contact us to experience the Larson difference today.