Common Indoor Air Quality Myths
Indoor air quality defines the level of comfort and health benefits that can be found in the air inside residential and commercial buildings. IAQ is the measured effect of the number of small particulates, chemicals, and organic compounds that can accumulate inside a building. To achieve a high level of air quality, these irritants and pollutants need to be reduced. Here are 10 indoor air quality misconceptions.
1. Indoor Air Is Naturally Better Than Outdoor Air
Many people believe that the air inside their homes is of a better quality and has fewer pollutants than the air outside. However, the truth is that not only does untreated indoor air have the same pollutants as outside air, but it can have a higher concentration due to being trapped in the house. This problem is becoming more prevalent today because of improvements in building standards and insulation. The solution to improving indoor air quality is by increasing the airflow in and out with good ventilation and treating the air inside with purifiers, filters, and humidifiers. This will remove harmful and irritating allergens, chemicals, and other pollutants.
2. Every HVAC System Can Improve Indoor Air Quality
While modern and efficient HVAC systems can help to remove small particles from the air if the filters are changed regularly, they really don’t do much by themselves to remove most other types of pollutants. To effectively remove contaminants such as volatile organic compounds and other small particulates, an HVAC system can be paired with air cleaners, air purifiers, filtration systems, ventilators, and humidifiers to improve the air throughout your house. These whole-home IAQ systems are connected to the HVAC system and work in tandem to clean, ventilate, and provide proper ventilation. C & C Heating & Air Conditioning can help with the installation of whole-home IAQ systems in Roseville.
3. IAQ Has No Health Implications
The quality of the air inside a building has an impact on anyone who breathes it. It’s not just the immunocompromised who benefit from a reduced number of allergens and chemicals. Many people are allergic to dust mites and pet dander, and all of us can be affected negatively by harmful chemicals. If the humidity levels are too high in your home or business, then biologic compounds can grow and increase, causing allergic reactions among most people.
4. New Buildings Have Better Indoor Air
Some older buildings may have more dust and other particulates from aging compounds on the walls and flooring as compared to a newer property, but new structures contain their own irritants. A new building will often have a higher concentration of chemicals emanating from the new paint, carpet, and plastics, which will emit fumes and gases into the air at a faster rate than older materials. All properties can benefit from systems that provide ventilation and filtration for indoor air.
5. Humidifying Dry Air Indoors Is Always Good
Most people think the air inside a home or business is always too dry and needs a humidifier to bring the moisture levels up. The truth is that while some houses do need a higher level of humidity to be comfortable to breathe, too high a level of humidity has its own problems. A property that has too much moisture inside can experience an increased growth of biologic compounds, which can lead to allergic reactions among many people. These compounds can also cause damage to the structures they attach to. When using a humidifier or dehumidifier to adjust the humidity levels inside, you should monitor the levels to ensure they stay at the proper levels.
6. Radon Is Only a Problem in Residential Buildings
When we hear or read about radon contamination, it’s often in the context of someone’s home being determined to have unsafe levels of radon. In actuality, any building has the potential to have too high a level of radon. Radon is an odorless natural gas that seeps upwards from uranium deposits in the ground and into buildings. When emitted outdoors, radon dissipates and is harmless. However, when it’s trapped inside, it can be elevated to dangerous amounts. The EPA has determined the safe levels, and you can test your home for radon easily.
7. Improving Indoor Air Quality Is Expensive
Any new item you buy for any purpose requires money for the initial outlay. Installing systems to ventilate, purify, and filter your indoor air will entail an initial expense, but not as much as you may think. Most of the products are very affordable and range in price and size. Even bigger systems that are combined with an existing HVAC unit are cost-efficient because they’re single units that work throughout the entire home.
8. Ozone Is a Safe Byproduct of Air Cleaners
Some popular air purifiers that are used to reduce chemicals and other contaminants are actually ozone generators. Ozone is a gas that’s harmful in high concentrations, so you’re essentially attempting to solve one problem by creating another. The EPA has released data that states high levels of ozone is detrimental to humans. The EPS has also stated any benefits from the ozone negating other chemicals through a reactive process would take years to make a noticeable difference. Ozone won’t reduce carbon monoxide levels at all either.
9. Air Fresheners Are Good for IAQ
Air fresheners are widely used in homes to make the indoor air smell more pleasant. However, that’s all they do. Air fresheners have a pleasant aroma, but they don’t provide any sort of purification whatsoever. In fact, prolonged use of air fresheners in enclosed spaces can lead to more chemicals added to the indoor air, which reduces the indoor air quality over time.
10. Ductwork Doesn’t Need Cleaning
There are two schools of thought about cleaning the ductwork in buildings. There are those who say they should be cleaned regularly to remove dust that can blow throughout the property, and there are other people who think cleaning the ducts actually makes the problem worse by dispersing dust throughout a building. However, the bottom line is that dirty ducts can cause indoor air quality to suffer. Any cleaning, though, should only be done professionally and when deemed necessary.
Now that you know the real facts about indoor air quality, you may be concerned about the quality of the air inside your home. There are many products and systems that can improve your indoor air, and our expert technicians at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning are experienced in installing whole-home air quality systems that will drastically improve the air in your residence.
C & C Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving the Roseville area of Michigan for more than 60 years, and during this time, we’ve helped numerous clients to achieve vastly improved indoor air quality. We’re knowledgeable about all aspects of providing superior IAQ, and we want our customers to understand the facts about having comfortable and beneficial air inside their houses and businesses. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you. We also provide heating, cooling, duct cleaning, and indoor air quality services.