Indoor Air Quality Services
Did you know that indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental health risks. There are several types of indoor pollutants, the most common being mold, animal dander, dust mites, and their droppings, particulates from combustion sources like wood-burning stoves and gas cooking stoves and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paint, aerosol sprays, pesticides, furnishings, and even craft materials. Some areas have high levels of radon, a gas that comes from natural sources like soils and rocks.
With new houses being better sealed, outdoor air won’t impact indoor air quality as much. Although this helps to keep indoors cooler in summer and warmer in winter, it also affects indoor air quality. The rate of exchange of outdoor and indoor air is important in refreshing the indoor air. High humidity levels can also affect indoor air quality by creating an environment that allows pollutants like mold to grow.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
The best way to maintain good indoor air quality is to eliminate sources of pollution. In addition, good ventilation increases air exchange and circulates clean air through a building. Venting rooms with high humidity like bathrooms and kitchens helps to remove moisture, reduces mold growth, and lowers concentrations of particulates.
Although the EPA advocates the use of air cleaners, ventilators, and air humidifiers, they advise that filters and devices be adequately sized and must also be installed and maintained properly to effectively capture and inactivate airborne pollutants. Riley Heating and Air Conditioning provides air quality products to improve the indoor air in your home or business. We evaluate indoor conditions and recommend products that work best for your needs. Most major manufacturers design indoor air quality products that are compatible with central HVAC systems to provide clean, fresh air along with a comfortable indoor environment.
Air Cleaners, Ventilators, and Air Humidifiers
Air filtration and electrostatic systems remove most household airborne pollutants. In buildings with ducted heating, air filters are usually installed in the return air ducts of in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Standard filters do little to remove small particulates and micro-organisms. Upgrading your filter will improve air quality.
The efficiency of air filters is described by the minimum efficiency reporting value or MERV, numbered one through sixteen. Filters with higher MERV values capture a greater number of and smaller-sized particulates. Filtration up to MERV 12 is standard for residential use. MERV 13 to 16 is standard for commercial buildings and hospitals. Most major manufacturers sell air purifiers that offer high efficiencies. Carrier’s Infinity air purifier is rated MERV 15 with an air exchange rate of up to eight times an hour. Higher valued MERV filters are almost as efficient as HEPA filters but do not impede airflow.
Ventilators exchange indoor air with outdoor air. Energy recovery ventilators are designed for hot, humid environments like that in the Phenix City, Alabama, area. Outgoing air is used to pre-condition incoming air and modulate humidity without affecting indoor temperatures.
Although summers in eastern Alabama are humid, winter weather is often dry. When interior spaces are heated, humidity drops. Air humidifiers keep humidity at comfortable levels. Carrier’s humidifiers work with furnaces and heat pumps to regulate humidity levels.
At Riley, we want your family to be comfortable year-round. Call us when you are ready to install one of these products for better indoor air quality.