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How to Use your HVAC System to Improve Air Quality

Did you know that your heating and cooling system does a whole lot more than just regulate the temperature in your home? It also affects your indoor air quality (IAQ).

IAQ has become a more common concern in the last 10 years for a number of reasons. Mainly that people are spending more time indoors than ever before — up to 90% of their day, according to the CDC.

This might come to a shock as many, but the air indoors is usually dirtier than it is outside. This is especially problematic in the winter and summer months when people leave their windows closed all the time in some regions. As a result, dust, dirt, bacteria, and other pollutants come make their way into the house but don’t have a way to get back out. Fortunately, you can fight back, we’ll explore three ways your heating and cooling system can harm your indoor air quality and how to remedy it.

Some of these are solutions you can handle on your own while others require a professional. US Air Conditioning Distributors can connect you with a qualified HVAC technician in your area.

Dry Air

Cool air is drier than warm air because warm air holds more moisture, or humidity, than it does when it’s cold. Many people turn their A/C off when they leave for work or during the evening hours once the temperatures have calmed down outside, but it’s important to lower your thermostat instead of turning it off altogether so that your system can reduce the humidity in the home.

Trapping Contaminants Inside

Once your furnace or AC is running, you’re keeping your windows closed so there can be a rise in Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs trapped in your home. These are any chemical compounds that easily vaporize – anything from cooking and smoke odors to residue from nail polish remover or furniture cleaners. They become a gas that you can breathe in — and they’re not good for you as you can imagine.

Fixing the Problem

Your HVAC system becomes a tool for improving indoor air quality when you:

  1. Change Your Air Filters
  2. Use Humidifiers/Dehumidifiers
  3. Install an Air Purifier

The first (and easiest) step toward preventing pollutants from circulating through the air in your home is making sure your air filter is clean and working correctly; this an easy and inexpensive fix. Your filter traps all sorts of harmful particles such as dust, debris, and fur as they pass through your system but you need to change it every three months or so for it to properly do its job.

Use Humidifiers/Dehumidifiers

Now that your filter is changed we can address the dry or moist air. If the problem’s not too bad, you can take care of it easily with an over-the-counter de/humidifier that treats one room at a time or you can have them installed into your system by an HVAC contractor if you need to treat the entire house.

Install an Air Purifier

Finally, you can invest in products that take an active and aggressive approach to cleaning your air. Ask us about a whole-home air purifier. Like the whole-house de/humidifiers, these attach to your heating and cooling system. You don’t need to turn them on and off — they work automatically. They work with the filter to trap particles as they pass through as well as neutralizing particles in the air before they even enter the system.