Many people don’t pay too much attention to their IAQ because their primary focus is the temperature in their homes. Everyone wants sufficient heating or cooling to make their home comfortable, but IAQ is a very important aspect of health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that many homes have a poorer IAQ than the polluted air outside. Breathing polluted air can exacerbate pre-existing conditions, such as allergies, asthma, and breathing illnesses. There is no reason to suffer, there are ways to improve your IAQ, and an inspection by your local HVAC specialist can highlight the scale of the problem. Once you understand the nature of your IAQ issues, you will be better able to make informed decisions on how to fix them. In this article, we will look at four good reasons why you should arrange an IAQ inspection today.
- Cleaner and Fresher Air
This would be the main reason why everyone should be interested in an IAQ inspection. When we can breathe easily in our homes, we are more comfortable, and there are numerous benefits for your overall health. In the short term, you may notice that cleaner indoor air relieves sinus issues, reduces sneezing and the misery that accompanies the allergy season. Cleaner air will contain less dust, dirt, pollen, and pet dander that will affect the health of people in your home. But, cleaner air is also less likely to contain other contaminants, such as mold, mites, and bacteria that can have a serious effect on your health. When many people examine their IAQ and learn more about the effects of air pollution, they are surprised at the impact it can have.
- Saving Money
Another contributor to poor IAQ can be HVAC inefficiency, and some of those problems can be fixed quickly and easily. When the air filters are clogged, the ductwork is dirty, and the outdoor units are obstructed, the air can be filled with particulates. Although the IAQ suffers, there is also a financial cost to endure, and this can be considerable across an entire year. When the HVAC filter becomes clogged, the airflow is inhibited, which is a serious problem. An HVAC system relies on a steady supply of air which circulates and recirculates throughout the home. When the filter becomes clogged, the air cannot pass through easily, and the system will work harder to compensate. This has a couple of effects, the system uses more energy, and it becomes overworked. When heating and cooling equipment is overworked, it’s prone to failure and earlier than expected replacement which wastes money.
In the corporate world, the perception of the benefits of better quality air for offices and other workplace environments has improved. This is because studies have shown that a poor level of IAQ has a massive impact on productivity. But, these same principles hold true when you start to think about your own home. In the average week, there is a lot to do, including laundry, preparing meals, vacuuming, and much more. If you’ve ever felt that you don’t have the drive or energy to tackle tasks, you could be suffering from poor IAQ. In an office environment, this is also known as “sick building syndrome,” and it can cost businesses thousands of dollars annually.
- Structural Integrity
A poor level of IAQ can promote the growth of toxic mold throughout the home. Some at risk areas could include the basement, the attic, crawlspaces, and bathrooms. Mold is bad for your health because it releases toxic spores into the air that are distributed to every room via the HVAC system. This could trigger an asthma attack or allergic reaction and lower the air quality further. But, mold doesn’t just survive on a surface, it actually penetrates deeper, and this can cause structural damage. In the construction industry, this is known as “building cancer,” and if it isn’t dealt with, it can cause a lot of damage. If you’ve noticed that drywall in your home feels soft and spongy to the touch, it’s likely that you have a damp and mold problem. Improving the IAQ will not fix structural damage that has already occurred, but it will remove some of the conditions that caused it in the first place.
What Can I Do About Poor IAQ?
The first thing that you need to do is contact your local certified HVAC specialist and ask them for an inspection. This will highlight any problems and help you to make informed decisions about ways to improve your air quality. But, there are four things that you can do right now to make the air in your home a little fresher.
- Change the Air Filters
The primary purpose of the air filters is to prevent particulates from damaging sensitive HVAC components, But, they do remove some contaminants from the air, and if they are clean, they will help to reduce dust levels in your home. Upgrading to a better air filter may be possible, and this could further improve your IAQ.
- Vacuum the Vents
If you have a poor IAQ, you may notice that there is a lot of dust on the surface of your vents. Vacuuming this dust will prevent it from continuously moving through your home, which lowers the IAQ.
- Fresh Air
It’s important to bring fresh air into your home every day to boost the oxygen levels and let the stale air out. During allergy season or when the weather is extreme, this is something that you want to do for brief periods. In the summer, open the windows for an hour or two at night, and in winter, do it when the temperature is at the highest it will reach.
- Frequent Cleaning
Once you’ve changed or cleaned the air filters, you will notice that your cleaning is more effective. It’s important to clean and vacuum regularly to control the dust levels. This prevents contaminants from entering your air which will lower the IAQ.
If you want to schedule a home inspection to assess your IAQ, contact your local HVAC specialist today.