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Improving Indoor Air Quality With Clean Air Filters

Did you know that on average, people spend about 90% of their time indoors? Many people recognize the concerns surrounding outdoor air pollution, but often don’t realize that the quality of indoor air is just as (if not more) important. One of the most common problems that impacts IEQ (indoor environmental quality) is improper maintenance of HVAC systems and air filters.

Thankfully there are ways to keep your home’s air clean with these tips from Lawes Home Comfort Specialists.

Indoor Air Quality Concerns

According to an EPA study on air pollution, “Indoor levels of pollutants may be two to five times—and occasionally more than 100 times—higher than outdoor levels.” The American Lung Association agrees, “The air in your home can be dirty and hazardous to your health. In fact, indoor air quality can be even more polluted than the air outside.”

Many factors contribute to indoor air pollution that can lead to a wide range of health issues including allergic reactions, coughing, headaches, asthma, sneezing, dizziness and fatigue. The three most notorious polluters include:

  1. Airborne Particulates. Dirt and dust are often stirred just by walking through the house. Add in cleaning or remodeling projects and those particles can remain suspended in the air for a long time and when they’re inhaled (“referred to as “respirable”), they can cause health problems, especially for someone affected by allergies or asthma. Other indoor air particulates include fibers, tobacco smoke, as well as fireplace or wood stove soot. The particulates in this category range in size from 0.1 microns to 100 microns (to put that in perspective, most of us can’t see particles smaller than 10 microns).
  2. Bioaerosols. Typically ranging from 0.1 to 10 microns, bioaerosols include mold and fungi, bacteria, dust mites, pollens, and pet dander. But with proper ventilation, humidity level control and general cleanliness, biological contaminants can typically be kept under control
  3. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Formed by the “off-gassing” of man-made materials such as household cleaners, carpeting, or composite wood products, VOCs are some of the most harmful household air pollutants for your and your family’s health. They can also be caused by secondhand tobacco smoke (known to hold over 200 different VOCs).

Clean Air Filters Mean Healthier Air

One of the simplest preventative measures to help increase indoor air quality is to change your HVAC air filters often (at least every 3 months). Upgrade your air filter to one with a higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating to improve air quality. MERV ratings indicate the size of particles they can trap: a filter with a rating of 11 can remove up to 80 percent of particulates as small as 1 micron. Additionally, schedule an annual HVAC maintenance tune-up for equipment cleaning and to reduce microbial growth, the enemy of healthy air.

Prevention is key for your health and comfort. Contact the experts at Lawes today at 732-741-6300 to talk about your indoor air quality and how we can help make it cleaner.
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