As long as your HVAC system is providing adequate heat in the winter and cool air in the summer, you might think it’s working just fine. However, did you know that indoor air can be as much as 5x more polluted than the outdoors? Crazy, right?
The good news is your HVAC system can improve the air quality in your home. Here, we’ll review what Indoor Air Quality is, what pollutants exist, and how they can affect you. Then, we’ll tell you more about how a proper HVAC system can help you. Let’s review.
What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants”. In layman’s terms, indoor air quality is basically a measure of the cleanliness of the air inside your home.
Why should you care? Well, bad indoor air quality and regular exposure to indoor pollutants can lead to serious health effects for you and your family. Some may be experienced sooner—like allergic reactions—while others may take years to develop.
What Indoor Air Pollutants Should We Worry About?
Colorado residents, like most Americans, spend quite a bit of time indoors. Many of us work indoors, go to school indoors, and even exercise indoors. During the cold Colorado winter, we don’t blame you for staying inside…but that means you need to be extra careful about your indoor air quality and what’s polluting the air inside your home. Here are a few indoor air pollutants to consider.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are essentially chemical byproducts from our daily use items, like hairsprays, household cleaners, and paints.
- Natural substances. Natural substances are the things we and our kids, pets, neighbors bring in on clothes, grocery items, and shoes. Some of these natural substances polluting your indoor air include pet dander, mold, pollen, and dust mites.
- Combustion byproducts. You must also consider your household appliances—like your gas-fueled furnace—and what they put off as they operate. Combustion byproducts include, but aren’t limited to, tobacco smoke and carbon monoxide.
Depending on your current health, and the health of those in your home, you may not feel the effects of these pollutants right away. Often, the people most vulnerable to poor indoor air quality are the elderly, children, and infants. Individuals with asthma, allergies, or other breathing issues may also feel the effects more strongly as indoor air pollutants are often “asthma triggers.”
Does Your HVAC System Prevent Indoor Air Pollutants?
Yes, it can. In order to have your HVAC system work hard to prevent indoor air pollutants, you’ll need to commit to two things: routine maintenance and air filter changes.
- Routine HVAC maintenance. Whether you have a furnace and air conditioner or a heat pump, it’s recommended to keep each on a regular maintenance schedule. Furnaces and A/C units should each be tuned-up prior to their operating season. It’s recommended to tune-up a heat pump twice a year.
- Air filter changes. While you may not change it every time, it’s best to check your air filter at least once per month. This will be your lifeline to happy, healthy indoor air. Generally, every two to three months is when the air filter needs to be switched out.
You can also talk to your professional HVAC technician during a routine checkup or call a new HVAC company to test your indoor air quality. Additional IAQ products, like dehumidifiers or air purifiers, are available and can be installed in your home to make it easier to breathe—especially if you have someone sensitive to “asthma triggers”.
Good Guys Home Services: Denver’s Leading IAQ Experts
Ready to find an indoor air quality (IAQ) solution for your Denver home? Our HVAC professionals can help. As the area’s go-to experts on indoor air quality, we can provide tune-ups, inspections, cleanings, installations, repairs, and more—no matter the season!
Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Want to chat with a technician? Give us a call now at (970) 818-8008—we can’t wait to speak with you!
We offer year-round HVAC services for heating, cooling, and indoor air quality throughout Northern Colorado. Located in Fort Collins, we also serve the following areas: Loveland, Ault, Greeley, Denver, Windsor, Boulder, and Longmont, Colorado.