Is Your Indoor Air Affecting Your Health? Find Out With Our Indoor Air Quality FAQs
At River City Heating & Air Conditioning, we take your Winona-area home indoor air quality seriously. After all, research shows that your indoor air could be full of more contaminants (such as pollen and mold) than the air outside. That’s why we’ve compiled these indoor air quality FAQs—we want you to be as safe and comfortable in your home as possible.
- My Allergies Can Be Bad—Will Any Indoor Air Quality Products Help?
Air purifiers are a great option to help alleviate allergy symptoms. They work by removing irritants such as bacteria, pollen, and mold from the air. In fact, air purifiers eliminate up to 99 percent of pollutants, and are 40 times more effective than standard air filters. These products are also great for those with asthma or pets, or to help clean a home if someone smokes. Ultraviolet (UV) lights and dehumidifiers can help, too—just schedule a consultation with our pros.
- How Often Should I Replace My Air Filter?
Every family, system, and home are different. If you use a one-inch air filter, you should replace it about once every three months (or more often, if you have pets, allergies, or asthma). For media or high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, you can replace them once every six to 12 months. If you aren’t sure what filter you use (or need help finding a replacement), we can help.
- Can My Pets Affect My Indoor Air Quality
Yes. Cats and dogs alike shed hair and dander, which can join forces with contaminants already affecting your indoor air quality. As mentioned above, pets may require you to replace your air filters more often. Products such as an air purifier can help keep your air clean and your family (including your fur baby) healthy.
Do Humidity Levels Affect My Indoor Air Quality
Yes. Ideally, home humidity levels should fall between 35 and 50 percent. If your indoor air is too humid, it means there is excess moisture in the air. In addition to making you feeling damp and sticky, that moisture can aggravate allergies and asthma, and can lead to mold, mildew, and mustiness.
On the flipside, too little humidity can cause problems, including:
- Itchy skin
- Dry cough
- Frequent colds
To keep your indoor humidity just right (and to help avoid warping on wood floors and furniture), consider a humidifier or dehumidifier.
What Are the Most Common Indoor Air Pollutants?
Air pollutants can be dangerous because most people don’t know they’re there. And they can come from anything, including cooking, household cleaners, and even carpeting. The most common pollutants are:
- Carbon monoxide
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
If you’re unsure whether your home is affected by these pollutants, call us today to set up an in-home air quality test.
- How Can I Improve Air Ventilation in My Home?
Research shows that opening a window is more effective at eliminating indoor air pollutants and controlling humidity levels. However, as the temperatures fluctuate from month to month, you can’t rely on open windows to ventilate your home year-round. That’s why we recommend indoor air ventilators. These systems exchange the stagnant and contaminated indoor air with pre-filtered outdoor air without wasting any energy.
- What Do Ultraviolet (UV) Lights Do in My Air Conditioner?
UV lights can do more than give you a nice golden tan. Like air purifiers, UV lights destroy bacteria, viruses, mold, and other microorganisms that grow on the cooling coil in your air conditioner. These indoor air quality products have the added feature of sterilizing the coil with an ionizing charge. Overall, UV lights will help improve your indoor airflow and your air conditioner’s efficiency.
Should I Set My Thermostat to “AUTO” or “ON”?
This setting depends entirely on what you’re trying to accomplish with your home comfort system. If you’re trying to regulate uneven temperatures in your home, set the fan to “ON.” If you want to keep energy costs to a minimum, set it to “AUTO”—that way, your heating and cooling system will shut off once your home reaches your desired temperature, saving you money on energy bills.
How Can I Improve My Indoor Air Quality on My Own?
Natural ways to improve your indoor air quality include:
- Indoor plants—studies have found that plants help reduce airborne contaminants and improved oxygen levels in a closed environment. Consider Boston ferns, snake plants, or aloe vera.
- Salt lamps—these attract moisture from the air to the hot lamp surface, where it evaporates. That evaporation creates negative ions, which helps eliminate contaminants that carry a positive charge, such as pollen, dust, and dirt.
- Vacuum regularly—this helps keep the ground and your home clear of pollutants. This is especially effective for homeowners with pets.
- Is Air Quality Testing Different For Commercial Buidlings Versus Residential?
Nope! We service residential and light commercial buildings with the same level of care—indoor air quality testing included. We come prepared with our decades of experience, so we can recommend everything from humidifiers and dehumidifiers to air purifiers and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure your indoor air is healthy.
Have More Air Quality Questions? Fire Away
In homeownership, there’s always a next project. So if (or when) you have questions about your home comfort systems, whether it’s about heating and cooling or indoor air quality, River City always has the answers. Call us at (507) 454-7689 or contact us online.