KGG Training Director and Certified Indoor Air Environmentalist, Rob Ambrosetti, discusses clean air control strategies.
Research shows that air quality has a significant impact on our health, our homes and our environment. The possible effects of poor indoor air quality are varied, and can range from damaged furniture and home structures to an increased risk for serious health diseases and concerns.
What makes indoor air pollution scary is that there are so many different factors that contribute to pollution, often unbeknownst to occupants.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most sources of pollution stem from one of the following categories: Outdoor Sources, Building Equipment, Components / Furnishings and other Potential Indoor Sources. Within each of these categories are more sub-categories!
That often seems overwhelming to customers. So, to better help customers as they start the journey in improving indoor air quality for their home and the people in it, let's take a look at specific sources within each of these categories.
The first step to achieving and improving indoor air quality starts with filtration. Efficient home air filters provide the primary defense for all indoor space occupants. This is also an easily conveyable point that customers are likely to understand.
As contractors, it's important to highlight that in order for homeowners to achieve exceptional IAQ and reduce their HVAC system's energy costs, it’s critical to choose the best filter for their home and maintenance.
Filtration is key to improve indoor air quality. It’s one of the easiest ways to improve the air we breathe in indoor spaces. The thing is, air filters are often an afterthought for homeowners.
There’s nothing more unpleasant than stepping into the comfort of one's own home and being greeted with red itchy eyes, sneezing, sniffles and unseemly smells. These are all more common customer complaints about indoor air quality. It's crucial to convey the multitude of factors that can contribute to poor indoor air quality. The dust floating in the air, bacon grease from morning brunch, trash that wasn’t taken out, pet hair, chemicals and cleaning products under the sink and even neighbors smoking all negatively impact indoor air quality. These are also factors that air purifiers can help reduce. If people in the home or building suffer from respiratory conditions, asthma, allergies or other health conditions that are exacerbated by poor air quality–purification is the ultimate solution. In the end, always emphasize that home is the only place where one has complete control over the air we breathe–why not keep it clean?
Active Air Purification
Ventilation or Dilution
Rather than relying on inconsistent airflow, either from small holes and cracks in the home or open windows and doors only when weather permits, a mechanical ventilation system ensures homes continually have fresh air. In simple terms, a mechanical ventilation system circulates fresh air using the existing ductwork and system fans–a point most customers appreciate. Mechanical ventilation systems allow for a constant flow of fresh, clean outdoor air into every corner of the home. Added benefits include filtration, dehumidification and the capability to condition the outside air.
HRV vs ERV
Relative humidity measures the amount of water vapor in the air compared to the total possible amount of air moisture. For example, when relative humidity reaches 100%, the air is unable to hold any more water vapor. The ideal humidity range for indoor spaces is between 40 to 60%.
Temperature control is important for living comfortably, but it’s the humidity level in homes and buildings that ultimately decides the comfort and health of the air we breathe.