It may surprise you to learn that the air inside your home can be up to three times as polluted as the air outside. Fortunately, the experts at York Heating and Cooling believe ventilation systems, humidifiers and air cleaners can improve your home's indoor air quality (IAQ).
Properly designed ventilation systems, known as Energy Recovery ventilators (ERV) or Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV), replace a portion of stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air and reduce energy loss during the process. Air exchangers from York, for example, use stale exhaust air to warm incoming fresh air in the winter, and cool incoming air in the summer to reduce the load on the furnace or air conditioner. The portion of the energy used to heat or cool the fresh air translates into dollar savings on utility bills.
Air cleaners-both electronic and media-can remove up to 94 percent of the particles, including dust, pollens, pet dander, plant spores, fungi, bacteria and tobacco smoke.
Humidifiers allow homeowners to maintain proper humidity levels during the winter months, when a forced air furnace removes moisture, leading to dry skin among other things.
To further ensure good IAQ, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers recommends homeowners follow 10 tips:
- Vent bathrooms, kitchens, toilets and laundry rooms directly outdoors.
- Avoid locating furnaces, air conditioners and ductwork in garages or other spaces where they can draw contaminants into the house.
- Properly vent fireplaces, wood stoves and other hearth products.
- Vent clothes dryers and central vacuum cleaners directly outside.
- Store toxic or volatile compounds such as paints, solvents, cleaners and pesticides out of occupiable space.
- Minimize or avoid unvented combustion sources such as candles, cigarettes, indoor barbecues, decorative combustion appliances or vent-free heaters.
- Provide operable windows or additional mechanical ventilation when using home cleaners or painting.
- Use sealed-combustion, power-vented or condensing water heaters and furnaces. When natural-draft applications must be used, they should be tested for proper venting and should be located outside the occupiable space when possible.
- Put a good particle filter or air cleaner in your air-handling system to keep dirt out of the air and off of your ductwork and heating and cooling components. Maintain it or replace it regularly as required.
- Distribute a minimum level of outdoor air throughout the home, using whole house, mechanical ventilation.