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FAQ: Indoor Air Quality

Many struggle with seasonal allergies, which is why it is important to maintain good air quality inside your home in Burlington, NC. While allergens such as pollen typically remain outdoors, your home may have various pollutants inside causing your health to decline. In this blog, we answer frequently asked questions regarding indoor air quality to overall improve allergy symptoms and keep residents in your home healthy.

What Is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality refers to the amount of pollutants within the air in your home or building. Good indoor air quality indicates the air you are breathing has minimal allergens, which minimizes any negative health symptoms. Poor indoor air quality means the air you’re breathing is filled with pollutants causing you to have allergies and negative health symptoms. Homes with poor air quality can cause discomfort and various other impacts.

Why Is Good Air Quality Important?

It is important to maintain positive indoor air quality for numerous reasons, but mainly to maintain good health. Breathing in clean air can lead to a higher quality of life, lower the risk of respiratory issues and other illnesses, and reduce the risk of chronic conditions. Poor air quality causes allergy symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and a sore throat. Breathing in health threatening pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) can lead to long-term health issues, such as asthma and other respiratory conditions.

If residents in your home currently suffer from respiratory illnesses, it is important to maintain good indoor air quality to minimize their health symptoms.

What Are Common Indoor Pollutants?

While indoor air pollutants typically remain the same throughout the United States, some states can have higher and lower levels causing illnesses. According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services, common indoor pollutants in North Carolina include:

  • Combustion products such as carbon monoxide and environmental tobacco smoke
  • Mold
  • Ozone
  • Particulates such as dust and pollen
  • Pesticides
  • Radon
  • VOC’s such as formaldehyde

What Are The Effects Of Bad Air Quality?

At Barber Heating and Air, your health and safety is one of our top concerns. Breathing in negative pollutants can have short-term and long-term health effects, such as respiratory tract infections, allergic reactions, headaches, congestion, eye and skin irritations, coughing, sneezing, fatigue, dizziness and nausea. Let us help you improve your indoor air quality in Burlington, NC and surrounding areas and keep our community healthy!

How Can I Improve Indoor Air Quality?

The spring season is typically when allergies flare up for most, and your home should be an escape from the pollen and other allergens. However, poor indoor air quality can only contribute to your allergies and create more discomfort. While we cannot stop the flowers from blooming, we can help improve your home’s air quality. Below are nine ways to improve indoor air quality in Burlington, NC and surrounding areas.

  • Regularly Change Air Filters
  • Invest In Quality Air Filters
  • Perform Preventative Maintenance
  • Install An Air Purifier
  • Control Humidity
  • Consider Smoking Outdoors
  • Dust Regularly
  • Use Natural Cleaners
  • Groom Pets Outdoors

How Do Air Filters Affect Indoor Air Quality?

Depending on the square footage of your home, most homes have two air filters in the intake vents. Air filters should be changed at least every 90 days or sooner depending on factors such as indoor animals. An air filter’s main purpose is to catch pollutants from air being distributed into your home. Common pollutants that float through the air and harm air quality include pet dander, dust, dirt, pollen, and a variety of other allergens. Air filters differentiate by minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV). Simply put – the higher the MERV, the smaller the filter pores and the more pollutants the filter can catch.

If air filters are filled with pollutants such as dust, the filter struggles to catch more allergens. Dirty air filters often let more pollutants slip by and decrease indoor air quality. Additionally, dirty air filters cause your HVAC unit to work harder and use more energy to function. This can result in high energy bills and a unit breakdown. The easiest way to maintain good indoor air quality is to maintain clean air filters throughout your home.

What Is MERV?

As we mentioned, MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. MERV indicates the filter’s effectiveness to catch pollutants and maintain positive indoor air quality in Burlington, NC. MERV ranges from 1-20, with 1 being the least effective and 20 being the most effective. Typically, the low MERV filters are the cheapest option and the higher MERV filters are more costly. We recommend homes utilize air filters with 8-13 MERV ratings to maintain clean, healthy air. Buildings such as hospitals use high MERV filters, because it is essential to have highly clean air and a sanitized space.

However the higher the MERV, the smaller the filter pores and the more energy your HVAC system has to use to push air through. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right air filter for your home in Burlington, NC, so let one of Barber’s expert technicians help make the decision easier!

What Home Devices Improve Indoor Air Quality?

There are a variety of home devices that work to improve indoor air quality, such as humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, air cleaners, and UV light filtration systems.

Humidifiers & Dehumidifiers: When it comes to air quality, it is important to maintain appropriate humidity levels. While most think humidity is a hot and muggy feeling, it actually helps maintain comfort in your home at the right level. We recommend homes remaining between 30% to 50% humidity to keep residents comfortable and healthy. Too much or too low humidity can cause negative health effects and decrease air quality. Typically, homeowners use humidifiers in the winter season to add moisture into the air, and dehumidifiers in the summer to remove moisture in the air.

Air Purifiers: Air purifiers are a beneficial home device to help improve indoor air quality, because the system’s sole purpose is to remove pollutants from the air and circulate purified air back into your home. Air purifiers can provide many benefits, such as eliminating harmful pollutants, neutralizing odors, and improving sleep quality. To install an air purifier in Burlington, NC and surrounding areas, give Barber Heating and Air Conditioning a call!

UV Light Filtration Systems: UV light filtration systems emit ultraviolet rays and can help purify air by killing mold and bacteria. UV light filtration systems have a similar goal as air purifiers, which is to improve indoor air quality by removing harmful pollutants. If your home has harmful microorganisms, let a trained Barber Heating and Air Conditioning technician install a UV light filtration system in Burlington, NC!

Our main goal is to keep your home a comfortable, healthy environment. It is important to maintain positive indoor air quality to reduce negative health symptoms and keep you breathing easy this spring season. Give us a call for indoor air quality services in Burlington and surrounding areas!

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