During the winter, the main focus for most homeowners is making sure the furnace is working in prime condition. After all, having the heater go out in the middle of a freeze could easily turn into a disaster. But winter is also a great time to focus not only on the temperature of your indoor air, but also on its quality.
“When it’s cold outside people stay indoors and don’t really go outside unless they absolutely have to,” said John Moore Services HVAC Coach Lewis Yancey. “When there is no fresh air circulating inside the house you start to see colds and germs getting transmitted more and more. That’s why during the winter when one person in the home has a cold it is usually spread to the rest of the house pretty quickly. The germs stay in the air and that contaminated air circulates through your HVAC system. But if you focus on your indoor air quality in the winter and take the right steps to make sure your air is purified and clean, you will improve the health of everyone inside the home.”
On average, indoor air is 80% more toxic than outdoor air. During the holiday season people are always trying to improve the smell of their home, and this usually involves plugging in air fresheners, cleaning the carpet with sprays, and cleaning in general with cleansers and aerosol spray cans. All these items give off VOC’s, or Volatile Organic Compounds, which pollute the air and can cause respiratory problems. High levels of VOC’s mixed with germs and disease that are easily spread during the winter can create a toxic situation inside your home.
Are you scared yet? If you are, you shouldn’t worry too much because there are several things that can be done to clean and purify your indoor air.
HVAC Media filters
Like normal air filters, a media filter collects dust and other particles to prevent them from contaminating your air. But a media filter is like an air filter to the extreme. It is located on the back of your furnace and is designed to keep your whole HVAC system cleaner. As air travels through your HVAC system, it must first pass through the media filter, so instead of the air only filtering once, it is filtered twice, which will keep your air fresh and contaminant free.
“A media filter is a thicker filter. The average filter collects about 10% of all airborne particles, and the media filter gets up to 98-99%. It cleans almost 100% of the air,” said Yancey. “It also collects particles down to .3% of a micron, and will remove all pollen, dust, fungi, smoke, and spores from the air.”
A good media filter can prolong the life of your HVAC system for years. It helps to keep your heater, AC system, and air ducts clean and by keeping them clean your system won’t have to work as hard. Also, the media filter only has to be changed about once every 6 months, unlike regular filters which should be changed every 30-days.
HVAC UV light
The UV light sits in front of the evaporator coil of your HVAC system and puts the power of the sun on the coils, so as the air passes through the coils the light physically cleans it. It is extremely beneficial because it doesn’t let contaminates or biological growth collect on the coils, it kills all airborne contaminates, and helps prevent the coil from creating any gunk, slime, or biological material that has a tendency to grow on the coils. It can only clean the air as it passes through, so it is not able to clean what it can’t see.
Home Air Purifiers
The UV light can only clean air as it passes through the coils, but air purifiers produce molecules that actively go out and search for VOC’s in the home. When they find them, they break them down and turn them into water molecules or dust molecules. During the first few days of usage, your home might smell like light rain, but that is because all the contaminates in the air are being attacked. After a few days the smell goes away and your indoor air is clean and purified.
“Air purifiers are great because they go out and search for any impurities in the air and attack them,” said Yancey. “It is able to kill germs, diseases, and viruses like SAARS and H1N1 before they go into your AC system and circulate throughout your home.”
If you or anyone in your home suffers from allergies, asthma, or respiratory illnesses,cleaning and purifying your indoor air could be the solution. If your indoor air feels thick and unclean, or if the people in your home are always getting sick, call the expert HVAC technicians at John Moore Services to come take a look at the quality of your air. All our technicians are trained to test your indoor air and can help you determine which of the three systems mentioned above will be the best fit for your home.
“We have so many different packages available to improve indoor air quality, and it all depends on your home and how clean you want your air,” said Yancey. “I’ve seen it pay for itself because it reduces doctors visits for your children, prevents contaminates from being passed from one child to another, and everyone in the home sleeps better at night with better quality air. It is a great solution for every household.”