Keeping your home comfortable doesn’t stop when you get a furnace installation or ac repair in the Sacramento area. Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning sees first hand the kinds of dangers that lurk in many Sacramento homes, and we’ve found that indoor air quality often tops the list. Don’t despair. Act.
What is Indoor Air Quality?
Most people don’t realize that indoor air quality is often worse than the air outside. There are a number of reasons for this. To begin with, the great outdoors doesn’t stay outside just because we’d like it to. We track things in, with contaminants sticking to our clothes and shoes. Contaminants come in through doors and windows, or the places where insulation is insufficient. And those we love—significant others, kids, and pets alike—do their part to lower the quality of the air we breathe. Even something as simple as humidity being off-kilter can dry your skin and respiratory system, and damage belongings like electronics, furniture, and antiques.
Unlike the outside air—which, after all, exists in a vast space, and which is in constant motion—the air indoors is enclosed, confined, and stagnant by comparison. It’s also loaded with contaminants, from dust and dander to mold, mildew, ozone, pesticides, heavy metals, radon, combustion emissions, and volatile organic compounds from furniture and paint. The problem is compounded if you don’t get ac tune-ups on a regular basis.
Why Indoor Air Quality Matters for Sacramento Homeowners
“Well, how bad could it be?” you ask. The answer is pretty bad since poor indoor air quality can have serious health consequences, as the EPA reminds us:
- Allergic reactions
- Higher incidence of asthma and respiratory illnesses (colds, flu, bronchitis)
- Eye, nose, and throat irritation
- Fatigue, headaches, or dizziness
- Respiratory problems or difficulty breathing
- Heart disease
Testing Your Indoor Air
There are numerous ways to test your indoor air, from home testing kits to professional indoor air quality audits. We’ve found that trusting your gut can be just as effective. Revisit the list above; while each of those things can have other causes, each can also be aggravated by poor indoor air even if you’re bringing them in from elsewhere. A one-off incident (say, a stress headache) isn’t necessarily an indication that your indoor air needs attention. But if one or more of these problems occurs at home on a fairly regular basis—and especially if you notice your symptoms improve or vanish when you go back outdoors—you should call us.
How To Improve Indoor Air Quality
Odds are that your indoor air didn’t get in the shape it’s in right now overnight. But you’d be surprised how quickly you can improve the air you breathe. Some steps can be taken by any homeowner. Thorough, frequent dusting and cleaning help. So does using the right filters for your HVAC system and changing them on schedule (or a bit ahead of schedule if you like keeping the windows open, have pets, or live with a smoker).
Some individuals have turned to portable air purifiers. If you’re a renter, your options may be limited; if your home uses central air but doesn’t use forced air heat, you don’t want to leave your home unprotected during the winter. But in cases where both forced air heat and central air are in use, solutions that address whole home air quality are best. These should be installed by an HVAC professional.
Whole House Air Purifiers for HVAC Systems
HVAC systems have filters already, of course. But if you’re simply looking for something inexpensive, you may not be protecting your home or system properly. HEPA-rated filters and electrostatic HVAC filters are far more effective at removing contaminants, but there’s a catch: install the wrong filter and you can put considerable strain on your system. We can evaluate your current heating and cooling systems and suggest the best choices, even reinforcing the current filtration with duct-based, intake-based, or return-based filters.
Whole House Dehumidifiers/Humidifiers
As mentioned earlier, even clean air can cause problems if the humidity isn’t where it should be. A humidifier that sits on a tabletop, or a dehumidifier in your basement, may be better than nothing, but there are problems here as well; you’re only conditioning a single room, and you don’t have much control over the amount of moisture added to the air. A whole home humidifier or dehumidifier provides precision.
UV Lights for HVAC Systems
UV light is a proven germicide, effective enough that it’s used on surgical instruments, in food service, and in other applications where cleanliness is key. UV lights can be installed in your HVAC system to help purify the air and keep you healthy.
Get in Touch with Air Quality Professionals in the Greater Sacramento Area
There are times when a new furnace installation or a new air conditioning system will be enough to ensure your home stays comfortable. But when you need something more to make a house feel like home, take a closer look at your indoor air quality. Ace Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning is here for a wide range of climate control needs, providing quick, reliable, and affordable service to Sacramento area homeowners. Get in touch today!