Poorly maintained heating and air-conditioning systems may be hazardous and contribute to poor indoor air quality. Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, where they are repeatedly exposed to indoor allergens and airborne particles that can lead to respiratory symptoms and conditions.
Moisture leads to conditions that are conducive to dust mites and mold, as well as bacteria, yeast and other living organisms.
A damp building with high humidity may lead to increased levels of dust mites and mold, leading to increased allergic respiratory symptoms, as well as the worsening of asthma. And even of someone is not allergic, molds may produce mycotoxins and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that smell bad and may cause respiratory irritation.
Indoor Breathing Environment
Although there are many culprits that negatively affect indoor air quality, poor maintained air-conditioning and carpeting are among the most problematic.
A home’s heating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system, if poorly maintained, can become a major source of microbial allergens.
Making a Healthier Indoor Environment
To improve indoor air quality, Cooper Climate Control has listed several practices that when done right, can make a significant difference. These include installing tight ductwork, achieving airtight construction, using correctly sized HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system and making sure there is fresh air ventilation. Proper ventilation involves introducing air from a known source and then filtering, dehumidifying and pre-cooling or heating it.
- Keep air conditioner clean. Use a filter with an American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (AHRAE) Standard MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) of at least 8.
- Do not have carpeting in any building or homes where humidity can’t be controlled. If you cannot replace carpet, vacuum thoroughly, carefully and methodically so you don’t stir dust into the air. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter or cyclonic vacuum.
- Prevent mold by dehumidifying the basement. In unfinished basements, humidity should be kept lower than 50 percent. Do research before buying a dehumidifier. ‘Exhaust only’ systems are not effective.
Cooper Climate Control is the Valley Metro area’s most trusted heating & cooling company. If you have further questions about your home’s air quality, just ask one of our friendly, knowledgeable experts.