If we were to ask you the relation between your HVAC systems and your home’s indoor air quality, what would you say?
If you’re like many homeowners, you would say that your indoor air quality is determined by the temperature of your home, which of course is controlled by your HVAC systems. This isn’t wrong, but it’s not completely right either. Temperature is only part of good indoor air quality.
Another relation between IAQ and HVAC systems that people make is that their HVAC systems’ air filter protects their indoor air quality. This is also not quite true. It certainly helps with indoor air quality, but this air filter is in place to protect the HVAC systems themselves.
So, what is the real relation between your HVAC systems and your indoor air quality? Read on to find out!
Air Conditioners Dehumidify, But Not Enough
By the nature of how they operate, central air conditioners and heat pumps do have some dehumidification properties. This means they help dry out the air on those especially stuffy and hot days. But they don’t do it enough to make a significant difference on the quality of a home’s indoor air.
The ideal humidity levels in any given house are between 30 and 50%. Anything above this is considered too humid, and can lead to problems like mold growth and associated problems like property damage and even increased allergy and asthma symptoms in household occupants. The answer to this is a whole-house dehumidifier system, designed for such a problem.
Dirty Ductwork Contributes to Poor Indoor Air Quality
Did you know that the average six-room home can collect up to 40 pounds of dust per year within its HVAC ductwork? At least, this is the case without proper air filtration and air purification in the home.
Consider the UV air purifier. This system can be integrated straight into your ductwork and kills potentially harmful particles that can build up along with that dust, like bacteria and mold spores. Other types of air cleaners can draw the dust and other allergens from your air so they aren’t compiling in your ductwork or causing health issues.
Running Your HVAC System Continuously can Create Stale Air
There is no question that you need a quality heating system and air conditioner in your home. Our summers are stifling hot and winters bitterly cold. Without the right HVAC systems in place, your comfort would suffer, as would your health.
But the fact of the matter is, running either system continuously can and does create stale air. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your HVAC systems. It just means that, like with the above examples, your indoor air quality needs some extra help. In this case, a heat recovery ventilator or energy recovery ventilator (HRV or ERV) system will do the trick.