11 Tips To Help You Improve Indoor Air Quality in Atlanta

HVAC – when most people think of this term, they move immediately to the heating or air conditioning side of things. After all, you want your home to be comfortable: warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

What most people miss is what’s in between – the ventilation process.

If the air doesn’t move in and out of a building or home effectively, a variety of things can go wrong. It can not only make the inside an uncomfortable environment; it can make it unhealthy too. The key is to design the HVAC system and other systems in the home to work together to effectively ventilate and minimize the indoor air pollution that impacts you the most.

Homes of yesteryear had little concern for allowing fresh air in. If they wanted outside air, they simply left a window or a door open, and the air drifted in. But as we became more knowledgeable and more technologically inclined, we began building a tighter home and trapping contaminants inside. Couple that with the fact that people now spend almost 90 percent of their time indoors, and you have a situation ripe for disaster.

People no longer open windows for fresh air. Because of energy costs, security issues, drafts, dirty air, noise pollution and more, some residential windows rarely crack open all year long. Yet the EPA has shown that air pollutants in indoor levels may be as much as 100 times higher than the air outdoors.

What changes it is focusing in on ways to improve the ventilation system within your home.

1. If at all possible, avoid placing furnaces, air conditioners, and ductwork in garages or other spaces that can easily draw contaminants into the home.

2. Properly vent all rooms, especially bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Use energy efficient ventilation fans to aid in the process.

3. Properly vent fireplaces, wood stoves, and other heating devices, using outdoor air intakes whenever possible.

4. Vent clothes dryers and central vacuum systems directly outdoors.

5. Never store toxic or volatile compounds in your living quarters. This includes paints, solvents, chemicals, cleaners, fertilizers and pesticides.

6. Minimize use of combustion sources such as cigarettes, candles, indoor barbecues and grills, and other decorative combustion appliances of vent-free heaters.

7. If you do use high-polluting items in your home, be sure you keep the area well ventilated during the process. This includes things like home cleaning products, paints, hobby activities, etc.

8. Always use a high quality filter or air cleaner in your air handling system to keep dirt out of the air and out of your ductwork and heating and cooling components. Change out on a frequent basis.

9. Sealed-combustion, power vented, or condensing water heaters and furnaces are the preferred equipment for homes. Be sure to test natural-draft applications for proper venting if they are used.

10. Distribute a minimum level of outside air throughout your home using a whole-house ventilation system.

11. Invest in IAQ products such as humidifiers, de-humidifiers, UVV and UVC lights, and HEPA air filtration systems. Our service technicians can help you select what is right for your home and family.

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