Breathing clean air can lower your risk of respiratory diseases and improve your quality of life. HVAC systems can help improve indoor air quality to enhance health and comfort. Choose professional heating and cooling services to help you get a quality system for your home.
HVAC Systems and Indoor Air Quality
You need to assess an HVAC system’s air filter, as it can determine your home’s air quality. The filter cleans the air circulating your home, protecting your system from dust and allergens that can affect your health.
You’ll likely come across HVAC systems containing air filters with Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings of 1-20. The MERV scale measures a filter’s ability to remove particles between 0.3 to 10 microns from your air. This scale is derived from a test method created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), so you can rest assured it’s effective in determining an air filter’s effectiveness.
The higher the MERV rating your system’s air filter has, the fewer contaminants it’ll allow into your home. Here’s a breakdown of different MERV ratings:
- MERV 1-4: Can prevent particles of 10 microns from entering your space
- MERV 5-8: Can prevent particles of up to 3 microns
- MERV 9-12: Can remove particles between 1-3 microns
- MERV 13-16: Can remove particles between 0.3-1 microns
- MERV 17-20: Can eliminate particles less than 0.3 microns
The ASHRAE recommends air filters with a 13 MERV rating for residential HVAC systems. A MERV 13 air filter can remove contaminants like sawdust, pollen, lint, insecticide dust, and smoke.
You can upgrade your air filter if you already have an HVAC system to improve indoor air quality. Consult your heating and cooling service provider beforehand, as some ratings may not be compatible with your system.
How Can You Maintain or Improve Your Air Quality?
You can maintain your HVAC system’s efficiency in promoting indoor air quality by taking care of it and investing in HVAC indoor air quality products. Here’s what you should do:
Change Your Air Filter
Your air filter traps contaminants as air moves through your home. Over time, the filter can get dirty, reducing airflow and its ability to capture contaminants. Get a professional heating and cooling expert to clean the filter if your system has a permanent filter. If it has a disposable filter, change the filter every few months.
How often you change your filter depends on your living conditions. You should change it often if you have pets in your home or if you smoke, as it’ll accumulate many pollutants over time. The filter’s MERV rating can also determine when you need a replacement—the higher the MERV rating, the more frequent your changes should be.
Schedule Regular HVAC System Maintenance
Components like the condenser, evaporator coil, and blower fan can also impact indoor air quality if not properly maintained. The components can accrue pollutants like lint and mold spores as they come into contact with air flowing into and from your home. Without proper maintenance, you may notice abnormal smells throughout your home every time your HVAC unit runs.
You can maintain your unit’s efficiency by scheduling regular maintenance. The right HVAC technician will inspect your system’s components and clean them whenever necessary to prevent contaminant buildups that could affect your air quality.
Install HVAC Indoor Air Quality Products
You can further improve indoor air quality by buying products like air purifiers, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers to support your HVAC system.
An air purifier is an excellent addition to our system if people in your home are prone to respiratory illnesses. Air purifiers can eliminate bacteria and remove odors, allowing you to enjoy clean air. These units can also increase your HVAC filters’ lifespan by helping trap contaminants.
A humidifier can combat the effects of dry air by adding water vapor to your home. It’s a great addition to your HVAC system if you frequently experience cold weather, as it’s sometimes accompanied by dry air. Dehumidifiers are recommended for coastal regions as they can remove excess humidity from the air. Depending on your unique needs, your heating and cooling service provider can help you determine the best addition.
Find the Right Heating and Cooling Services
The kind of HVAC system you choose can determine your indoor air quality, as different systems contain different air filters. For optimal air quality, choose a system whose filter has a MERV 13 rating, as it can prevent large and small particles from entering your home. Schedule regular HVAC maintenance, clean or change your air filters, and invest in air quality products like air purifiers and humidifiers. You can consult reliable heating and cooling services, as they can guide you on the best HVAC systems and additions to guarantee optimal indoor air quality.
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