Breathe Easy

Why Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Matters

Regardless of the situation, the quality of the air we breathe can have a dramatic effect on our overall health and comfort. This is especially important to consider for the places we spend the majority of our time: our homes and offices.

Most people are fairly conscious of air pollution outdoors, be it from cars or refineries, or even naturally occurring pollen. What you might not realize is that, according to the EPA, indoor air is often much more polluted than the air outside. Since most of us spend around 90% of our lives indoors, you can understand how significant IAQ actually is.

Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants

So where do all these indoor air pollutants come from? Usual suspects include things like household cleaners, aerosols, pesticides, and gas-burning appliances. Our own dead skin cells and pet dander can build up to be a considerable amount of dust in the air and on our surfaces. Even things like furniture, plastics, carpet, pressed wood, and other building materials can contribute a measurable amount of airborne chemicals to our indoor environments.

These problems are often compounded by the lack of proper ventilation, causing these pollutants to linger much longer than if they could be carried away by the breeze outside. Lack of humidity control can also contribute to increased concentrations of pollutants in the air.

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

It’s become increasingly difficult to remove sources of many air pollutants since we’ve become so reliant on synthetic and processed materials. For most, the first step is to keep your air filters changed as recommended. This could be between every 1 and 6 months depending on your filter type, so be sure to speak with your HVAC provider if you’re not sure. Cleaning your air coils might also be recommended by your provider to reduce dust and mold buildup.

Next, consider improving ventilation and humidity control. If your climate doesn’t allow for cracking windows periodically, you should speak with your local Trane Comfort Specialist about possible mechanical solutions for bringing fresh air into your home our office. Some situations might call for a dehumidifier to help reduce moisture in the air. Both of these options can make a noticeable difference in comfort as well as reducing concentrations of many airborne contaminants. Upgrading to a Trane Variable speed system can also help control humidity and airflow, increasing the effectiveness of your existing filtration.

Finally, there are steps you can take to physically eliminate allergens and indoor airborne contaminants in your home or office using media filters and UV air purifiers. The best solution for your situation could vary based on any number of factors, but let’s break down a few options that might be right for you.

Media Filters

These come in a variety of sizes but are generally much more effective than the standard 1-inch air filters at capturing both microscopic particles like dust and smoke in addition to larger contaminants such as mold spores and pet dander. Higher-end models like the Honeywell F300 or Trane Clean Effects will even introduce an electric charge to the air, increasing filtration by causing airborne particles to stick together.

UV Air Purifiers

As the name suggests, UV air purifiers utilize UV light to break down airborne pathogens and microorganisms such as mold, bacteria, and even viruses. Once broken down these particles can then be safely removed by your filtration system, eliminating odors and potential health risks alike. In-duct products such as the OXY 4 Air Purifier and the REME HALO can even distribute these benefits throughout the building, eliminating contaminants from surfaces as well as from the air.

The quality of the air we breathe can have a big impact on our lives, but there are definitely steps that can be taken to improve your indoor environment. Clean and replace your air filters, avoid using harmful chemicals inside if possible, and contact a Trane Comfort Specialist today to find out what other solutions might be best for you.

NOTE: While UV Air Purifiers have been proven effective against many forms of bacteria and viruses, no studies have been performed against Coronavirus or COVID-19 as those samples are not available for testing.

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