May 9, 2019

Clearing The Air.

There are many steps you can take to create a more air-friendly indoor environment. Some of the devices and claims can make the topic of air filtration confusing. Well, it doesn’t have to be. Read our blog and take a look at the simplified diagram to see if we can help clear the air on which solution is the right fit for you. And if you still have a few questions, call an HVAC consultant for an on-site evaluation.

______________________________________________________________________

First, let us give you a quick fact: According to the EPA, pollutant levels can be two to five times higher inside your home than they are outside. We bring pollen in on our shoes, clothes, and hair; mold spores enter through open doors and windows; high indoor humidity levels cause mold growth and attract dust mites and bacteria. We seal our so homes tightly—making sure conditioned air doesn’t leak out—that our HVAC system is not bringing in fresh air to dilute the concentration of the indoor air contaminants. If you suffer from allergies or have concerns about the air your family is breathing inside your home, simple choices you make can have a significant impact on your indoor environment.

Simply Open Your Doors.

Turn off your HVAC and open the windows on occasion when pollen is not in full force. And have indoor plants like Aloe Vera, Bamboo, and English Ivy to name a few, to mitigate the pollution. Check the toxicity of the plants to make sure they are pet-friendly.

Have An HVAC Maintenance Check. (Just Do It.)

Because your HVAC system moves air around your home, the first time you start up your AC for the season, you may have an allergic reaction because resting pollutants (dust mites, mold spores, and pollen) become airborne. If you’re not changing your filter frequently or getting regular maintenance on your HVAC system, you’ll keep blowing particulates throughout your home! Your HVAC system doesn’t just spread these particles, it can harbor them as well. Schedule a maintenance check, you’ve probably got dust, pollen, moisture, and other allergens on the blower fans and in your ductwork. Plus maintenance will extend the life of your HVAC system—just like an oil change extends the life of your car.

Use High-Efficiency Air Filters And Note The MERV.

Changing your filter every six months helps. But during allergy season, you might consider replacing your filter more often if you suffer significantly from allergies. Choosing the right filter can make a big difference, too. Use high-efficiency air filters: these filters are rated by a Minimum Efficiency Reporting System (MERV) and range from about 14 to 16. The MERV scale measures a filter’s ability to remove particles from .30 to 10 microns in size. (To give you a comparison of the scale of a micron, 100 microns is approximately the thickness of a human hair strand!) The higher the MERV, the smaller the particles they can remove.

Caution: Washable Filters May Not Be The Best Choice.
Washable filters are more expensive than disposable filters, they have lower MERV ratings, and if you don’t clean a washable filter regularly, it will become clogged, and contaminants could start growing on your filter. Contaminants also grow on washable filters when they are replaced after washing without proper drying time. And a moldy air filter will spread contaminants throughout your entire home.

Install An Air Purifier/Electronic Air Cleaner (EAC)

Air purifiers or EACs are installed in your HVAC system’s return (see diagram below) and treat the air throughout your entire home. These devices are filter-based and use fans to pull the air in your home through a series of filters that remove harmful airborne particles like dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria prior to going into your HVAC unit.

Install An Air Scrubber.

Filters are essential; however, contaminants like mold, bacteria, allergens, and pet odors, are so small they can pass through filters. An air scrubber is installed directly into your HVAC system’s supply to clean and purify indoor air going into your home. When you turn on your air conditioner, fan, or furnace, air flows through UV light waves and activated carbon filters which destroy viruses, germs, bacteria, mold, chemicals, odors, and allergens.

From regular HVAC maintenance checks to frequent high-efficiency air filter changes you can decrease the number of pollutants inside your home and breath cleaner air. Ask an HVAC consultant to discuss the benefits of an air purifier and/or air scrubber. There are a lot of models on the market and understanding the benefits of each one and how they work to clean your air can help you find the right value.

This blog is based on W.E. Brown best practices.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Keep Reading

Troubleshoot a Tripped Circuit Breaker.

Troubleshoot a Tripped Circuit Breaker.

When a breaker trips in your home, it's due to overcapacity or a short: The breaker trips, stopping the flow of electricity as a safety mea...

Read More  
Troubleshoot uneven heating.

Troubleshoot uneven heating.

Routine maintenance makes sure your heat pump is working at peak performance. But if one room is typically colder than the rest of your hom...

Read More  
Troubleshoot a clogged toilet.

Troubleshoot a clogged toilet.

To ensure that your toilet doesn't overflow, remove the lid from the toilet tank and close the rubber flapper—unless you have a pressure-...

Read More  
What is emergency heat?

What is emergency heat?

What is emergency heat—and why do I need it? As a follow-up to our recent blog “My A/C won’t keep my house cool enough on a 95-deg...

Read More  
My A/C won't keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day.

My A/C won't keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day.

It's 95 degrees outside, and you can't get your indoor temperature to go below 75 degrees—even with your thermostat set on 72 degrees. It...

Read More  
After the Flood.

After the Flood.

One year ago in May, severe rain in Charlottesville, Va. caused the banks of rivers and streams to flood; so much so that people lost their...

Read More  
How will the R22 refrigerant phase-out affect me?

How will the R22 refrigerant phase-out affect me?

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, an R-22 refrigerant phase-out has been taking place in the air conditioning industry (si...

Read More  
Finding value. It starts with a conversation.

Finding value. It starts with a conversation.

Defined as relative worth, merit, or importance: value is different for everyone. The "best" may not always be the right value for your hom...

Read More  
Snow, ice, and a little peace of mind.

Snow, ice, and a little peace of mind.

Snow and ice are in the forecast for us (again). If you're off to grab a few provisions, don't forget to build in a little time to make sure...

Read More  
Five Signs it’s Time for a New Heating System

Five Signs it’s Time for a New Heating System

There comes a time in every home owner's life when they realize their furnace just isn’t what it used to be. Years of wear took its toll,...

Read More  
Preparing for Baby: Ideal Home Temperature

Preparing for Baby: Ideal Home Temperature

As you prepare to welcome your little one, there are probably a million things running through your mind when it comes to “baby-proofing...

Read More  
Service Titan: The Future of Customer Service

Service Titan: The Future of Customer Service

A Smarter and More Efficient Way to Manage As manager of the call center, there is never a dull day for Chrissy Kelly. Her job involves ove...

Read More  
Ten Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

Ten Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

There is a reason why more and more homeowners are making the switch to programmable thermostats every year–well... ten reasons actually:...

Read More  
Customizable Smart Home Technology

Customizable Smart Home Technology

After decades of experience providing reliable plumbing, electric, and HVAC services, W.E. Brown has expanded their products/services to inc...

Read More  
Pursuing Her Lifelong Dream at W.E. Brown

Pursuing Her Lifelong Dream at W.E. Brown

Seven years ago, Jessica Pritchett began to dream about becoming an electrician, but put her goals aside to care for others. Despite all odd...

Read More  
W.E. Brown's Everyday Heroes Save Cat

W.E. Brown's Everyday Heroes Save Cat

When a family's cat was in serious danger, duct mechanic Roy Haislip and call center employee Jennifer Perry did not hesitate to come to its...

Read More  
A Smart Way To Keep Your Cool. Plan Ahead.

A Smart Way To Keep Your Cool. Plan Ahead.

Everything working together to create your whole-home comfort...

Read More  
Rolling in 2018 With a Fleet of New Trucks

Rolling in 2018 With a Fleet of New Trucks

New Look, Same Reliable Service Here at W.E. Brown, we are always striving to go above and beyond for our customers, and there is no detail...

Read More  

Forecasting The Health of Your Pipes With Video Certainty

Yep, and we give this video ‘Two Thumbs Up.’ As a routine check-up, a Sewer Camera video inspection of your main sewer line is a noninva...

Read More  
Building A World Of Efficiency— Starts Behind The Drywall

Building A World Of Efficiency— Starts Behind The Drywall

Let me cover another W.E. Brown focus group favorite—knowledge sharing. Something that is near and dear to my heart is new construction...

Read More