Your Home’s Air Quality: 5 Common Myths

air quality 1In today’s busy world, we often assume that the air in our homes, businesses and apartments is clean and healthy. This often leads us to neglect important decisions, appliances and lifestyle choices that drastically improve the quality of our indoor air. Many of us spend over 80% of our time indoors, and many air pollutants (such as fungi, allergens, bacteria and even viruses) are not always noticeable by scent alone. Here are six of the most common air quality myths.

Pollution is an outdoor problem

This myth largely comes from cities with smog alerts that warn residents to stay indoors when possible. While outdoor pollution can be a serious issue in some places, indoor air pollution is possible anywhere. In fact, indoor air can be up to 10 times more polluted than the air outside. Deciding factors include the age of the home, the quality of the HVAC and ventilation systems, and lifestyle factors such as smoking or frequent cooking.

Heaters and A/C units affect only temperature, not air quality

This is one of the most common air quality myths. Modern HVAC units not only modify the temperature of your indoor air, but act as filtration systems as well. What happens if the filters and vents in your HVAC system are neglected? Pollutants build up quickly, air quality drops, and heating/cooling efficiency is reduced significantly. That’s why a regular HVAC maintenance plan is important, both in terms of air quality and cost savings.

Air cleaners don’t really work

There are a wide range of appliances out there that claim to clean indoor air, and it’s true that some of them don’t work very well. But high quality air cleaners are extremely effective. Even particles that are thousands of times smaller than a pinhead are effectively removed by a good air cleaner. If you’re looking for an air filter that exceeds expectations, look for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). An air cleaner with a MERV of 10-15 will work wonders for your air quality.

Air filters are meant to collect dust and nothing more

Actually, modern air filters do a whole lot more. Whether you’re a big family or just one person, all kinds of pollutants can build up in your home. These include debris, hair and dandruff from pets, pollen, allergens, bacteria and more. If you smoke or burn incense, air filters are designed to mitigate the effects and improve air quality. Every home and business owner should pay close attention to their HVAC air filters in order to keep the air clean and healthy.

Opening the windows is the only way to get fresh air during winter months

When the mercury drops low or rises high, how do you bring fresh air into your home? Many people think that opening the windows is the only option, yet this leads to a rapid loss of heating or cooling energy.

There is a highly effective alternative you may not have considered: An air ventilator. These devices have come a long way in terms of design and functionality. Modern ventilators use the temperature of the outgoing air to modify the temperature of the incoming air, meaning that poor quality air is exchanged efficiently without any loss of heat or cold. They’re also effective in removing many airborne pollutants that may have built up inside your home.

By learning the truth about indoor air quality, and discovering how we can keep our indoor air clean, we can live happier and healthier lives while protecting our investments. We hope you’ve found this list of common air quality myths helpful, and welcome your comments below!