One of the many benefits of a first-rate HVAC system is that you can rely on it to improve the air quality in your home. During the winter or summer when you’re unable to crack a window for fresh outside air, you want to be able to know your HVAC is doing one of its many jobs: keeping the air fresh and contaminant-free.
What do we mean when we say contaminant-free? We’re talking about eliminating all kinds of contaminants that regularly linger in the air, including:
- excess moisture
- smoke from a fireplace, cooking or cigarettes
- regular house dust and dust from home renovations
- pet dander
More serious air contaminants or pollutants include mold, bacteria, carbon monoxide, asbestos, or lead particles. If any of these types of contaminants are an issue in your house, you need to address them through more direct means than simply relying on an effective HVAC unit. However, for the “everyday” contaminants such as those listed above, an HVAC system in good working order can improve and maintain air quality.
To make sure your HVAC is circulating healthy air around your home, consider these 4 ways to improve air quality inside your home.
Clean your air filters
When researching the question of how to make your HVAC system work better, the most common answer you’ll find is to clean or replace your air filters. Not only are clean filters able to pull more dust and other contaminants out of the air, but they won’t block air flow which increases the problem of dust and other particles collecting all over your house.
Full or clogged air filters can also damage your HVAC unit. Dirty filters make the HVAC system work harder and can even lead to broken parts or even a total unit breakdown. When it comes to air quality, it’s important to consider clean air filters your go-to for keeping the air fresh in your home.
Another consideration is the use of the correct air filter for your HVAC system. While having your HVAC serviced, ask your HVAC technician if there’s a preferred filter type or size for catching more particles and keeping your air cleaner.
Check on ductwork & other components of the HVAC system
The air, conditioned by your HVAC system, flows through your ductwork. Keeping your ductwork clean is another way to combat contaminants from growing and blowing around your house. Dust or even mold can build up inside ductwork (especially if the ducts were not installed well). During a tune-up with an HVAC technician, ensure that the ducts are examined and given a good cleaning.
Another area of the HVAC system that is prone to getting dirty with potential mold or bacteria is the coil inside the HVAC system. It’s possible to install special ultraviolet lights that can kill any growth inside the unit, making the system more efficient as well.
During tune-ups, the HVAC technician will also clean unit parts like the air handlers, grills, fans, and motors. These are functional parts of the HVAC unit that should only be handled and cleaned by a professional. Keeping your HVAC system and ductwork clean is one of the best ways to make sure the air blown through the system is also clean.
Make use of air purifiers
You might consider using multiple means of cleaning the air, aside from your HVAC system, to improve air quality and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. The use of plants, cooking vents in the kitchen, air purifiers, humidifiers, or dehumidifiers are all helpful tools to keep the air fresh. Whether you are fond of cooking, have a full house requiring daily showers and extra loads of laundry causing increased humidity, or are enduring an especially dry winter – these factors can strain your HVAC system. Whatever stress may be placed on your air quality, your HVAC system will thank you (through longer-lasting heating and cooling units) if you take steps to mitigate air quality issues through creative means.
Run the fan more often
Running your HVAC system’s fan more often can also help with air quality. Depending on the age of your thermostat, you should be able to turn the fan to the “on” mode. If it’s a newer, programmable thermostat, you may have the option to set the fan to remain on for a certain number of minutes per hour.
While keeping the fan on can cost more on your utility bill or even bother you due to the sound of the fan running, it can help to filter the air as it will run the air through the air filters. But remember that if you are running the fan more often, you might need to clean or change the air filters more often.
Keep efficiency in mind
Air quality is certainly important, especially if you live with someone who is immunocompromised or has a respiratory issue like asthma. And the Covid-19 pandemic made us more aware of airborne contaminants and ventilation than ever before. We need to think about air quality and controlling contaminants that might be getting into indoor air.
It’s also important to note that air quality also impacts the efficiency of your HVAC system. Air filters clogged with dust or pet dander can cause issues within the whole system, and high humidity will strain the system as it tries to keep it under control. Keeping the air clean helps your HVAC system heat and cool more effectively.
Indoor air quality is an important part of a working HVAC system. Our HVAC technicians have experience with a variety of air quality problems, and we’re ready to answer your questions and provide solutions.
Exxel Mechanical serves a wide area of central Maryland from our home base in Mount Airy, including Westminster, Owings Mills, Ellicott City, and Frederick. Our reputation in this area precedes us, as we pride ourselves on placing our customers as our highest priority. Call us today at (443) 821-1040 or email email@example.com and it would be our pleasure to see how we can help you.