Common Indoor Air Quality Myths

May 9, 2020

Your home is your refuge from the world, and as such, you want to be able to enjoy the time you spend there. Maintaining a comfortable temperature is a large part of home relaxation, but the quality of the indoor air itself is also a major factor in overall home comfort. It is not just the way the air feels on your skin, but the effect the allergens, contaminants and chemicals in the air can have on your comfort levels.

Air Patrol Air Conditioning, Heating & Fireplaces has been providing exceptional air quality services to the Dallas and Fort Worth areas for over 15 years, and we are highly knowledgeable on all matters pertaining to improving your indoor air quality, or IAQ. Below are several of the most common misconceptions that people may have about their IAQ.

1. IAQ Has No Health Implications

When discussing indoor air quality, comfort is often the most discussed topic, but the quality of your indoor air can actually affect the health of everyone in the home. It is not just the autoimmune-compromised who can become ill from air contaminants and chemicals. Many people suffer from allergies to dust, pollen and pet dander, and chemicals can affect everyone. You can reduce these allergens and pollutants by using filtration, cleaners and purifiers, which can be portable or conjoined to your air system.

2. Indoor Air Is Better Than Outside Air

Due to the presence of dust, pollen and other small particulates that occur naturally outside, it is a common misconception that all indoor air must be of better quality than outside air. However, the air inside your home can actually contain more airborne irritants than the air outside because of a cumulative effect. Modern homes are more airtight today, and the trapped air will accumulate pollutants over time if they are not removed. It is important to provide proper ventilation, filtration and purification in order to clean the indoor air and remove the particulates and other contaminants.

You can use portable ventilators, air purifiers and air filtration systems, or you can use a whole-home HVAC system that pairs these air cleaners and ventilation systems with an existing HVAC unit. These whole-home systems with ventilation often use either Heat Recovery Ventilators or Energy Recovery Ventilators that enable ventilation while “recovering” the energy from the released airflow. During the summer heat, the cooling energy is recovered from this outgoing air. ERVs also take care of high humidity levels, and you can add air purifiers and cleaners to both of these systems. Air Patrol Air Conditioning, Heating & Fireplaces in Dallas and Fort Worth carries a wide range of Carrier IAQ systems, and our trained technicians can analyze your home and recommend solutions.

3. All Indoor Air Needs More Humidity

The truth is that your air can either have too much, too little or the perfect amount of humidity. The humidity levels in your home depend on factors such as the climate where you reside and the environment in your home. Air that is too dry is uncomfortable to breathe and can exacerbate your sinuses, and indoor air that is too damp can impart an uncomfortable, clammy feeling. Air that has a high humidity can also promote the growth of biological compounds, which can cause allergic reactions to people and damage the materials they are attached to. You can use portable or whole-home humidity-control devices. With a whole-home approach, you can control the moisture in the entire house with one system, and you do not have to keep filling or emptying the water.

4. New Buildings Are Better

Both newer and older buildings have their own sets of indoor air issues. Older buildings can have more dust and other small particulates from aging materials, and they have had more time to accumulate these irritants in the air and in the ductwork. However, new buildings may be filled with chemicals that are emanating from the paint, carpet and plastics. Either way, you should implement filtration and air purifying devices to reduce these potentially harmful pollutants from the air.

5. HVAC Systems Take Care of All Pollutants

HVAC and other types of AC systems can handle air filtration very well and will remove most small particulates, especially when equipped with specialized air-filtration systems. However, filtration by itself does not capture or remove gases and volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. This process requires a different type of filter medium, such as activated carbon, which will absorb these elements. The units that are equipped with these types of specialized purifiers and filters need a different kind of care and maintenance than standard air systems. Our team at Air Patrol Air Conditioning, Heating & Fireplaces is well-trained and can conduct careful maintenance on all your IAQ systems in Dallas and Fort Worth.

6. Radon Is Only a Problem for Residences

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can only be detected through testing. It emanates from uranium found naturally in the ground and is usually harmless in small amounts that seep upwards and dissipate into the air. However, when it is released into a building, it can become trapped and cause serious health issues. Any building can be contaminated with radon, and it can affect the people who work and visit these commercial sites. Testing for radon is an easy process and is a good step to take in areas that are known to be prone to radon gas exposure.

7. Ozone Is Safe for Your Home

There are many current air purifiers that are actually ozone emitters. The makers of these products claim that the ozone will react with other contaminating chemicals in the air and remove them by the reaction. They state that ozone is a safe chemical and that it will not cause harm to people. However, the EPA has an official statement stating that ozone can be detrimental for people who breathe it in and that any benefit from a chemical interaction would not be felt until a long time after the reacting event. Air Patrol Air Conditioning, Heating & Fireplaces has many safe air purifying systems that will not emit potentially harmful chemicals. We can recommend the right purifying system for your home.

8. Air Fresheners Improve Indoor Air Quality

Air fresheners improve the way your indoor air smells, but they do not improve the quality of the air in any way. In fact, excessive use of air fresheners can actually irritate some people with allergies and cause a chemical buildup themselves.

As you can see, your indoor air quality is not something to be taken lightly. There are many ways in which your air can be improved, such as providing proper ventilation, humidity levels, purification, filtration and cleaning. Putting these elements into place will offer long-lasting benefits for your health and comfort.

Air Patrol Air Conditioning, Heating & Fireplaces has experienced technicians who can install and maintain your IAQ systems, and we also provide all types of cooling, heating and fireplace services for your home in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. To learn more about how we can partner with you to optimize the comfort of your home, give us a call today!

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