Air Quality: Comparing Indoor and Outdoor Air

Air quality plays an important role in your health and your comfort at home. The quality of your air can even affect the performance, efficiency, and longevity of your heating and cooling system, ultimately impacting the costs of running, maintaining, and replacing these appliances. Understanding how the air quality inside a modern home compares to the air quality outdoors, as well as the most effective solutions for improving indoor air quality, can help you make the right choice for your home to improve the air you breathe every day.

Air Quality Inside Your Home

Modern homes make use of extensive sealing techniques to reduce air exchange with the outdoor environment. These efforts are meant to reduce heat exchange in particular, which can cause your home to feel too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, which requires increased HVAC function to offset. Despite the success of sealing techniques in reducing heat exchange and improving HVAC efficiency, these same techniques can also cause the buildup of indoor air pollution inside your home. High levels of indoor air pollution can have negative effects on both your health and your comfort, even when your heating and cooling system is operating at high efficiency.

Air Quality Outside Your Home

Outdoor air can accumulate pollution and other harmful particles and microorganisms as well, but these often exist in lower concentration outside than inside your home. This is because outside your home, there are several natural processes that clean the air. Wind moves particles from one place to another, reducing their concentration over time. Sunlight contains high-energy rays called ultraviolet (UV) rays, which destroy viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and even certain types of chemicals and odors on contact.

Air Quality Solutions for Your Home

While an influx of fresh air from the outdoors into your home via proper ventilation can help to reduce indoor air pollution, there are many other ways to boost the indoor air quality of your home as well. Your HVAC system incorporates a basic furnace filter, which traps larger molecules such as dust, pollen, and animal dander. However, this filter cannot trap or destroy smaller molecules and particles, including many microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and molds. Your heating and cooling service can install a UV light air cleaner as part of your HVAC system, which shines on the air as it moves away from your furnace or air conditioner and up into your ducts. As the air passes through the UV light, particles such as harmful microorganisms, chemicals, and odors are sterilized or destroyed. This significantly reduces the buildup and growth of chemicals and microorganisms in your ductwork, your HVAC appliances, and your home, cleansing the air just as if the sun were shining throughout your living spaces. UV light air cleaners require no manual activation and are easy to maintain as part of your regular heating and cooling service, offering passive 24/7 air cleaning for a healthier home.

Good indoor air quality is vital to maintaining a healthy home for you and your family. Our Smyrna heating and cooling service is proud to offer a variety of indoor air quality products and solutions, including whole-home humidifiers, air purifiers, and UV light air cleaners. If you’d like to learn more about improving air quality and HVAC performance in your home, please stop by our website for a comprehensive list of our heating and cooling solutions, or take a look through our monthly blog.

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