How To Choose The Right IAQ Product For My Needs

The Greater Seattle region is known for its high levels of precipitation. After a storm, it gets muggy. At some points in the year, the Pacific Northwest gets inundated with foggy. The changes in the weather, as well as the frequent rain, affect the overall air quality, which in turn has an impact on your home’s indoor air quality. To find the best IAQ product for your needs, it helps to consult with professionals like us at Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning. An inspection allows us to evaluate what is happening in your home. Plus, you can go over your concerns with our technicians. Let us explore the ins and outs of indoor air quality so you can pick out the best IAQ product.

What Is Indoor Air Quality?

The Environmental Protection Agency defines indoor air quality as the quality of air inside a building as it relates to a person’s health and comfort. So, if you cough a lot while inside your home, you are less likely to be comfortable. If you are experiencing allergies indoors, you are also not going to be very comfortable. Your health is being impacted. A number of things could be causing your cough and allergies. If you do not experience relief from your symptoms when you are indoors, then the air quality in your home is probably the cause.

Some health effects of poor indoor air quality are:

  • Eye irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Allergies
  • Sinus congestion
  • Dizziness

Poor air quality means the air is polluted. Particles of dust, pet dander, and biological pollutants are contributors to less than healthy indoor air quality.

How Is the Quality of Indoor Air Determined?

To test the air quality in your home, you can purchase a kit. These kits can test the levels of:

  • Dust
  • Allergens
  • Chemical pollutants
  • Humidity

Every test kit brand is different, so you have to be sure to read the instructions before you make your purchase. Some can display specific percentages for each category. Others give you an overview. The prices also have a wide range. Some tests specialize in testing for mold, too. Some tests afford you the ability to receive your results through an app on your smartphone.

Can Indoor Air Quality Be Improved?

Indoor air quality can be improved. Taking the steps to do so does not have to expensive or time-consuming, either. This is why HVAC professionals encourage their customers to set up an appointment to ensure there are no potential air quality issues. To improve the air in your home, you are encouraged to clean regularly. By dusting and vacuuming, you are not allowing dust to make itself at home on your house’s surfaces.

Changing the bedding in your bedroom on a regular basis is also highly recommended. This is where you sleep. There is no reason to sleep on a cloud of layer dust even though you cannot see it. Other simple things to do are open a window to allow the fresh air from outside to flow in while the trapped in air flows out. The next step is to research the right IAQ product for your needs.

What IAQ Products Are Available?

Right now, the market is seeing an influx of new air quality products. Thanks to technology, innovators and researching continue to find ways to make these items more efficient, smaller, and more powerful. Among your products, options are ultraviolet lamps, air purifiers, and air humidifiers as well as high MERV air filters. Investing in fans or exhaust systems that are designed specifically to ventilate are worthwhile investments, too. The right product for you depends on what you are experiencing. Also, it depends on what a professional technician finds.

If the technician gathers data through an IAQ sensor, for example, he or she can narrow down the causes in addition to the best products. A local technician will also take into consideration the pollutants most commonly found in Seattle at any given time of the year. All this information put together plus your symptoms helps determine what is causing you discomfort indoors.

UV Lights and Air Purifiers

UV lights are a sanitation device. It can kill bacteria and spores that cause mold. Often it is placed next to a cooling system. The device targets the air that is being re-circulated by your HVAC system. Air purifiers are a common IAQ product. The purifier is designed to capture the pollutants floating in the air. A purifier does not eliminate all pollutants, but studies show that it does a good job of eliminating at least half. It is a good device to use against exhausts, dust, and bacteria.

Air Humidifiers

For those who experience a dry interior, air humidifiers are a great option. Humidity occurs because other factors cause it. Increased indoor moisture leads to humidity. During the winter months, there may be less humidity. This is why you are encouraged to open a window even in the winter. It allows the air to circulate and freshens up the inside. Companies such as Aprilaire has been manufacturing products that help people remain comfortable indoors since 1938. They were the first company to introduce the first whole-house humidifier in 1954.

A whole-home humidifier is installed directly onto your existing cooling, heating, and ventilation system. This way it covers the entire house. Portable humidifiers were just as well but their reach is limited. If you experience chapped lips, excessive coughing, or static electricity indoors, it is due to the dryness. That dryness is influenced by the outdoor temperatures. You may also notice cracks on wooden furniture due to the lack of indoor humidity. The humidifier can also filter the air. As it adds moisture to the air, it is also trapping particles such as allergens, dust, and dirt.

Air Filters

Highly rated air filters are great for use in most HVAC systems. Filters that have a MERV rating have been tested. Therefore, they are more likely to be reliable. MERV 8 filters are the most common ones used in residences. They can trap up to 90 percent of small particles. The rating scale goes up to 16. Filters that have a higher rating are better for use in commercial environments. They are known to trap even smaller particles. Commercial HVAC units match up better with the higher-rated filters because those machines are strong enough to push through the tiny holes. If you try to use a higher rating in your residence, your unit could overheat.

Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans are available in two types: ducted and non-ducted. Ducted exhaust fans suck up the pollutants in the indoor air and blow it outside. Non-ducted exhaust fans filter the air from the pollutants.

Since there are so many options, you may want to consult with an HVAC technician. You might be advised to combine IAQ products to deliver the best results. To find the right indoor air quality product for your needs, contact the experts at Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning in Kirkland, WA, and schedule an appointment today. We specialize in IAQ as well as heating, cooling, and electrical services.