Many homeowners in San Francisco and the Bay Area assume that the air inside their homes is cleaner and less polluted than the outdoor air, but this is not true! In fact, the air inside most homes is MORE polluted than outdoor air, for a number of reasons – pet dander; dust; allergens; gases from paint, fabrics, and carpets; microorganisms; and other particles that are “stuck” inside, especially if a home is sealed tightly and allows for little ventilation.
Essentially, there are three types of pollutants. These include odors/gases, microorganisms, and particulate matter. We’ll discuss each a bit more in depth and possible solutions below.
Odors and gases. The materials used in building many homes give off VOCs, or volatile organic compound gases, that are potentially toxic. VOCs can be found in wall or ceiling paint, carpets, furniture fabrics, even composite wood. Carbon activated filtration systems help to detoxify these compounds and absorb the odors. This type of system is also helpful in removing cooking odors and unpleasant pet smells.
Particulate matter, that is tiny particles barely noticeable to the eye such as pollen, dust, and pet dander, may be remedied by using a MERV filter that is rated between 7 and 13. These filters remove up to 95% of the tiny airborne particles in your indoor air the first time these particles pass through the return vent. You may also want to consider an electrostatic filter, which many professionals believe are even more effective than a filter with a good MERV rating.
If you have problems with fungus, mold, dust mites, or other bacteria in your home, you may want to consider UV lighting filtration. This method of filtration essentially destroys or “kills” airborne microorganisms that could potentially make your family sick.
You may think that doing all three would be the best way to fight indoor air pollutants, however it is possible to have a combination system that does all of the above work attached to your HVAC system. This upgrade will ensure the air inside your home is as clean and healthy as possible, helping you breathe easier.
Have questions about indoor air quality, and what you can do to ensure the air your family is breathing is clean and fresh? At Ortiz Heating & Air Conditioning, our San Mateo HVAC professionals not only keep homes comfortable through air conditioning and heat installation, but we also help you enjoy healthier indoor air. Give us a call today!