Indoor Air Quality During Hazardous Outdoor Air Conditions
It is important to remember that indoor air quality is something necessary for all homes. High-quality indoor air can be achieved in many ways through a variety of methods. With outdoor air quality so poor in our area due to wildfire smoke, it is imperative that we consider its impact on the quality of the air inside our homes. Here are some questions you can use as a guideline to evaluate how poor outdoor air quality impacts your indoor air.
What type of HVAC system do you have?
If you have a central ducted system, you will have one or more filters in your system. Make sure to change your filter(s) often.
The higher the MERV rating the more effective the filter is at not allowing air particulates to pass through it. At our office location, we offer MERV 8,10, 11, and 16 filters for sale and we can also special order unique sizes. The MERV rating also determines generally how often to change your furnace filter though other household factors matter as well. A good rule of thumb to go by is:
- MERV 8 filters should be changed every 3-4 months,
- MERV 10 & 11 filters every 6 months
- MERV 16 filters every year
If you have a ductless system, just keep doors and windows closed, and clean the filters often. There are indoor air quality products that can improve the efficiency of the filters but apart from that, keep them clean.
Do you have a “fresh air intake”?
A fresh air intake system is simply a duct that draws air from outdoors and mixes it with the indoor air to relieve stale air conditions within the space. If you are in an area that is affected by poor outdoor quality, it is a good idea to close your fresh air damper or turn off the controls that operate it. Simple systems may be as easy as turning a mechanical lever on the duct that will shut the damper, while more complex systems have a motorized automatic damper that may be controlled by a timer or thermostat.
Do you have sealed ductwork?
Most people do not realize that unless their ductwork has been properly sealed, they likely have leaks that will not only cause air to blow out but also cause it to be brought in. Some homeowners have had their ducts sealed manually or by hand and still do not have a very tight system. This can happen because sealing by hand will only address what can be accessed by hand and will not address areas that cannot be accessed from the outside. Ask us how we can seal your air distribution system from the inside out using Aeroseal.
Do you have a quality filtration system?
In our experience, capturing particles and killing germs and viruses not only in the air but also on surfaces, is the best way to keep your system clean and address poor indoor air quality. We provide services to “Clean, Seal, and Protect” your entire HVAC system which will give you healthier air and protect the investment spent on your HVAC system. We do this by:
- Cleaning what is in the duct system currently
- Sealing the ductwork from ongoing infiltration
- Protecting the system by using a pleated filter and “The Protector” air technology system