Tag Archives: air quality

A Toast to Air Quality: Raising Awareness and Why It’s Important

A Toast to Air Quality: Raising Awareness and Why It's ImportantThe fact that Earth Day closely precedes Air Quality Awareness Week is no surprise. Both are linked by how important air quality is to a healthy planet and home environment. Bad air harms both. In nature, all life pays a price when air quality suffers.

Outdoor Air

Outdoors, the Peachtree City area is plagued with high humidity that makes the hot weather in the summer uncomfortable. As the weather heats up, ozone pollution builds and harms the very young and old. It’s a respiratory irritant and anyone with COPD should avoid exposure to it.

Particulate matter is another pollutant in our air that can have health consequences. Tiny particles can lodge deep into the lungs and over time, cause irritations or trigger more serious diseases.

Indoor Air

Exposure to contaminants inside your home may have a more serious consequence than those outdoors. Besides all these contaminants in the outside air that make their way indoors, you might have a mix of other pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mold spores, dust mite waste and pollen.

While you can avoid driving during certain hours when there are pollution advisories, there are things you can do indoors to improve your air quality far beyond Air Quality Awareness Week, like:

  • Change the air filter for your HVAC system and have Powers Heating & Air service it for the summer.
  • Don’t idle your car or gas-powered yard equipment inside if you have an attached garage.
  • Avoid products with VOCS when you can by choosing products low in VOCs or alternatives without any. You can also use them as long as you have enough fresh air ventilation. VOCs come from home improvement and cleaning supplies, anything with perfume like candles, air fresheners and soaps,

When you practice these habits, the health risks they pose diminish. Over time, the amount of pollutants inside your home will fall and your air quality will improve.

Let Air Quality Awareness Week be your springboard to better air quality inside your home. If you’d like more information, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

How is Home Comfort Affected?

How is Home Comfort Affected?It’s easy to take home comfort for granted when the HVAC system is working properly, since it delivers the cool air that makes summers in Georgia livable. Besides the temperature, the HVAC system also manages the air’s humidity and helps clean it to make your indoor environment healthier.

 

Temperature

Air temperature plays a crucial role in staying comfortable indoors, since the body has a fairly narrow tolerance for temperatures too hot or cold. While 72 degrees F is ideal, most healthy adults adapt to temperatures that are slightly lower in the winter and higher in the summer. Setting the thermostat for 68 degrees in the winter and 78 to 80 in the summer saves energy without overly stressing the body.

Humidity

The amount of humidity in the air influences comfort levels a good deal especially in the summertime. The moisture on skin doesn’t dry as quickly when the humidity level is high, which makes you feel warmer. The body relies on perspiration as its cooling mechanism. When it can’t dry as quickly, it seems hotter than it really is.

Ideally, indoor humidity should range between 30 to 50 percent year-round. In the summer, drier air indoors and out feels better. The air conditioner improves home comfort by cooling off the air and removing some of the excess humidity. Lower humidity in the summer also prevents a proliferation of mold and bacterial growths.

Air Quality

Although it’s not tangible through touch, you may be able to see or smell the indoor air when its quality is poor. Airborne particulates like dust and pollen can be irritants, and odors in the air usually indicate air quality problems. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) often leave odors behind and come from anything made of hydrocarbons. If anyone in your household has respiratory problems, opting for UV (ultraviolet) lights in the air handler or higher quality air filters can improve air quality.

 

If any of these home comfort factors is amiss, it might be time to have your HVAC system checked by Powers Heating & Air. We provide services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

How is a Heat Recovery Ventilator Beneficial for Your Home?

How is a Heat Recovery Ventilator Beneficial for Your Home?New homes are built to be more energy-efficient than ever before, and this involves making sure they don’t waste energy through air leaks. These airtight homes save energy because heat loss and heat gain are reduced. However, without the right kind of ventilation system in place, moisture and decreased air quality becomes a concern in these homes. Adding a heat recovery ventilator is a solution that comes with additional benefits.

How it Works

A heat recovery ventilator draws stale air into its heat exchange core, made of aluminum or plastic. Simultaneously, fresh air is also drawn into the core via a separate channel. Heat naturally flows towards cooler temperatures, and so the heat from the stale air is conducted through the core to the cooler, fresh air. This is why a heat recovery ventilator is also called a heat exchanger. In summer months, the process is reversed and is removed from the outdoor air as it enters the home.

During the heat exchange process, another thing happens. As the fresh air flows past the warmed core, moisture is removed from the air. The result is that stale air is continuously replaced with fresh, dry air.

Benefits

Energy savings — Exhaust fans and similar ventilation methods reduce stale air, but they don’t recycle heat. Heat recovery ventilators reuse most of the heat from the exhausted air instead of just pushing it outdoors. This helps you save on energy while ensuring your home has adequate, healthy ventilation.

Air quality — Indoor air pollutants build up very quickly in airtight homes. These include mold spores, household dust, and volatile organic compounds or VOCs, which exist in building materials, carpets, paints, and some cleaning chemicals. Heat recovery ventilators improve air quality by replenishing the home’s air with fresh air. Since the incoming air is dehumidified, mold spores, bacteria and viruses are also reduced.

To learn more about adding a heat recovery ventilator to your home, please contact us at Powers Heating & Air.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat recovery ventilation and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Tungphoto/Shutterstock”

UV Lights Shine a Light on Bacteria and Mold to Eliminate

UV Lights Shine a Light on Bacteria and Mold to EliminateYou might know that bacteria and mold are bad for not only your health, but the performance of your HVAC system. While you can try to filter them out, in most cases a better option would be to install ultraviolet (UV) lights.

What are UV Lights?

A UV light bulb looks very similar to the regular bulbs you use in your home. The big difference is that a UV bulb shines light in the ultraviolet spectrum. When light from this spectrum is shined on a surface, it will break down the DNA of almost any small organism to eliminate the particle. Bacteria is just one of the micro-organisms that can be controlled by UV lighting. It is so effective that scientific labs and hospitals turn to UV technology to sterilize tools and offices.

Putting UV Lights in Your Peachtree City Home

Before you go out and buy a UV lamp and stick it somewhere in your home, you should know that location is critical for effectiveness. They are most effective on locations where a lot of air that contains bacteria pass by, ideally in a tight location where the micro-organisms will touch the surface.

If you are trying to improve your air quality, the best location is usually inside your ductwork. The light will destroy most of these contaminants before they enter your HVAC system and are circulated back into the air you breathe.

Another common goal is to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. The indoor evaporator coils are a moist place, which makes it a breeding ground for bacteria and other contaminants. Shining a UV lamp on your coils will destroy any existing buildup and prevent any future growth.

Proper installation of UV lighting will have a profound effect on the performance they deliver. If possible, call in a professional that has experience installing these lighting fixtures. For service in Peachtree City, feel free to contact Powers Heating & Air.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

HEPA Filtration Offers the Best in IAQ, But Is It too Much For Your Needs?

HEPA Filtration Offers the Best in IAQ, But Is It too Much For Your Needs?HEPA, or High Efficiency Particulate Air, filters are widely known as the gold standard when it comes to air quality. What many people don’t realize is that they may not always be the best choice for your residential HVAC system. There are several things to consider before you install one of these filtration systems in your home.

HEPA filtration is incredibly effective at removing harmful pollutants from the air. Hospitals generally use these types of filters because of their ability to remove even the smallest particles, such as viruses and bacteria, from the air. So, why wouldn’t everyone want to have a HEPA filter in their home?

Pros

  • 99 percent effective at removing particles down to 0.3 microns in size
  • Highest MERV rating of all filters on the market (MERV rates filters based on the size of particles they’ll remove)

Cons

  • Create added resistance that can diminish air flow
  • Generally require professional installation and modifications to your current HVAC system
  • Filters are expensive to replace
  • Only target airborne particles, not gases
  • Filters with MERV ratings of 12 to 16 can offer near-HEPA quality air filtration at a fraction of the price

The bottom line is that most homes don’t need the level of air purification that HEPA filtration provides. You have to weigh the added cost of installation and expense of replacing your HEPA filter several times a year with the benefit that it will provide over other less expensive, high-quality filters. Keep in mind that since HEPA filters only trap particles, it may be necessary to pair them with a carbon filter if you’re concerned about fumes such as cigarette smoke. Before you the drop extra money, consider all of your air cleaning options, and don’t forget that one of the best and cheapest ways to improve your indoor air quality is simple – open the window and let in some fresh air.

At Powers Heating & Air, we have been providing honest, dependable service to the Peachtree City area for more than 10 years. We are committed to helping you choose the best products and services to fit your needs and your budget. We make it easy to find information on indoor air quality products with our convenient online form.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Image courtesy of Shutterstock