Tag Archives: IAQ

Homeowners: Boost Your Air Quality with UV Lights

Homeowners: Boost Your Air Quality with UV LightsIf the air quality in your home tends to suffer in the summer when the doors and windows are closed, consider putting UV (ultraviolet) lights in the ductwork or air handler to improve it. They’re silent, energy efficient, simple to maintain and take up virtually no space.

UV Lights

These lights provide the same spectrum of sunshine that sanitizes organic compounds. They work by altering the DNA of organic compounds, which prevents them from reproducing. Any virus or bacteria that comes into contact with the UV rays the lights emit won’t be able to replicate itself.

The lights also solve many of the problems associated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gases from ordinary household cleaners, vehicle exhaust, remodeling products, perfumed candles, air fresheners and soap, as well as a host of other products also made from hydrocarbons. The VOCs are known to cause everything from minor irritations to major health problems like cancer and organ damage.

How They Work

Since UV rays damage eyesight, the lights go inside the HVAC system where they’re hidden but very effective for improving air quality. High volumes of your home’s air pass over the lights and when the organic particles pass by them, they lose their ability to multiply.

In this climate the air handler is a good place to put the lights. Mold growth inside the air handler can be a serious problem, and when the lights shine on the evaporator coil, the problem is eliminated. Besides spreading into the ductwork, mold on the evaporator coil lowers the energy efficiency of the A/C and raises the odds of a serious breakdown.

When they’re placed in the ductwork, the lights help keep your home germ- and mold-free. Instead of using sanitizing sprays on all the hard surfaces like floors, countertops and sinks, you can rely on the UV lights to do the work. There will be no chemical residues that could harm your children or pets.

UV lights will improve your home’s air with little effort on your part. For more expert help, contact the pros at Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

Sporting Equipment May Raise These IAQ Concerns

Sporting Equipment May Raise These IAQ ConcernsYour home gym gives you a convenient way to exercise and improve your health. To reap the full benefits, you likely took extra care choosing sporting equipment and make the effort to fit in regular workouts. Another priority should be the air quality of your exercise area, because of the adverse effects it can have on health.

Reasons for IAQ Concerns With Home Gyms

IAQ can be a serious issue in home gyms for two main reasons. First, these workout areas are often situated in seldom-used spots where air circulation may not be ideal – like a garage, basement or spare room. Second, during workouts, the body instinctively inhales deeply and more rapidly to draw in sufficient oxygen. When combined, these factors can amplify your exposure to unhealthy contaminants, pollutants and allergens like:

  • Mold and mildew growth that flourishes in warm, humid conditions.
  • Microscopic dust mites that live on shed skin cells.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by rubber equipment components and exercise mats, carpets, and stored items such as cleaning supplies, paints and solvents.
  • Gasoline fumes from equipment and vehicles.
  • Rodent, insect and other types of pest droppings.

How to Boost Your Exercise Room IAQ

If you have concerns about the air quality in your home gym, here are some strategies you can implement to improve it:

  • Wipe down the equipment and vacuum your workout area regularly to help control allergens and contaminants.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier if needed to keep mold and mildew growth in check.
  • Open nearby windows whenever possible to expel stale air and bring in fresher outdoor air.
  • To clear out airborne VOCs, bacteria, mold spores, dust mites and other contaminants year round, consider having an air cleaner unit added to your HVAC.
  • If your gym area is currently situated outside of your home’s conditioned living space, move it inside.
  • Keep your HVAC equipment and ductwork in good condition by scheduling semi-annual maintenance, and change the system’s air filter regularly to promote good air balance and circulation.

For help dealing with IAQ concerns in your Peachtree City home, contact us today 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 other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

How to Ventilate Your Craft Room Properly

How to Ventilate Your Craft Room ProperlyHaving a hobby room inside your home makes it more convenient to work on them whenever you have the time. If the activity involves pains, adhesives, or solvents, there’s also the risk that the fumes will harm your health without adequate ventilation.

Many hobby materials contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are known health hazards. Aside from avoiding them entirely, the best way to avoid the consequences of VOC exposure by having an exhaust system set up in the hobby room to vent them safely and quickly to the outdoors.

Exhaust fans.

A fan, whether it’s built into a wall or placed in a window, is simplest and often the least costly way to pull contaminated air out of your hobby room, as long as there’s enough suction to reach the area where you’re generating the fumes. Depending on how tightly constructed your home is, you may also need to open a window somewhere nearby to create enough of a draft to exhaust the gases effectively.

Overhead hood.

Placing a kitchen exhaust hood over the work area can be an effective way to exhaust the harmful gases as long as the fan is the right size. You and the pro from Powers Heating & Air can determine how many air changes per hour (ACH) you need to remove the gases from your work area.

Balanced ventilators.

An ERV (energy recovery ventilator) pulls out as much stale air as it pulls inside. This appliance is the most energy efficient way to keep the air in your hobby room fresh. The core of an ERV removes the energy from the outgoing air and puts it into the fresh, incoming air. An ERV extracts some of the humidity from the incoming air and some models have air filters that remove pollen and dust.

Although proper ventilation seems easy enough, your short- and long-term health is at risk if the system you choose is inadequate or undersized. If you’d like a pro at your side, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC 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 to Tell if Your Air Purifier is Broken

How to Tell if Your Air Purifier is BrokenIf you’re an allergy or asthma sufferer, your air purifier is an invaluable home appliance. It eliminates microscopic contaminants from your air, to keep you breathing easy. But how do you know if it’s really working? What if your purifier is broken? Here are some ways to tell.

Checking Your Air Purifier

The simplest way to tell if your system is working is to check the filter. If there’s dust and debris on the filter, that means it’s doing its job and eliminating those contaminants from your air. If there’s so much debris that the entire surface is grey, and you can’t see the white filter underneath, that means it’s clogged and needs to be replaced. Check your filter every couple of months, to ensure it’s still doing its job, and replace it when necessary.

Some purifiers have special indicator lights that tell you automatically when the filter needs to be replaced. This makes your job easier, but they’re not 100 percent reliable. You should still check the filter every few months, just to be sure.

Using an Air Quality Monitor

There are other things that can go wrong with an air purifier besides just a clogged filter. Maybe it’s eliminating some contaminants from your air, but not all of them. If you really want to know if your system is working properly, invest in an air quality monitor. A separate device from your purifier, it checks the air in your home continually to measure how many contaminants are present, in order to ascertain if your system is working efficiently.

If your air quality isn’t at the level it should be, the monitor can send you an alert, so that you can call an HVAC technician to help you deal with the problem. Some air quality monitors even sync directly with your purifier, providing it with feedback and helping it improve its performance, while still alerting you if it fails to work as it should.

For more tips on keeping your air purifier running smoothly and efficiently, contact us at Powers Heating & Air. We proudly serve Peachtree City’s HVAC needs.

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. 

It’s Heart Month! Know How IAQ Affects Health

It's Heart Month! Know How IAQ Affects HealthFebruary is National Heart Awareness Month. What better time to ponder all the things that affect the health of your heart? You’re probably well aware of how diet and exercise contribute to keeping your heart healthy, but do you ever consider the effects of your indoor air quality on your health?

The sad fact is that the air in our homes is much more polluted than the outside air. That can have an impact on your heart, as well as your lungs and kidneys. Read on for what you should know about IAQ effects on your health.

Airborne Pollutants in Your Home

A number of airborne pollutants may be found in the typical, airtight home:

  • Dust
  • Smoke
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Radon
  • Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
  • Mold
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

These substances have different impacts on the body, but all in large concentrations can make you sick — at the least, triggering sniffles and other signs of respiratory distress, as well as allergies and asthma symptoms, and even organ failure.

Controlling Airborne Pollutants

Here are some things you can to control airborne pollutants:

  • Vacuum frequently with a HEPA filter.
  • Ban smoking in the home.
  • Sequester pollen-bearing plants in one room; brush off clothing and pets before entering the home.
  • If your home tests positive for radon, look into having a radon barrier installed.
  • Install air quality monitors to keep track of the levels of CO, CO2 and other pollutants.
  • Fix all leaks and if need be, install a whole-house dehumidifier to control moisture, which can promote mold. Install ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) lights in the HVAC system to kill organisms in the air such as mold, mildew and bacteria.
  • Install a charcoal-activated air filter in the HVAC system to get rid of gases such as VOCs and cigarette smoke.
  • Use a good quality, pleated air filter to trap many types of airborne pollutants in your return air supply.

For more on IAQ effects, or to schedule HVAC repair, maintenance or upgrades, contact Powers Heating and Air. We serve Peachtree City.

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.