Tag Archives: VOC’s

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. 

How to Pick the Right Air Filtration Product for Your Home

How to Pick the Right Air Filtration Product for Your HomeIf you thought the air inside your home is cleaner than the air outside, you may want to revisit that assumption. The truth is that the average home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) is several times more polluted than city air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For many homeowners, it’s essential to choose an effective air filtration product, such as a whole-home air cleaner, to combat pollutants and breathe easier.

Your Home’s IAQ

To pick the right air cleaner to serve your air quality goals, you need to determine which pollutants you want to remove from the air in your home. Contaminants are classified into these categories:

  • Particulate matter: Some examples of particulate matter include common dust, pollen, animal dander, dust mites, molds, viruses, bacteria and combustion particles.
  • Gaseous pollutants: Some examples of gaseous pollutants include benzene, tobacco smoke and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are vapors and chemicals released from building materials, furnishings, pesticides and much more.

Picking the Right Air Cleaner

Whole-home air cleaners use different methods to remove or neutralize airborne contaminants, depending on the type of system you choose. Following are popular and effective systems that utilize your home’s air ducts to clean the air.

  • Electronic: Electronic air cleaners give airborne particulates an electrical charge. As the charged contaminants pass by metal plates with an opposite electrical charge, the contaminants stick to the plates, which can be wiped clean or washed.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light: UV light systems kill or neutralize particulates as they stream by in the ducts. By emitting low levels of radiation, UV lights can protect your home against viruses, bacteria and mold.
  •  High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters: HEPA filtration offer the best protection against airborne particulates, removing 99.97 percent of all particulates down to 0.3 microns.
  • Gas-phase filters: Gas-phase filters are designed to remove or neutralize specific gases in the home. There isn’t one single gas-phase filter that removes all odors and gases. You’ll generally find these filters combined with other air cleaning systems.

For more information about selecting the right air cleaner for your Peachtree City area home, please 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).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “iQoncept/Shutterstock”

Learn Just How Polluted Indoor Air May Be

Learn Just How Polluted Indoor Air May BeWhile there’s no disputing that high indoor air quality (IAQ) is essential for good health and well-being, a study recently published revealed many people don’t realize how common indoor air pollution is inside their homes. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified indoor air as one of the most polluted environments people encounter.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

Bad air quality is largely the result of tighter construction techniques and the abundance of chemical products used indoors, making indoor air now more polluted than outside air. The tighter the home the more you re-circulate the same polluted air throughout your home.  The major problems that degrade IAQ include:

  • Dust and all its components – Dust comes primarily from inside your home. It’s composed of lint, shed skin cells, animal dander, pollen, dust mite waste and mold spores. Pollen, dander and mold spores are common allergy triggers.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – VOCs are gases that many common products emit as they age, causing issues ranging from mild irritation to neurological damage and cancer.  The cleaning agents under the sink or in the pantry are examples of these.
  • Humidity – Humidity levels over 50 percent promote mold growth and dust mite populations, which are also common allergy triggers.

The study, commissioned by 3M, found that 94 percent of the survey participants knew that changing the HVAC system’s air filter helped improve indoor air quality, but 47 percent of the sample reported that they changed the filter less than four times a year.

In addition, 52 percent stated they used scented candles, which is a common source of indoor air pollution due to soot emissions.

How to Improve IAQ

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to reduce indoor air pollution and avoid the negative health consequences. Try:

  • Selecting effective filters to trap offending airborne particulates found indoors and changing them every three months, or whenever they’re covered with dust.
  • Managing humidity levels, especially in the summer.
  • Using UV lights in the ductwork and/or the air handler to negate the harmful effects of VOCs and reduce the populations of mold, bacteria and viruses indoors.
  • Having the ducts cleaned by a professional HVAC contractor to remove built-up dust and mold spores.

To learn more about managing indoor air pollution, contact Powers Heating & Air. We proudly serve the home comfort needs of homeowners in Peachtree City, Newnan, Senoia, Sharpsburg, Fayetteville, Tyrone and surrounding communities in Fayette, Coweta and surrounding counties.

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).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Stuart Miles/Shutterstock”