Hagerstown MD Indoor Air Quality
Good, healthy indoor air quality can be hard to achieve with today’s well-insulated homes. Pollen tracked in from outdoors, dust and pet dander in carpets (and lining many home air duct systems), bacteria from your child’s recent flu, and more—all of this can be recirculated in your home’s air supply–over and over.
That is, unless you take measures to promote healthy indoor air quality in your Hagerstown home. After all, it’s where you spend 80% of your time. (If that sounds high, sleeping time counts, too.) At Your Comfort Services, we’re the local IAQ (indoor air quality) experts, ready to help you and your family breathe easy at home.
Insulation is Important, But You Need to Manage the Downside
Your home should ideally be well insulated, with properly fitting windows and doors (plus caulk/weatherstripping) to allow minimal air leakage around windows, etc., achieving a tight home envelope. This helps you save energy, and save money on your utility costs.
A properly insulated home can also extend the life of your HVAC system, because it’s not working overly hard to keep your home comfortable. With this well-insulated home, you have more control over your indoor environment and air quality–provided that you manage it correctly, by controlling not only temperature, but also humidity and air quality.
What’s Polluting Your Indoor Air Supply?
- Household dust
- Pet dander
- Cooking debris
- VOCs (volatile organic compounds, found in some home cleaning products, paints, adhesives and more)
- Microscopic carpet fibers
- Mold spores
- Crushed insects
- Debris from a dirty duct system (the contaminants above can settle, accumulate, and line your home’s air ducts, with some getting recirculated)
- Unpleasant, lingering odors from smoke, cooking, stale air (due to low ventilation or poor airflow)
- And more
How to Get Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Your Hagerstown Home
You can better control your indoor environment, for healthy indoor air quality, with a few simple upgrades to your heating and cooling system, including:
Proper Mechanical Ventilation and Airflow
Even though you don’t want air leaks around windows or electrical outlets, etc., you do need fresh air coming into, and circulating within, your home for health and comfort. You can’t always open a window, so mechanical ventilation is crucial. Be sure to use the mechanical vents in your home as needed to clear our odors and prevent moisture buildup and mold. Examples are your stove’s vent hood and your bathroom fan/vent. Mechanical ventilation is designed to create air exchange, sending out moist, smelly air and bringing in fresh air. You may also need to add attic ventilation.
A whole-home air cleaner, installed as an AC upgrade and integrated into your central AC/heating system, helps ensure that air recirculated through the system, and air that the system brings in from outdoors, is filtered and healthy. The air filter in included in all HVAC systems is typically not sufficient to really clean the air. (That filter mostly protects your AC/furnace equipment from getting dust in it, causing malfunctions or premature system failure.)
An air cleaner adds highly effective filtration to your HAVC system and helps filter contaminants like pet dander, bacteria, mold spores, cooking and cleaning fluid odors, microscopic carpet fibers and more, out of your home’s air—so you don’t breathe this indoor pollution. Some air cleaning systems use UV light to help sanitize your home’s air supply. (NOTE: Some of your indoor air pollution can come from a neglected, dirty duct system. So duct cleaning and sealing can also be a good tool to fight indoor air contamination.)
Home Humidity Control: Humidification and Dehumidification
Humidification: In winter, outdoor air can be somewhat dry, and your home heating system can further dry out the air in your home. This can lead to scratchy, dry throats and coughs, as well as dry, itchy skin. It’s just uncomfortable. For anyone with a cold or who has a long-term lung ailment, this dryness can be unhealthy. With whole-home humidification, you can control your indoor humidity and raise it as needed in winter. Whole home humidifiers work best, since portable ones require daily cleaning and can grow unhealthy mold easily.
Dehumidification: Then there are the summers! Our humid summer weather means that whole-home dehumidifiers are ideal. Typical AC systems don’t remove enough moisture from the air, but a purpose-built home humidity control upgrade (humidification and dehumidification unit), integrated into your AC equipment, controlled with your thermostat, will do the trick. You can set it to keep your indoor air’s humidity at a comfortable, healthy level of about 40 to 50%. This helps you avoid excess mold growth in the home, especially in areas like the bathroom, under kitchen sinks and/or in the basement or laundry room.
Indoor Air Quality and Home Comfort Solutions
To learn more about improving your home’s indoor air quality, talk to the Hagerstown, MD home quality experts. We can evaluate your home’s airflow, inspect your duct system and, if needed, upgrade your AC/heating system with whole-home humidity control and air cleaning. Contact Your Comfort Services at 301-797-4744 or 301-432-8100 today.