Indoor air quality refers to the quality of the air within buildings and other structures. It specifically refers to the health and comfort of the building’s occupants as they continually breathe the air. Poor indoor air quality in homes and businesses is most commonly caused by microbial contaminants (mold and bacteria) and gases (carbon monoxide, radon, volatile organic compounds).
Unfortunately, the declining quality of indoor air is becoming a more concerning health hazard than outdoor air quality. People spend up to 90% of their time indoors and most of that is in their homes. Studies from the Environmental Protection Agency show that indoor levels of air pollutants may be two to five times higher than outdoor levels. Homes and other buildings are now being built tighter to save energy, in effect trapping the contaminants indoors.
Three methods in combating poor indoor air quality are ventilation, filtration, and effective use of the HVAC system. Ventilation is the use of outdoor air to mix with the indoor air, diluting any pollutants. This is effective to the extent that the outdoor air is clean. Air cleaning is used to combat indoor air quality through the use of filters. High efficiency air filters trap allergens and contaminants before they can be distributed through the building.
A well-maintained HVAC system is a solid line of defense against poor indoor air quality. Poorly maintained systems can harbor mold, fungi, bacteria, dust mites, pollen, and other disease-carrying pollutants which are continually re-circulated through forced air systems. These contaminants flourish and grow in the ductwork if the right conditions of moisture and temperature exist.
When HVAC systems are contaminated, the indoor air quality deteriorates and the occupants suffer from breathing problems, allergies, and worse. Along with potentially serious health risks, the dirty system’s efficiency plummets and results in higher operating costs.
In the general maintenance of HVAC systems, these regularly performed steps can be beneficial to the fight against poor indoor air quality. First, a thorough examination of the system for any potential problems is valuable. Second, any leaks should be identified and repaired.
Third, any non-porous components of the system should be disinfected. Fourth, the air handler should be removed, cleaned, and sanitized. Fifth, a regular cleaning of ductwork will drastically reduce dust accumulation.
The new movement in the HVAC industry to heighten the quality of indoor air creates an emphasis on the design and construction of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning products. Industry standards now include sound-rated fans (instead of their disruptive counterparts) and mechanical, whole-house ventilation.
Regions Served: Don Martin Heating and Cooling Provides Products and Services To The Following Communities and Counties In Southern Wisconsin and Illinois:
|Wisconsin Counties Served||Wisconsin Cities Served||Illinois Cities Served|
|Rock County, Wisconsin
Walworth County, Wisconsin
Dane County, Wisconsin
Jefferson County, Wisconsin
Green County, Wisconsin
Fort Atkinson, WI
|Lake Geneva, WI
East Troy, WI
Lake Mills, WI
New Glarus, WI
Johnson Creek, WI
|South Beloit, IL
Poplar Grove, IL