Indoor air quality is one of the most underestimated health hazards that confront Clearwater and St. Petersburg Area homeowners. Unfortunately, it’s also common. Indoor air is often home to a host of contaminants, including dust and dust mites, mold spores, bacteria and viruses, pet dander, pollen and cleaning fumes.
Ideally, your indoor air quality strategy should involve more than one method. Here are three effective strategies that can help improve the air you breathe.
Standard, disposable air filters are typically able to trap only about 5 percent to 15 percent of particles. Advanced options are available:
- HEPA filters, or high-efficiency particulate air filters, do a superior job of capturing particles that can irritate allergies or other respiratory problems. They can trap 99.97 percent of particles small as .3 microns across. True HEPA filters are too restrictive for all or the air circulated thru your HVAC, so only a portion of that air should be channeled thru the HEPA. Doing this over a long period of time greatly increases the IAQ of a home.
- Extended-life filters have large surfaces, require minimal maintenance and trap extremely small contaminants much better than even the best 1″ throw-away filters, and since they normally only require changing once or twice a year, are more economical to maintain.
- Air purification systems that utilize more than one method of killing microorganisms and trapping contaminants can clean air as many as eight times an hour.
UV light purification systems destroy microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria by rupturing their cellular structure. The damaged microorganism is unable to repair or reproduce itself and is rendered harmless. Ultraviolet light is a natural sterilizer due to its high frequency.
A high humidity level may be uncomfortable for you, but it makes for prime growing conditions for microorganisms, such as mold. Mold can grow on HVAC equipment, around moist windowsills, in damp bathrooms, inside walls and elsewhere. Whole-house dehumidifiers can remove several gallons of moisture from your air every day.
By balancing relative humidity levels around 50 percent, you can stem the growth of microorganisms. A UV light system can work in conjunction with these efforts by killing any microorganisms that do happen to be present. Advanced filtration systems capture remaining particles such as dust, dust mites, pollen and other allergens.