How to Make Sure Your HVAC System Is Keeping Irritants At Bay

In addition to keeping temperatures comfortable during all seasons, your HVAC system plays a make-or-break role in preventing irritants in the indoor environment. As homes are more tightly sealed to support energy efficiency, airborne particulates tend to accumulate to higher levels. For residents, results can range from simple annoyance to common allergy triggers — even chronic illness.

Specific HVAC components either enhance or inhibit air quality. Here are some ways to ensure your system does its part to improve the indoor environment and quality of life:

The Filter

All the air inside your home passes through the HVAC air filter multiple times daily. Filter quality and efficiency combined with regular filter changes are critical to healthful indoor air quality.

  • Air filters are rated by the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) numeral, which ranges from 1 to 16. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficiently the filter prevents irritants inside your home.
  • MERV 13 is the the upper recommended range for home HVAC systems. Common filters rated below MERV 6, meanwhile, are generally cheap and ineffective fiberglass filters and should be avoided. For optimum results, choose a quality pleated cotton or polyester filter with a MERV rating of at least 8, and replace it at least every other month.

The Ductwork

Air circulation through HVAC ductwork supports optimum filtration and maintains comfortable temperature consistency too. Air quality may also be related to duct condition due to these factors:

  • Dirt and dust accumulation. Over time, ductwork can become a reservoir of dirt and dust which is continuously recirculated throughout the indoor environment.
  • Duct leakage. Leaky ductwork may pull in air from the attic, crawl space, or inside walls. Air originating from these unhealthy zones may contain irritants such as dust, bacteria, insulation fibers, mold spores, and other contaminants.

A duct inspection by a qualified HVAC specialist can determine whether ductwork issues are compromising indoor air quality. Duct cleaning and sealing options are effective and available.

At home in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley since 1922, the professionals at Paitson Bros. have more information about effective ways to prevent irritants.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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