Posts Tagged ‘Indoor Air Quality’

Should You Have an Energy Recovery Ventilator Installed?

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Do you want to be comfortable in your own home? Of course you do, and you deserve to be! With that in mind, there are many different factors that can influence how well you’re able to achieve this comfort. Today’s modern homes are constructed in such a way that your HVAC systems can work as efficiently as possible.

However, this doesn’t necessarily allow for proper ventilation, which has become a big concern for many homeowners throughout the country. Fortunately, there is one system that can resolve this: the energy recovery ventilator (ERV). (more…)

Indoor Air Quality Concerns You Need to Address This Fall

Monday, October 19th, 2015

As you start to rely on your heating system more and more to keep you warm through the coming cold months, you should be aware of a couple of things. Primarily, you need to be aware of certain indoor air quality concerns that are exacerbated during winter. If not addressed properly, these concerns can lead to greater instances of illness and other problems. Let’s take a look at why this is a greater issue during winter, and what you can do about it. (more…)

How a Steam Humidifier Can Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Humidity is a tricky thing. We often think of humidity as a bad thing, like when a day is both hot and humid. While high humidity certainly will make things uncomfortable in a lot of ways, low humidity can be just as bad. Your body relies on a certain level of moisture in the air, and if that moisture is absent it can result in some negative health effects. Read on to find out more about the problems associated with low humidity, and how a steam humidifier in your home can help. (more…)

What Type of Indoor Air Quality Equipment Can Be Installed with My Heater?

Monday, April 1st, 2013

A heating system that you can rely on during the coldest nights of the year is an important component of any home in Auburn, WA. Comfortable temperatures, though, while important, are not the only factor that you must consider when keeping your home comfortable. At Sound Heating we know that it is just as important that you are able maintain high indoor air quality in your home. There are many indoor air quality products that you can use in conjunction with your heating system to keep your home as comfortable as possible. Contact the Auburn heating technicians at Sound Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn more.

One of the most basic ways to improve indoor air quality is through air filtration. While your heating system comes with a factory installed air filter that must be changed regularly, this filter cannot be relied upon to improve indoor air quality. It is not efficient enough to do so, but is rather designed to protect your heating system itself from dirt and debris. By installing a more efficient air filter you can remove dirt, dander and other pollutants from the air circulated throughout your home by the ductwork of your heating system. Keep your home warm and comfortable without worrying about what else is traveling throughout the system.

An energy recovery ventilator is another great indoor air quality product that can be used with our home heating system. It is natural, during the heating season, to want to seal up your home as tightly as possible. After all, you do not want the air you have paid to heat escaping to the outdoors. However, sealing your home up too tightly can cause air to go stale due to a lack of ventilation. By ventilating your home and recovering heat that would be lost in the process otherwise, an energy recovery ventilator allows you to keep your air quality high and fresh without sacrificing comfort or efficiency.

For more information about how to improve indoor air quality in your home, call Sound Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll make sure that you are able to enjoy high indoor air quality throughout the Auburn, WA heating season. Contact us today to learn more.

Important Indoor Air Quality Tips When Remodeling in Seattle

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Remodeling your Seattle home is a big step. As you plan the layout of your new bathroom or the size of the bedroom being added to the second floor, make sure you take into account the effects your changes will have on the indoor air quality of your home. Here are some specific things to keep in mind:

  • Water and Moisture – When you build on to or remodel your home, one of the most common problems is excess moisture. The grade may not be built to handle the extra space or you may find that moisture is harder to block from your home than expected. However, it’s vital that any additions are as water tight as the original construction. Mold and mildew, as well as dust mites and other humidity and moisture borne pollutants are major health concerns.
  • Ventilate Properly – Most people assume that the best thing they can do is close their home up tightly to block out pollutants. But, indoor air can be as much as 100 times more polluted than outside air if it isn’t properly ventilated. Stagnant, stale air filled with dust, pollen and dander among other things is not healthy, so extend your ventilation system to support your new addition.
  • Proper Flooring – The floor you choose when remodeling has a major impact on indoor air quality. You want to ensure any water that gets on the floor, especially in bathrooms can be removed without it penetrating to the wood underneath. Properly sealed tiles and fixtures are a must.
  • Unsafe Building Materials – Modern materials are generally safe, but if your home was built before 1978, consider the risk of flaking paint or old insulation before you start demolishing a room for remodeling. Lead paint in window frames and doors can be a major risk if it flakes and enters the air and asbestos can be found in insulation in walls, wiring and pipes.

Remodeling is a big step, and likely you have a lot of things on your mind, but don’t forget to include the air quality in your calculations, both during and after the construction. The EPA has a fantastic resource on indoor air quality in home remodels to help you determine what things you should watch for in each room of the house as you make changes.

For more information on how to improve your Seattle home’s indoor air quality, give Sound Heating & Air Conditioning a call!

Winter Colds and Flus in Bellevue – Can Your Air Quality System Help Them?

Monday, October 8th, 2012

In the thick of the winter cold and flu season in Bellevue, it’s hard to overcome the constant feeling of misery that illness can bring to your home. Endless sniffles, stomach aches and fever not only make you feel horrible; they can put a kink in your daily routine, making it harder to get work done or take care of your family.

But, a good indoor air quality system will help when it is properly maintained throughout the year. Here are some tips to cut into the duration of a particularly nasty cold or flu.

Humidity and Air Circulation

When the humidity gets exceptionally low, your body gets dehydrated more easily, especially in your skin. This can lead to trouble fighting off colds and flus, especially if they are very strong. A good humidifier increases humidity to a comfortable level that’s ideal for the immune system. Air circulation is equally important as it keeps fresh air coming into your home throughout the winter.

A good air circulation and ventilation system retains the heat your furnace or boiler produces so your energy bill doesn’t rise too high either.

Air Purification

The next step in purification is to reduce the number of air borne pathogens that can make your illnesses worse or spread them to other people. There are constantly bacteria and viruses floating through your home, either on people or in the debris carried by your home’s indoor air.

A good air purifier ionizes the air and removes things like dust, pollen and mold. The air purifier then destroys the bacteria and viruses with the use of UV lights. This kind of system won’t stop you from getting sick when you leave the house and interact with people on the train or at work, but it will slow the spread of illness in your home and help people recover much faster.

Cleanliness Breeds Healthiness

The key to staying healthy in the winter is to stay active and keep your home clean. With the help of a good home air quality system, you can remove the unwanted contaminants and debris that clog up indoor air and ensure everyone in your family is safe and comfortable all winter. It’s a great first step in the process of finally stopping the endless winter cold and flu cycle once and for all.

For more information on how to improve your Bellevue home’s indoor air quality, give Sound Heating & Air Conditioning a call!

HVAC Question: What Type of Air Cleaner Is Best for People with Pets?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Lots of people have pets, and they are a great addition to your family. However, pet ownership has one very obvious drawback: dander. The fur, dry skin cells and other debris that pets carry around flakes off their bodies and onto your furniture and rugs. The also means they inevitably wind up in your air, recirculated through your Kirkland house via your HVAC system.

Or at least, that’s what happens if you don’t have an air cleaner or some sort of air filtration system. This leads many pet owners to ask, “what is the best air cleaner for me?”

With all the choices in air cleaners, the choice can seem daunting. If the goal is specifically to filter out pet dander, it becomes somewhat easier.

Pet dander is quite large in size relation to other indoor air pollutants, so many air cleaners are equipped to do the job. You can use an air cleaner with a standard pleated HEPA filter, or one that uses electrostatic technology. You will want to make sure that the HEPA filter is rated to handle pet dander. A MERV rating of 8 or more is recommended.

Once you have an air cleaner installed, make sure to change or clean the air filter frequently, in accordance with manufacturer instructions. A clogged air filter won’t help eliminate pet dander from your household air and can actually degrade the operation of your HVAC system’s air handler.

In addition to installing a high quality air cleaner with a HEPA filter, you can also help reduce the amount of pet dander floating around your home by keeping the place clean. Vacuuming often and dusting hard surfaces weekly keeps pet hair and dander from being drawn up into the HVAC system, which reduces wear on the air cleaner. For more tips on upgrades you can make to your Kirkland HVAC system, give Sound Heating & Air Conditioning a call!

HVAC Guide: Pollen’s Effects on Indoor Air Quality

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Unsure what’s got you feeling down? It might be the air quality in your Kirkland home that’s been compromised by high pollen levels. But, how do you know when pollen is the culprit as opposed to something like pet dander or simple dust? Luckily, there is a clear difference in the symptoms you might suffer from as a result of being exposed to pollen as opposed to another allergen.

Symptoms of Pollen in Your Home

Pollen is most often associated with seasonal allergies, though even perfectly healthy people without allergies are susceptible to pollen reactions if there is enough of it in the air. The most common symptoms of a pollen allergy include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Eye and Nose Irritation
  • Cough
  • Asthma (made worse)
  • Allergic Reactions

Other symptoms, like throat irritation or skin rash tend to be caused by other pollutants like tobacco smoke or bacteria build up. So, if this sounds like what you’re facing, what is the next step? There are a few things you can do to tackle pollen in your indoor air.

Getting Rid of High Pollen Levels

Step one when the pollen levels in your home are too high is to find the source of the pollen. If it’s an indoor plant, air cleaning upgrades may not get the job done. But, if it’s an outdoor source or a single room in your house, solutions abound.

The first step is to install filtration in your Kirkland house. Pollen is relatively big so a simple MERV 10+ filter will usually remove it from the air. However, if you have other pollutants that need to be removed, consider getting a HEPA filter. Designed to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns, HEPA filters are a fantastic solution to the pollen problem.

Once you have a good air filter in place, supplement with proper ventilation to remove pollen filled air from your house. Ventilation with energy saving technology allows you to retain any heat or cooled air in your home. Sound Heating & Air Conditioning  can help you select the best system to tackle your pollen problem.

Your Tacoma HVAC System and Ventilation

Monday, June 18th, 2012

The vent system in your home is vital to the operation of your Tacoma HVAC system. Without successful ventilation, your home won’t have the necessary clean air to keep you and your family healthy. So, what does proper ventilation require and how can you ensure your home has it? Here are some quick tips.

Install the Right Parts from the Start

Proper ventilation should result in even air pressure in your home to avoid problems with gas pilot lights. It should also be as energy efficient as possible and provide clean air through proper filtration and cleaning of the air that comes in. The best way to ensure your home has the ventilation needed to stay comfortable and safe for your entire family is to check the total size of the home and then measure the concentrations of certain pollutants like dander, pollen and smoke. A Tacoma HVAC contractor can provide these services for you.

Energy Loss

Another major ventilation issue to keep in mind is energy loss. Ventilation tends to remove heated or cooled air from your home, forcing your furnace or air conditioner to work harder to replace it. As a result, you pay more for energy and it’s never quite comfortable inside.

To avoid this problem, ask about an energy recovery ventilator. These devices are designed to transfer heat from one environment into another. So, in the winter, heated air inside is kept inside and in the summer, cooled air is kept inside. The result is a much lower energy bill without a disruption to your ventilation sources.

Supplements to Ventilation

Proper ventilation should not only provide fresh air, but it should also ensure your home has clean air. The air outside may be fresher, but it can be filled with pollutants like pollen, dander and smoke. These should be removed before they get inside and into the lungs of your loved ones. To do this, you need a full sized air cleaning system that removes particles from the air down to 0.3 microns.

HEPA filters can do this, as will electronic air cleaners which can ionize and remove smoke and gas particles. Make sure you discuss filtration and cleaning with your Tacoma HVAC contractor when they visit your home. Call Sound Heating & Air Conditioning today if you have any questions about how to improve your indoor air quality!

HVAC Tip: Seasonal Air Quality Control

Friday, January 27th, 2012

For people who suffer from seasonal allergies in Seattle, air quality is a key concern. Allergens in the air cause brutal bouts of sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and even sinus headaches. Even taking refuge indoors will often not assuage these symptoms, as indoor air is often comparable to outdoor air in terms of allergens and overall quality.

That is, unless you take care to control the seasonal air quality in your home, which can not only help ease the suffering of allergies, but also soothe asthmatics, keep out pollutants and generally promote better overall health.

How do you go about controlling the air quality in your home? To start, try these simple tips:

  1. Vacuum carpets regularly. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and invest in some allergen suppressing bags.
  2. Keep your vents clean. This is also a good maintenance practice to lengthen the life of your ventilation equipment.
  3. Dust hard surfaces and wash bed linens weekly.
  4. Install HEPA filters in your ventilation system, such as in air conditioners or other air handler units. Use a higher rated filter to keep out more allergens and pollutants.
  5. Invest in and use an air purifier. Again, make sure to get one with a HEPA filter.
  6. Have your home tested for radon and carbon monoxide. Have smoke, carbon monoxide and radon detectors working properly at all times.
  7. Use a humidifier to keep overly dry air from irritating sinus passages.
  8. Keep doors and windows closed tight, especially during allergy season(s).

By taking charge of the air quality in your Seattle home, you also take control of a measure of your family’s health. Some of these measures require at least a bit of an investment – for example, higher rated HEPA air filters are often more expensive and need to be changed more frequently – but the benefits to your well being and that of your family are clearly well worth it.