Sound Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Indoor Air Quality’

Why You Should Invest in UV Germicidal Lights

Monday, August 10th, 2020

uv-lightbulb“Will it help my Tacoma, WA air conditioning work better?”

Well, not necessarily… but investing in UV germicidal lights will certainly help your air conditioner work more healthfully. This is because UV lights—also called a UV air purifier—attack a particular type of contaminant right at the source (your ductwork) before it even enters your indoor air.

We’ll dive into the details more below, but what you should know off the bat is that it is absolutely worth investing in UV germicidal lights, in addition to other indoor air quality products and services. Read on to learn more!

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Can Your Air Conditioner Be Making You Sick?

Monday, August 12th, 2019

vent-on-wall-near-floorDid you know your air conditioner could be introducing particles and contaminants into your home through your ductwork?

“Wait,” you may be wondering, “isn’t that what the air filter is for—to prevent that from happening?”

Well… not quite. A clean air filter is absolutely essential to your air conditioner, but not for the reason you may think—more on that below. The fact of the matter is, without the right indoor air quality products and services in place, your indoor air quality can be worse than that of outdoors. As a matter of fact, this is true for many homes throughout Tacoma and the surrounding air. So, does this mean your air conditioner can essentially make you sick?

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Do You Need a Whole-Home Humidifier?

Monday, February 25th, 2019

humidifier-on-floor-of-homeWe know what you might be thinking—“A humidifier? In Tacoma? But it rains here all the time!” This is true—for the majority of the year Tacoma residents can experience a bit too much moisture. However, as spring begins, the air dries out to the point that you could very well find yourself experiencing the effects of dry air. This is particularly true indoors—where the air quality is even worse than that of outdoors, thanks to the tight, energy-efficient construction of homes today.

If you’ve never considered this indoor air quality installation, now is a great time, while humidity levels are fairly balanced. Why do we recommend a whole-home humidifier instead of a portable system? Well, simply put, a portable system cannot truly tackle the problem of dry air. At best, it’s great for a child’s bedroom to alleviate cold or allergy symptoms they may be experiencing.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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