Normally people don’t ever think about IAQ (indoor air quality) even as contractors we are usually focused on proper operation of the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system.
If it turns on and heats or cools my home, I’m good. There is a whole other part that is really important… the Air Distribution System or Duct system. This is the system of pipes or Ducts that distribute the heated or cooled air from the source to the areas that need it. A few things are very important with this distribution system: first is that it must be sealed so no air is escaping where we don’t need it. The code allows for a maximum of 5% for the entire system. While this is important for energy efficiency and saving money, the real concern (especially with our current situation) is the air you are breathing!
Older homes in Southern California have duct systems made of asbestos which if disturbed or broken could cause severe health and breathing issues (mesothelioma). Besides a health risk, this type of ducting is not usually sealed properly and can have multiple leaks. If you have asbestos ducting it was made for heating systems only NOT air conditioning. These types of ducts should NOT be cleaned due to the risk of breaking and releasing the asbestos into the air (called friable). Once the asbestos has been released into the home the clean-up to remove it is extremely expensive. This type of ducting simply needs to be removed by a licensed abatement company then replaced with new.
This type is currently being used in Southern California residential homes. It is comprised of a large wire that looks like a spring with a film covering, then insulation and finally an outer covering that holds it all together.
The differences in this ducting are in the type of outer jacket and thickness of insulation. This type of ducting is difficult to clean thoroughly because of its flexibility and crevasses.
When the duct system is old and the HVAC system doesn’t have a good filtration system, it can become a breeding ground for all types of germs, dust, viruses, and odors. Ever wonder why when your HVAC system is running you have the following issues: congestion, itchy eyes, and skin, watery eyes, running nose and feeling rundown. It could be caused by the dust mite feces, mold and pollen spores, pet dander and smoke fumes left inside your ducting system. Sometimes you can even see the results of these contaminations by black marks on your wall just under the supply register.
A great filtration system is at the heart of your HVAC system. It not only protects the equipment from wasting energy and premature failure, but it can also add a great health benefit by removing VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) and contaminants from the air we breathe.
In this blog, I am not going to get into all the variations or types of filters available. Instead, I would like to inform you of what to look for in a good solid filtration system for your home.
First, you need to know how disposable filters are rated:
MERV- MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value. This is an industry-standard rating system that allows you to compare filters made by different manufacturers. Obviously the higher the MERV rating the better filtration.
Second, you need to know how small of particles can be removed:
This is measured in microns which is a unit of length equal to one-millionth of a meter. To put that into perspective a human hair is approximately 100 microns in diameter. Pollens are about 15 microns; bread mold spores are about 2 microns. Obviously the smaller the number the smaller the particles it can capture.
Next, we need to know how long the media should last. If we have to change filters frequently the more it will cost.
A good filtration system would not be complete without one great enhancement an Ultraviolet light system or AIR SCRUBBER.
Air Scrubbers combine an ultraviolet light with a photo-catalytic oxidizing element. Basically, it removes airborne pathogens such as mold, bacteria, viruses, and odors from the air. The best ones will have zero emissions and do not produce ozone. Ultraviolet lights and used widely in heating and air systems and water filtration systems. They are great for people with allergies or just want to remove odors from their homes.
Reputable companies will use a DIGITAL LASER PARTICLE SCANNER to measure the contaminants in the air before the filter is installed then compare with the readings after the filter is installed. The proof will be in the digital measurements not in what the person selling it tells you.
We recommend the following IQ Air products :
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To help our customers financially we are offering up to 18 months NO INTEREST payments (OAC).
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