Most people don’t give much thought to air quality, but almost all of us (as many as 99%) regularly breathe air that exceeds WHO air quality limits.
There are plenty of pollutants that can contaminate outdoor air, and they can easily get into people’s homes. If you want to keep yourself and your family healthy, filtering the air that comes into your home is essential. A reliable filter can remove pollutants from the air making it far healthier.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at how filters can help improve indoor air quality in St. James City, FL. Keep reading for more.
How Air Filters Work
While all air filters serve the same general purpose, there are several types available. Mechanical air filters trap particles using fibrous materials. They can be either disposable or washable.
Electronic air filters trap particles using an electronic charge. These are more efficient than mechanical filters, but they also tend to be more expensive.
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are a type of mechanical filter. They trap particles as small as 0.3 microns using fine synthetic filters or fiberglass. Activated carbon filters are another type that removes odors and chemical pollutants.
Causes of Indoor Air Problems
Without proper filtration, whatever is in the outdoor air can get into a building. Some of the most common pollutants that pose a health risk include:
- Secondhand smoke
- Combustion pollutants
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Asthma triggers
Why Is Indoor Air Quality a Concern?
Many people spend a lot of time indoors, so these pollutants can pose a serious threat. Effective indoor air quality maintenance can help reduce them, which is becoming more important every year.
Climate change, industrial plants, vehicles, and more can contribute to air pollution. Many people believe that staying indoors and using HVAC systems is a good solution, but without proper filtration, the indoor air quality will be no different from outdoors.
Signs of Poor Air Quality
It can be hard to know if the air in your home is of a reasonable quality. There are some signs you can look out for that may indicate the air in your home is polluted. Some illnesses and conditions that may be more noticeable include:
- Humidifier fever
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- Legionnaires disease
These generally don’t cause too much harm and are usually treatable. With that said, there can be long recovery times, especially with extended exposure. You or your family may also start exhibiting systems such as:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Burning or dry mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, and throat
- Lethargy or fatigue
It’s important to bear in mind that symptoms can vary between different people, and there are other potential causes of these issues. Overexposure could cause more serious long-lasting effects.
If you’re concerned about the air quality inside your home, you shouldn’t wait around. Contact a professional as soon as you can so they can deal with things quickly and help your family stay healthy. They can assess your HVAC system to see if the filter is doing its job properly and will be able to clean or replace it if needed.
The Impact of Air Filters on Air Quality
The purpose of air filters is to remove various contaminants from the air. This primarily consists of things like dust, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander.
When used effectively, an air filter can help you maintain indoor air quality. This may lead to various health benefits including:
- Fewer respiratory infections
- Reduced allergies and asthma symptoms
- Reduced headaches and fatigue
- Improved overall respiratory health
It’s worth noting that effective air filters can also help reduce energy usage. Air filters get dirty and clogged with time which can restrict air flow through an HVAC system. The result is that it will have to work harder to circulate air in your home, leading to increased energy bills and a larger carbon footprint.
Many filters can be cleaned, but some are disposable. You should check yours regularly to see if it needs cleaning or replacing.
In most homes, checking about once every three months should be enough. Some people, however, will want to check more often than others. Those with pets, for example, will likely have more pet dander circulating on the air, so filters can become clogged more easily.
Choosing the Right Air Filter
Filters vary quite a lot, so it’s important to get one that suits your home well. There are several factors that you should take into consideration.
Firstly, you want to make sure it’s the right size. If you get one that doesn’t fit your system, you won’t be able to use it at all.
The minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) is another important factor. This is a rating system that measures how effective a filter is at removing pollutants from the air.
It ranges from 1 to 16, and filters with a higher MERV rating will remove more contaminants. While filters with a higher MERV are more efficient, they also tend to cost more, so you’ll need to consider your budget alongside this.
You’ll also want to take the material into account. There are both synthetic and natural materials available. Natural materials are biodegradable (and therefore more environmentally friendly) but filters made from synthetic materials tend to last longer.
Maintaining the Indoor Air Quality of Your Home
Ensuring the indoor air quality in your home stays at a good level will help keep you and your family healthy. Ensuring you have a reliable, clean filter is an effective way to do this. There are various types of filters available, so you may want to speak to an HVAC professional for help choosing the right one.
Florida Cooling Solutions is a leading HVAC services company based in St James City, FL. We’ve been in business for almost 20 years, and offer a wide range of residential and commercial HVAC services. Check out our indoor air quality page to find out more and request a free quote today.