When air pollution is high, it’s all about the news. But we rarely hear about the air indoors where we spend about 90% of our time, especially in cold weather.
It may surprise you, but the air in your home is likely not to be as clean or healthy as the air outside. The Environmental Protection Agency has documented that some pollutants are two to five times more concentrated indoors than outdoors.
Tighter home construction, high performance windows, and increased insulation save money on utility bills by reducing the amount of air that naturally escapes. The downside is that the contaminants are also trapped inside.
Children are particularly susceptible to indoor air quality issues because they inhale 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults.
The most common air pollutants
The EPA’s list of indoor air pollutants is long. Some are rare these days, such as lead and asbestos, but they are found regularly in most homes.
- Allergenic molds: These cause watery eyes, runny nose, post nasal drip, and other symptoms that make you feel ugly.
- Pathogenic molds: These are bad because they can attack your immune system and cause fungi to grow in your body.
- Toxic molds: The absolute worst. These molds release toxic chemicals into the air that lead to hazards, including black mold.
- Carbon monoxide: Tits tasteless, odorless and colorless gas causes headache, dizziness, nausea and confusion. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal.
- Nitrogen dioxide: Iirritates the eyes, nose and throat and can cause chronic bronchitis.
- Humans, plants and animals spread contaminants including bacteria, viruses, dust, animal dander, mites, pollen, and insects.
Volatile organic compounds
- Also known as VOCs, they include chemicals found in household products including paints, cleaning solutions, aerosols, disinfectants, cosmetics, candles, and even air fresheners.
- Radon is also another odorless, colorless gas that is potentially harmful. It can seep into homes through cracks in walls and foundations. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and is present at dangerous levels in one in 15 homes in the United States
How to get good air in your home
You don’t have to put up with poor indoor air quality in your home. Through constant research and development, scientists and manufacturers continue to improve old technologies and develop new ones.
Air filters: We’ve come a long way since the days of the one-inch HVAC filters that you can see through. Some older systems still use them, but newer HVAC equipment has 4 inch thick filters that trap many more contaminants. Be sure to match the filter efficiency rating to your HVAC system.
Air purifiers: Air purifiers should be integrated with central HVAC systems or as stand-alone units that operate in a room or part of a house. Air purifiers use a number of technologies such as …
- HEPA filters: Short for special high efficiency air filters, HEPA filters are commonly used by hospitals and other clean room facilities. These filters are rated at higher efficiency than the top rated residential units.
- UV purifiers: These use short-wave ultraviolet light to inactivate airborne microorganisms such as molds, viruses, and bacteria.
- Ionic purifiers: These put negatively charged ions into the air to attract and trap microscopic positively charged contaminants like secondhand smoke.
- Carbon purifiers: CCarbon filters are treated with oxygen to make them porous, allowing them to absorb airborne particles and gases.
- Ozone purifiers: These put ozone in the air to kill mold. Purifiers are less popular now because ozone can be a pollutant if not used properly.
Air purifiers for the whole home
There are a few exceptions, but in most cases, homeowners prefer indoor air purification equipment that is integrated into their central heating and air conditioning systems. Coverage is more complete and running a single system is more efficient than a set of room units.
To be effective against the full range of airborne contaminants, whole-home air quality equipment typically incorporates two or more passive technologies that trap contaminants in the air as they pass through. a filter or a collection grid.
Progress has been incremental, but now a totally disruptive solution is available for residential use that was previously only found in US space programs and large commercial facilities.
New Whole Home Air Cleaners Kill COVID Viruses
BillyGO offers several brands of whole home air purifiers, each of which uses a somewhat different set of technologies depending on the nature of the pollutants you want to remove.
The most exciting is the Aerus Air Scrubber with ActivePure technology. Using a combination of active and passive systems, it kills up to 99.9% of harmful airborne contaminants – including SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus), swine flu (H1N1), avian influenza (H5N8), hepatitis A (HAV) and the bacteriophage MS2.
The air cleaner installs directly into HVAC systems to remove airborne and surface contaminants including VOCs, odors, dust, pet dander and other allergens.
Air Scrubber sucks free oxygen and water molecules from the air and transforms them into powerful oxidants that attack airborne contaminants. It then circulates the oxidants throughout the house through the ducts.
It bears repeating that Air Scrubber also kills contaminants on all surfaces in your home, including walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, toys, and appliances. It also prevents dust build-up in HVAC ducts.
Humidifiers for the whole house
While we are removing airborne contaminants from the air, we need to add moisture to most homes. Ovens and fireplaces remove moisture from the air, making us less comfortable. The house is stuffy, and you may have a hoarse throat and chapped lips, as well as static electricity shocks.
Whole home humidifiers can be added to central HVAC systems to provide controlled humidity and comfort throughout the home. It also helps prevent wood floors, cabinets and furniture from drying out.
Whole-house types of humidifiers include bypass, fan and steam humidifiers, but they work on the same principle of adding moisture to the HVAC system, where it can be efficiently moved throughout the building.
Fan-powered humidifiers are more popular because they put up to a gallon of water in the air each day. This makes them particularly suitable for large houses.
Any billyGO certified HVAC technician can advise you on the best type of humidifier for your situation.
It’s quick and easy to schedule a billyGO IAQ consultation!
Do not delay in getting excellent indoor air quality in your home. The fastest and most convenient way to schedule a consultation is to use the patent pending billyGO online planner:
- Schedule your own day and time for your appointment and get immediate confirmation via text or email.
- No calls to make, no scrambled phone connections, no wrong addresses, no waiting on hold.
- Our guaranteed one-hour appointment window means you know when help is coming, so you can go about your business the rest of the day.
Isn’t it time for you to give billyGO a try?