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Guide to Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality

How much should you worry about IAQ? (Indoor Air Quality). The short answer is “Not much.” The EPA estimates that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. But for much of the time in Southern California, our weather is mild enough that a few open windows will displace much of that stale, indoor air. However, if a member of your family is sensitive, or has allergies or asthma, then you can get a great benefit by adding IAQ equipment to your home. For a small investment, you can convert your central air conditioning system to a whole house air purifier.

All central heating and air conditioning systems should include a filter. Filters should be changed after 500 hours of system operation, which in Southern California normally means around twice a year for homes, and more frequently for stores and businesses. Most systems rely on a 1” disposable fiberglass filter, which does an adequate job of protecting the equipment from building up dust and dirt on the blower wheel or the heat exchangers. But such filters really aren’t effective when dealing with particles that humans are sensitive to, such as pollen, animal dander or others.

If you’re sensitive to such contaminants, it makes perfect sense to install some IAQ equipment and clean all the air in your home. There are several varieties of IAQ devices. First, let’s talk about what doesn’t work. The 1” disposable filter is of little help. Hardware store filters that make IAQ claims aren’t any better, and can actually degrade your system performance if they interfere too much with air flow. Ozone generators were popular, but are no longer legal in California. The same applies to freestanding devices that claim to filter air but have no fan. Without a fan, they can’t purify enough air to be of any real help.

So What Does Work?

Air Particles | Indoor Air Quality Services in Pasadena, CA
For Asthma and Allergies
Select a product designed to remove particles from the air. A good media filter will do this job well. Media filters have MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) ratings. A MERV 8 will catch pollen and pet dander. A MERV 11 filter will get dust and mold as well.

For Smoke, Odors and Chemicals
Chemicals are best removed using a Photo Catalytic Oxidizer (PCO) or Hydroxide ions. Such devices break up the long carbon chains that characterize volatile organic compounds, the active ingredients in smoke and odor.

For Bacteria and Viruses
Decades ago, hospitals began equipping surgical rooms with ultraviolet (UV) light sanitizing equipment. Today, such equipment can be installed in your ducts as UV lamps. These are inexpensive and effective devices that prevent bacteria and viruses from colonizing and spreading via your ductwork.

Proper Controls
None of these devices will work if the fan on your system isn’t running. The air in your home must circulate past the equipment for it to do its job. Today’s thermostats come with a “ventilate” or “circulate” setting that makes sure air flows through your equipment even if you don’t need heat or cooling. And to save energy and protect comfort, such settings always run your fan at its lowest possible setting.

How Can I Protect My Family?

We spend 90% or more of our time indoors. How can we protect ourselves? Fortunately, there are several excellent choices.

PureAir Filter Services in Pasadena, CA

PureAir Filter

Combines top-rated MERV16 particle filter with photo-oxidization to destroy viruses, bacteria and volatile organic chemicals. Ozone free. Protects your home and family from all three categories of indoor air pollution.

MERV 16 Filter Services in Pasadena, CA

MERV 16 Filter

Uses top-rated MERV16 particle filter to capture dust, pollen & pet dander. Lasts three times longer than 1″ filters. Excellent for those suffering from asthma or allergies.

Ultraviolet Lamps Services in Pasadena, CA

UltraViolet Lamps

Kills mold, bacteria and viruses in the airstream. Prevents slime & grit buildup on coils and heat transfer surfaces, improving efficiency. Ozone free. Use Class-3 Medical technology to turn your home comfort system into an air purification system.

MERV10 Filter Services in Pasadena, CA

MERV10 Filter

Provides superior performance compared to ordinary 1″ filters. Gets 60% efficiency vs. particles such as dust and pollen. Good solution for reducing dust and cutting airborne pollen and allergens.

HEPA Filter Services in Pasadena, CA

HEPA Filter

Uses high-tech “Clean Room” technology to actively strip the air of particles and contaminants. Excels at removal of extra-fine particles and bacteria.

Hydroxide Ion Generator Services in Pasadena, CA

Hydroxide Ion Generator

Destroys bacterial & virus colonies within your home using hydroxide ions. Proven to reduce up to 99.9% of surface bacteria, viruses & germs.

Call Air-Tro at 626-357-3535 to find out which solution is best for your home.