Ask the Experts
How Can I Improve the Indoor Air Quality In My Home?
Most of us spend about 90% of our time indoors, whether it is at work or at home. Not only are we missing out on the great Minnesota outdoors, when we are inside the air quality is up to 10 times more contaminated than the outside air. There are many sources for indoor air quality issues including humidity levels, pet dander, common dust, pollen, mold spores and off-gassing from carpets, drapes or other household textiles. Rest assured, there are solutions for these problems. Read More
Most of us spend about 90% of our time indoors, whether it is at work or at home. Not only are we missing out on the great Minnesota outdoors, when we are inside the air quality is up to 10 times more contaminated than the outside air. There are many sources for indoor air quality issues including humidity levels, pet dander, common dust, pollen, mold spores and off-gassing from carpets, drapes or other household textiles. Rest assured, there are solutions for these problems.
Let's deal with the humidity issue first. During the cooling season the goal is to remove humidity from the home to minimize the stickiness in the house but more importantly to prevent the formation of mold in the home. The piece of equipment that does this for you is your air conditioner. The best way to keep the humidity low in your house during the cooling season is to keep the air conditioner running and the windows and doors closed on the home. It takes approximately three days to dehumidify a home and only three hours of open windows and doors to put all that humidity back in to the home. The average Minnesota home has a humidity level of 13-21% during the winter months. The optimum humidity level is 30-35% during the heating season. When the ideal humidity level is achieved the air quality is drastically improved resulting in easier breathing and less susceptibility to colds and viruses. The best way to achieve the desired winter time humidity levels is through the use of a whole home humidifier. Modern whole home humidifiers have come a long way in the last twenty years. Certain models are completely automated, needing no input from the homeowner.
Now let's address particles in the air like pollen, pet dander, dust and dirt. The best way to remove these particles from the air is by using high efficiency filters and HEPA filters. There are many stand alone pieces of equipment that are used for filtering the air in your home and office. The problem is they are only effective in the immediate area around the device. A better solution is to place a high efficiency filter on your ductwork system and utilize a variable speed blower motor to circulate air throughout the home. By using this method you will get much better results because more of the air in the home will actually pass through the filter. It is a simple concept that is often overlooked. You can also install a by-pass HEPA filter on your ductwork system. HEPA filters are extremely effective at removing particles from the air and are the best solution for people with asthma and allergy issues. The last issue we will deal with is how to eliminate off-gasses, bio-aerosols and odors. A homeowner can tackle these problems in two different ways. The first way to deal with this is to provide ventilation for the home. This is done by using a HRV or ERV, which is an air to air exchanger. An air to air exchanger brings fresh air from outside and expels indoor air to the outside of the home. By doing this you basically dilute the amount of pollutants with the outside fresh air. The next technique is to install a piece of equipment that utilizes a process called photo-catalytic oxidation. This equipment vaporizes odors and volatile organic compounds (VOC's). If this all sounds confusing, that is okay. A qualified Heating and Air Conditioning contractor can help you make the decisions that are the best for you and your family. By listening to your needs and problems they can design a system that will help everyone lead a healthier life in your home or office.
Why should I have my furnace serviced?
The first reason is safety. We have all heard the stories of the malfunctioning furnace that either puts people in the hospital or actually kills people. Furnaces are mechanical devices that need maintenance to ensure they are operating efficiently and, most importantly, safely.
Second, all manufacturers require annual maintenance to maintain the warranty on the equipment. Manufacturers may deny warranty claims if proof of annual maintenance cannot be provided. Furnaces that are properly maintained and tuned operate more efficiently and typically last much longer than neglected furnaces. Sedgwick provides superior service from a well staffed service department so call us today to keep your family safe and your equipment in tip-top shape.