No matter how diligently you seal and clean your home, there will always be sneaky pollutants that find a way in. From dust and dander to the ever-present allergens floating in the Houston, Texas, air, there are many factors that can contribute to poor indoor air quality and respiratory problems in the home. An air purifier will help you tackle these issues and breathe easier, but it’s important to know how to choose the right one.
Evaluating Your Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality (IAQ) isn’t something you can see, so it’s often difficult to assess. One of the prime indicators of poor IAQ is poor health. Some symptoms that are associated with indoor air pollution are headaches, fatigue, dizziness, eye, nose, throat irritation, and respiratory trouble. If you have a preexisting condition like allergies or asthma, you may notice that it’s worse in a home with poor IAQ. If your symptoms lessen when you leave the home, this is a strong indication that the issue is inside your house.
You can also pinpoint issues with IAQ by looking for common sources of indoor air pollution in your home or habits. Do you smoke in the home? Do you have any issues with mold or mildew? Are you living in a new home with fresh paint, carpeting, and flooring that may off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs)? These are all factors that can contribute to lower IAQ.
Identifying Your Options
There are two main options for air purifiers – whole house and portable. A whole house air purifier goes in your HVAC system and cleans the air throughout your entire home as it’s circulated through the heating and cooling system. This is the most efficient option if you want to tackle IAQ issues in multiple parts of the house. Though it’s a bit pricier, it offers a more comprehensive solution.
Portable air purifiers work in a single area of the home only. While you can move them from room to room, they won’t address the air quality in any area they aren’t directly positioned in. A portable air purifier is a better option if you have a single room you want to address, such as the bedroom of an asthma sufferer.
Reading the Label
Quality air purifiers are certified by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). The AHAM label has a lot of important information on it. The first number you should look for is the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). This is a number between 0 and 450 that measures how quickly a particular unit will clean the air. This number indicates the cubic feet per minute that the air purifier can clean.
You’ll see a different number for each type of pollutant, with indicators for dust, tobacco smoke, and pollen. The AHAM label will also indicate the room size that’s appropriate for your air cleaner, so you can select a product that can keep up with the space that you’re working with.
Giving Your Purifier Its Best Chance
Once you’ve chosen and installed your indoor air purifier, it’s important to address other issues related to poor IAQ so your air purifier has its best possible chance of success. Do what you can to minimize pollutants in your home so the purifier can work more efficiently. Keep smoking activities outside, seal the home well to keep pollen out, and vacuum frequently to keep dust under control. Avoid crafting paints and adhesives that contain VOCs. Use natural eco-friendly cleaning products that are free from potentially harmful chemicals.
Proper care and maintenance are important for both your air purifier and your entire HVAC system. Schedule annual maintenance visits for your HVAC system to make sure everything is in working order. Check the filter in your purifier and HVAC system once a month and change it every one to three months as needed. These essential activities will help you maintain the best IAQ possible.
For more help addressing indoor air quality, contact Maxx A/C & Heating at 281-409-3890. We can help you find the best solution for your Texas home.
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