Indoor Air Quality in Fredericksburg

woman sneezing into tissue

A lot of homeowners are surprised to learn that their indoor air quality (IAQ) isn’t nearly as good as they’d previously thought and certainly hoped. We at think of our homes as havens, but in reality, the indoor air quality in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania may be among the worst you encounter. The U.S. EPA has found air in homes can be many times more polluted than outdoor air, even in big cities where vehicle traffic reduces quality.

All kinds of homes can have air quality problems, from brand new to well-maintained homes of any age. Contributors to poor air quality are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that include all kinds of products used to keep a home clean, new building and remodeling products, candles, air fresheners and anything perfumed, as well as exhaust from cars, barbecue grills and gas stoves.

Other common air quality problems include dust mites, pollen, mold spores, tobacco smoke and pet dander. Radon is another harmful gas that may be in your home’s air. In excess, humidity is also a contaminant that harms air quality. It fosters the growth of dust mites and mold and can make it more uncomfortable for some people to breathe.

woman suffering from poor indoor air quality

Why your Indoor Air Quality in Fredericksburg Matters

There’s plenty of research that has proven air pollutants can cause serious health problems like lung and heart problems, along with cancer and organ failure. People sometimes suffer from allergies while others develop asthma in response to bad IAQ.

The average person inhales 2,900 gallons of air per day, according to ShareCare.com. When that air is filled with pollutants and irritants, your health could suffer short or long-term consequences. We at Complete Heating & Cooling are here to help you improve indoor air quality by avoiding indoor air pollutants and reducing the harm of unavoidable indoor contaminants.

What Works for Indoor Air Quality in Fredericksburg

The products that improve indoor air quality in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania are air cleaners and air purifiers. Which works best for you depends on how you need to improve indoor air quality.

Air Cleaners

Air cleaners come in all kinds of sizes, from small, portable units to whole-house systems that attach to central forced-air HVAC systems. If you have family members that have persistent allergies or asthma attacks, a whole-house system will provide the best results to improve air quality in Fredericksburg. These devices remove airborne particulates like dust, mold spores, pet dander and pollen.

They pull all the air from your home through a sophisticated filter that traps particles, some of which are too small to see. Some may use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters that trap nearly all the airborne particulates found in indoor air.

Depending on your home and location, you may not need something as dense as a HEPA filter to improve indoor air quality in Fredericksburg. A high-quality air filter for your HVAC system or a non-HEPA filtration system may be enough to remove the offending pollutants.

Electrostatic filters are another way we recommend to improve indoor air quality in Fredericksburg. These devices use an electrical charge on a metal plate to pull the airborne particulates to it where they stay. They are reusable, unlike air filters that need to be discarded after they’re dirty. Electrostatic filters are easy to wash and replace inside the HVAC system.

air purifier in room

Air Purifiers

The air purifiers that improve indoor air quality in Fredericksburg use UV (ultraviolet) lights to reduce the populations of organic compounds like viruses, bacteria, mold spores inside your home. UV light comes from sunshine and it’s the spectrum that sanitizes whatever it shines upon.

When used in lights, the UV ray alters the DNA of whatever it touches, rendering the organic material unable to reproduce, which will improve indoor air qualtiy. While it doesn’t kill anything, it does eventually reduce the populations the harmful organic materials indoors. When UV rays shine on VOCs (volatile organic compounds), these gases or particulates lose their toxicity.

VOCs are particularly difficult to deal with without UV lights. The only other way to eliminate them from your home’s air is through avoidance or fresh air ventilation. Considering how many products have VOCs inside them, it’s easier to install VOCs inside your home’s HVAC system. The best places are to put the lights in the ductwork or inside the air handler. The bulbs need to be changed annually and cleaned semi-annually for maximum effectiveness.

Hybrid Products

A new type of air cleaner combines filtration with UV technology. They’re called catalytic air cleaning systems that combine filtration with UV cleaning technology. Once they trap the particulates, the UV lights disable them. They give you the best of both worlds to improve indoor air quality in Fredericksburg.

humidifier

Humidity Management

When the humidity in your home is out of balance, any air quality issues you have will be magnified. Overly dry air promotes the spread of viruses and bacteria, which is why winter is the height of the flu season. In the summer when humidity increases, mold colonies flourish as do bacteria.

Unless your home is small and portable units can manage the humidity levels, we at Complete Heating & Cooling recommend humidity management by using central humidifiers for winter comfort. Your physical comfort will increase as will the health of your home and electronics. In the summer, your air conditioner removes some of the excess humidity indoors. If it doesn’t, it’s time for the pros at Complete Heating & Cooling to look it over.

Ventilation Systems

Adequate ventilation will also improve indoor air quality in Fredericksburg. Heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) use balanced ventilation to improve the IAQ. They pull out stale, stuffy air and bring in the same amount of fresh, clean outdoor air. They are the most energy efficient way to ventilate your home and improve indoor air quality since the heat energy in the outdoor air is trapped and put into the incoming air. They have little impact on your heating or cooling bills, but will improve indoor air quality in Fredericksburg.

We at Complete Heating & Cooling know that ductwork is the major cause of poor indoor air quality. We can inspect ductwork for leakage and offer options to correct it, we also provide indoor air quality upgrades like the PureAir air purification system by Lennox. Our evaluation & estimates are free of charge. Give us a call at (540) 370-4178 to learn more about our indoor air quality options.