Indoor Air Quality FAQs
Do I Need a Humidifier?
The answer to this question depends on a few things, but first you should know about the importance of properly humidified air. Air that lacks sufficient moisture can be damaging to the skin, causing it to dry out, chap and crack. It also exacerbates respiratory symptoms, such as those accompanying asthma, allergies and the common cold. It may also be more contaminated, as filtration systems have a harder time cleaning out air that is very dry. For those that are susceptible to respiratory problems, especially those living in dry climates, then yes, a humidifier is probably a good idea. Keep in mind, however, that there are drawbacks to having air that is too humid. Air that contains too much moisture does not circulate as readily and promotes mildew and mold growth, so it is best not to get a humidifier if you don’t need one.
What Are UV Germicidal Lights?
Simply put, UV germicidal lights are a special kind of light that cleans indoor air by exposing it to ultraviolet radiation. The UV light does not damage the air and is safe for humans, but is deadly to biological contaminants that may be in the air. Bacteria, mold and viruses are eradicated by these lights, which are usually installed after your air cleaner within your HVAC system. The result is air that is safer to breathe and less likely to carry microorganisms that can make you sick.
I Already Have an Air Purification System. Why Do I Need UV Germicidal Lights?
Air purification systems are great for removing particulate matter, such as dust and pollen. They are also highly effective at reducing the amount of smoke, dander and other allergens in the air. They are a blessing for people who suffer from asthma and allergies. What they cannot do, however, is remove microorganisms and other biological contaminants. The filters are simply not enough to catch things that small, but UV germicidal lights can which is why they make such a strong addition to your existing air filtration system, allowing you to keep the air in your home as clean as possible.
How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?
The short answer is to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
The longer answer is that it varies depending on a number of factors, such as the type of filter, the type of ventilation system, the local outdoor air quality and how well your home circulates air. It also depends on the composition of the home, such as whether there are any smokers or pets in the household. These introduce contaminants, which shortens filter life.
Finally, it also depends on your needs and preferences. If you or a family member is prone to respiratory problems such as asthma or allergies, you will want to use a higher rated filter and change it more often. The first step, though, is always to check the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Do I Need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?
In a word: YES!
Carbon monoxide is a toxic, potentially deadly, invisible, odorless gas that is caused by what is termed “incomplete combustion of organic materials.” Essentially, that means any time something is burned, some amount of carbon monoxide is released into the air.
Common household causes of elevated carbon monoxide levels include improperly sealed chimneys, poor home ventilation and secondhand smoke, among others. A carbon monoxide detector will warn you when gas levels have reached a potentially dangerous point, so that you can leave the area and seek help for the problem.
Many smoke detectors are combined with carbon monoxide detectors these days, so there is no real excuse not to have one.