Considering recent events, I thought I would compile my industry knowledge on the subject of indoor air quality. My hope is that homeowners can understand and inform themselves on the Main components associated with the overall health of their indoor air. Make sure you check out how we can help you get the best air quality possible at the bottom of this post!

Indoor Air Pollution

According to the EPA, the air inside our home is regarded to have up to 5 times higher concentration of air pollutants. Like lungs in your body, your home needs to be able to breathe to make sure that fresh clean air is coming in, and old stale air is going out. Unfortunately, in modern day construction our buildings are built extremely airtight. A good thing right? Yes, but only If the fresh air intake to the building has been properly engineered and the homeowners know and adhere to requirements involved in keeping that fresh air coming in. Most homeowners that own a home in Whatcom county with a forced air system have the following two components in order to bring in fresh air.

1. A fresh air duct integrated with your forced air mechanical system (with a damper that can be opened or closed)

2. A whole house exhaust fan on a timer that works in conjunction with the fresh air intake on the forced air furnace or air handler, in order to exhaust the stale air in the home and bring in fresh air at an equal rate. The air being brought in from the outside should also be filtered before being brought into your system.

The sad reality is that the following scenario likely happens… The homeowner buys the home, nobody ever informed them of the fresh air duct that is meant to be opened in order to allow for fresh air, and nobody every informed them that the pesky whole house fan that they have in their laundry room or main area, is in fact supposed to be running at a set rate to balance the house out. We see all too often that both of these primary functions of fresh air are not being used at all!

Air Circulation

The biggest issue with the filtration installed in HVAC systems is the fact that you need to run the air distribution blower constantly to continually filter and recirculate air. Most homeowners are not used to doing this, may not know how to do this, or may simply have an HVAC system that requires an immense power bill in order to run the fan constantly. For this reason, we highly suggest considering a high efficiency blower motor installation. These motors operate at an incredibly high efficiency (they use roughly the power of a 60 watt light bulb) and allow you to run your filtration 24/7 at lower and quieter speeds in order to bring in the proper amount of fresh air, filter the homes indoor air, and distribute clean air throughout the home at an even rate.

Duct System

The arteries of your home’s air distribution system is your ductwork. It is well worth it to consider your duct system and the areas that your home may be drawing air from. The average house has a crawlspace or attic which is full of potential air contaminants such as but not limited to (mold, dust, fiberglass, rodent fecal matter etc). In order to keep your home away from the risk of these pollutants entering your air stream, consider a ductwork evaluation to ensure the home does not have unnecessary duct leakage leading to severe indoor air contamination. This also brings us back to the point of your homes fresh air input. In general, we want our home to be under a very slight positive pressure in order to keep from drawing air in from places that it shouldn’t. That is why it is ESSENTIAL that the indoor stale air that is being exhausted, is also having fresh air brought in at an even rate. If fresh air is not being brought in, your home essentially enters a vacuum state and has to draw air from anywhere it can grab….That means your nasty crawlspace or attic!!

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