Tag Archives: Indoor Air Quality

what to know about natural ventilation in your home greater comfort cincinnati blog

10 Things to Know About Natural Ventilation in Your Home

As a homeowner, you want your home to be a safe, clean place. Part of maintaining a fresh space is paying attention to your indoor air quality.

What IS indoor air quality, you ask? It’s a measure of the health of our indoor air, taking into account certain pollutants that can be present. That can include chemical or physical contaminants, among others.

Examples most of us are familiar with include carbon monoxide tobacco, formaldehyde and even organic solvents!

But that’s why ventilation is so important!

Ventilation plays an enormous role in sustaining proper indoor air quality. In fact, without good ventilation, your home can trap in harmful pollutants that can cause damage to the interior of your house…and your health (1)!

Here’s a couple things that you should know about natural ventilation. Continue reading

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indoor air quality tips for businesses by greater comfort hvac

Indoor Air Quality for Your Office

As much as we’d love for summer to be year-round, fall is upon us. Back to school, back to work, back to a routine!

Instead of spending lots of time outdoors enjoying the sun, you’ll probably be indoors (working hard, of course!) for the most part. This means that you’ll want to ensure your office has excellent air quality. Feeling comfortable is important, but breathing in clean, well filtered air is also just as important.

It’s easy to switch up the temp when you feel uncomfortable. However, improving air quality is a tougher problem to tackle. That’s why we have some tips in store for you! Continue reading

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4 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Home

tips for spring cleaning in the greater cincinnati area

Spring cleaning: this time of year, it’s a popular idea, and for good reason! The weather is at least a bit warmer and we’re ready for all the activities that spring and summer bring. As a result, we’re ready to pick up the slack on our chores and to examine how to clean the whole house.
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This is How to Prep Your Home & Furnace for a New Baby

 

making-the-home-ready-for-babyA new baby means lots of baby-proofing choices to think about: baby gates for the stairs, safety locks on the cabinets, electric plugs for the outlets, moving dangerous items out of reach. What are some other ways you can make your home the most inviting, nurturing, healthy, and safe place as possible to raise your new bundle of joy?

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Too Much Moisture in the Air? How to Deal with Humidity in the Home

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Although it seems to be getting a bit cooler this past week here in Greater Cincinnati, it definitely has been humid and hot in recent weeks. Since humidity has been such as popular topic recently, we decided to break down some of what you should know. Here’s to hoping mother nature sends us a few cooler and less humid days in the coming weeks! Continue reading

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How Your HVAC Impacts Your Quality of Sleep

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Let’s face it – a good night’s sleep is invaluable. And the last thing you want negatively impacting a good night’s sleep is an HVAC system that isn’t up to par. If your lack of sleep is related to your HVAC system, there is good news – there is a fix! Check out the ways a smoothly running HVAC will keep your slumber sound.

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Types of Air Filters For Your HVAC System

types of air filters for your HVAC SystemIndoor air quality is more of a problem today than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Newer, more tightly sealed homes are replacing older, draftier homes. Also older windows and doors are being replaced with newer options that keep your heat and air inside the house where it belongs. This makes changing your air filter in your HVAC system even more important. What types of air filters for your HVAC system, often depends on your lifestyle and how you use your system.

Types of Air Filters For Your HVAC System

indoor air qualityFlat Panel Fiberglass Filters

These disposable filters have a one-inch thick fiberglass pad held in a metal or cardboard frame. They are usually inexpensive which allows you to change them often. They protect the HVAC system from large airborne particles but they do nothing to improve the air quality of your home. If you smoke, live with pets, or have allergies then there are better filters that ensure better air quality.

Pleated Polyester Filters

These filters are also relatively inexpensive and disposable. The have an increased surface area because of the pleats that allows them to catch and contain more air particles. They filter smaller particles such as dust mites, bacteria, viruses and pet dander.

Electrostatic High Efficiency Pleated Polyester Filters

These filters do a better job at capturing smaller particles. They are great for allergy suffers and pet owners. Because they trap particles so well, they can get dirty quickly and if not changed they can cause your HVAC system to run inefficiently.

HEPA Filters

Hospitals and medical facilities rely on HEPA  filters because they are the most efficient filters. They capture over 99% of all air particles. They can significantly improve the indoor air quality too. These are normally commercial filters that require professional installation form your HVAC company. Because they can reduce the air flow they don’t always work with home HVAC systems. Your HVAC technician can help you determine if there are HEPA filters available for your unit and if you would be wise to use them.

Reusable Air Filters

Air filters that can be washed over and over are made from material that is durable enough to handle washing and use. They are normally not as effective at improving indoor air quality as disposable filters. They are generally more expensive and require regular removing, washing and installing. They should never be installed wet, to prevent mold from growing.

Your Filter Size

Each HVAC unit has a unique filter size. The easiest way to find the right filter is to check on your current filter and get the same one. Once you know the size, you can buy the right filter each time.

Your HVAC technician from Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning can help you learn how to change your filter and give you recommendations on which filter would be best for your household. They can also let you know how often to change the filter, although once a month is recommended as a general rule. Please call Greater Comfort Heating and Air if you have questions or to schedule HVAC maintenance.

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Why Indoor Air Quality is Important

indoor air qualityIndoor air quality is important to every person in the United States. We have all heard the news on second hand smoke and carbon monoxide. But there are many things that can contribute to poor air quality. Most people will spend a significant amount of time indoors, either in their home or office. Pollutants in the air can cause headaches, eye irritations, allergies and asthma or fatigue. Long-term effects include heart disease and cancer.  It is unclear how much exposure to air pollutants will cause a problem and what long-term effects might occur.

Common Indoor Sources of Air Pollutants Include:

-New Carpet

-Broken Compact Fluorescent light bulbs

-New Electronics

-Glues and Adhesives

-Paints and Strippers

-Stoves, Heaters, Fireplaces and Chimneys

-Upholstered Furniture

-Pressed Wood products, Paneling, Particle Board

The EPA has a complete list of indoor air pollutants and what to do about them.  Go to the publication : inside story

Stale Air

Poor air quality occurs when there isn’t a good exchange between indoor air and outdoor air or fresh air. Indoor air is ventilated naturally through cracks around the doors and windows in your home and through vents that transfer good air in and bad air out. As most homeowners are good about sealing cracks that air could get in and out of, a ventilation system is often necessary to get rid of the stale air.

Determining If You Have Poor Indoor Air Quality

Testing is a good way to determine if your home has radon. There are also carbon monoxide testers too. You can use your symptoms to determine if you have good indoor air quality. This is especially true if you have recently moved into a new home. This isn’t always the best way to tell because the symptoms could mimic a virus or other ailment. You may also notice these signs that can indicate your home may not have enough ventilation which include moisture condensation on windows or walls, smelly or stuffy air, dirty central heating and air cooling equipment, and areas where books, shoes, or other items become moldy To detect odors in your home, step outside for a few minutes, and then upon reentering your home, note whether odors are noticeable.

What You Can Do About Poor Indoor Air Quality

The best way to eliminate bad indoor air quality is to remove the source of the problem. This might include sources of allergens and pollutants. You can also make sure to open windows and doors when you can and to run existing ventilators when you are doing things in the kitchen, painting or using the bathroom. Air purifiers can help but most that are sold don’t do the trick. Advanced designs of new homes are starting to feature mechanical systems that bring outdoor air into the home. Some of these designs include energy-efficient heat recovery ventilators (also known as air-to-air heat exchangers). If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to improve the air quality of your home or office, contact Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning and they will be happy to help you.

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Call Greater Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning for all your Heating, Air Conditioning, Indoor Air Quality, Commercial HVAC, Design Build HVAC Contractor, and Energy Savings needs.

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