The Pandemic that is keeping us sheltered in our homes is certainly bringing big changes to our lives. It is influencing everything we do and causes us to think more carefully about our daily activities. Many of us have retreated to our home offices ‘attending’ webinars and online meetings. We’re cooking more and cleaning a lot! In fact, we’re spending even more time in an environment that could have unhealthy indoor air quality. There are suggestions that working from home and reducing the amount of ‘social contact’ we have, may be the new normal. So, we may need to rethink our home environments.
Since we’re now spending over 90% of our time in our homes, cleaning the air is more important than ever before.
Consider the air we breathe while at home. Since we’re now spending over 90% of our time in our homes, cleaning the air is more important than ever before. Many factors impact Indoor air quality (IAQ). From outside, pollution from passing cars, smog or forest fire smoke can filter into our homes. Cooking, cleaning with strong chemicals, using air fresheners and smoking are all activities that can produce harmful air quality.
Pollutants can come in the form of particles like smoke, or gases emitted from building materials, consumer products and home furnishings. Poor indoor air quality can lead to adverse health issues and increase allergy and asthma symptoms; it may even lead to increases in chronic lung disease and lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association.
If you cannot remove the source of the pollution from your home, proper ventilation can help clean up the air inside and could be as simple as frequently opening a few windows to air out the house. Using ventilation during cooking significantly removes odors and pollutants and vents them to the outside. Simply opening doors and windows and letting the breezes blow is surely a simple solution.
But when there is a bad fire season or there’s a high pollen count, bringing the outdoor air in can be unhealthy.
Filtering and cleaning the indoor air is another line of defense. Air purifiers or cleaners use filtering to remove indoor pollutants. Portable air purifiers and HVAC filters cannot remove all pollutants from the air, but they can significantly reduce most.
For a fixed, or installed, air cleaning solution, purifiers can be added to your existing ductwork or ductless heat pumps. We offer products that can be permanently installed on the indoor unit of a ductless system during installation of the system, or at a later time. According to the manufacturers, our air purifiers can kill airborne mold, reduce smoke, control allergens, reduce air particles and VOCs, remove Pet and Cooking Orders and keep the fan coil cleaner. The product also claims to kill bacteria and viruses such as E. Coli, Staph, MRSA and Tuberculosis.
Consistently circulate clean, filtered air with a ductless heating and cooling system and an air purifier
We use a two-step process in our own home. Our home is heated, cooled and filtered with a ductless heat pump. Ductless heat pumps are designed to constantly run so that they can meet changing heating and cooling demands. That means Indoor air is consistently circulated through the filters of the indoor units.
To keep the filters clean, we simply wash them once a month. In the rooms that we spend significant amounts of time, such as our home office during the day, and bedroom at night, we’ve added portable air purifiers. The air in the room gets filtered when circulating through the ductless heat pump’s filter and through our portable air purifier. So, in effect, we are continuously filtering filtered air.
For us, it has been the perfect solution to removing bad odors, dust and allergens. There are also claims that it can remove mold spores (mold is a moisture problem that needs to be eliminated at its source. The unit has several settings and speeds for cleaning the air and deodorizing. It operates quietly and responds automatically to any change in air quality.
The reality is that we may be changing the way we live, work and play. Indoor air quality is going to play an important role in healthful living as we spend more time in our homes. In the past, we went to offices in commercial buildings that likely had powerful ventilation systems. Unless our homes are fairly new, or custom built, better ventilation and filtration systems will need to be added. In the meantime, consider adding portable or permanent air purifiers and make sure that filters in your ductless or central heating and cooling system are kept clean.
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