Improving Air Quality in Your Home

by Dave The Handyman on April 2, 2011

What a lot of people don’t realize, is how bad the air inside of your home is compared to the outside. The easiest way to improve the air quality in your home, would be too leave the windows and doors open, so outside air can continually flow throughout the household. But not all of can do that, maybe for a couple of hours if the weather permits, but this is usually not a full proof solution to keep the air quality clean in your house hold. So I will be covering some things that you can do to get better air quality inside of your home.

Upgrade Your Air Conditioning/Furnace Filters

You know those fiberglass spun filters that you get from the grocery store for around 4 or 5 bucks? Ya, those, they suck. Sure they do filter out some dust and particles, and they may protect your evaporator coils a little bit, but when it comes to air quality, they are next to worthless, very close. If you want to get some of the pollutants, mold spores and such out of the home some pleated filters will help do that. Pleated filters usually have a MERV rating of 6 or better, and btw, the higher the MERV rating is, the better it filters the air of unwanted pollutants. When you are looking at higher quality air filters for your home, such as MERV 11 and up, you will have to modify the duct work at the return side, and also spend about 100 bucks a year to replace the filters.

Use Air Purifiers to Improve Air Quality

There are many types of home air purifiers that are out there. Some work better than others, but just like everything in life, you get what you pay for. If you are someone that smokes in the house, they make air purifiers that will remove the smell of the smoke from the home. If you are someone that has pets, there are air purifiers that can remove the pet smell from your home. Air purifiers come in all shapes and sizes, from ones that are designed for single rooms only, to ones that are designed for the whole house. Although when you are talking about whole house air purifiers, you are talking about duct work and at least a couple thousand dollars, depending on the size of the house, to keep the air clean.

Ultraviolet Lights For Improving Home Air

This is probably the cheapest and cost effective ways to improve the air quality inside of your home, and also one of the easiest, as only a small fraction of duct work may have to be modified, if any at all. U/V lights burn hot and bright, and can kill up to 99% of living bacteria that passes through your air handler or furnace. The only maintenance you really need to do on them, is to change the u/v bulb about once a year, or whenever the manufacturer recommends that it needs to be changed. U/v lights should be installed by a professional, as you will need to be getting a source of power for the light from somewhere, and also make sure that it is properly mounted. The sell for around $200 for small furnaces and air conditioning systems, but once you get over 3 tons, you may need multiple u/v lights to effectively eliminate living bacteria from the air. U/v lights are a great option for those of you that are concerned about Mold.

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