Because Americans spend about 90 percent of their time inside, indoor air quality is a serious issue. Many factors can affect indoor air quality, including poor ventilation, high temperatures and high humidity. The good news is indoor air pollution is a risk that you can do something about.
Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. In addition, most home heating and cooling systems do not bring outdoor air inside—they merely treat and circulate indoor air. As a result, indoor air pollutants can be present in levels 2 to 5 times those in outdoor air, according to the EPA. To increase indoor air quality on your own, try these techniques: Open windows and doors, turn on window or attic fans (when the weather permits), or run a window air-conditioner with the vent control open to increase the ventilation rate. Local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors will remove contaminants, including moisture, directly from the room—and also increase the outdoor air ventilation rate.
At EDGE Energy, we focus on making your home as energy efficient as possible. This often means sealing the home to reduce or prevent air leaks. However, we are conscious of indoor air quality and we want your home to be both comfortable and healthy. In some cases, we may recommend installing a home air exchanger; these can come with or without moisture control. An air exchanger will regularly replace some indoor air with outdoor air.
We will suggest that you store these products outside of the air handler room, perhaps in a garage or shed. That way you avoid breathing fumes from the cans. If you store them in a garage, make sure the space is air sealed off from your living space, so fumes don’t come in.
For example, if we find a high level of particulate matter—dirt and dust—in your home, we’ll address it with one or more of these solutions: changing your air filter,Air Duct Sealing fixing or sealing your ducts, and/or air sealing your home to prevent most particles from entering.
Your first defense against dust and particulate matter is a good air filter in your furnace or forced-air system. The inexpensive blue fiberglass filters are ineffective—they are rated between 1 and 4 on the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale, which ranges from 1 (least efficient) to 16 (most efficient). The MERV number measures a filter’s ability to remove particles from .30 to 10 microns in size. Filters with higher ratings not only remove more particles from the air, they also remove smaller particles.
At the very least, you should use a pleated air filter; the pleats create more surface area to catch dirt and dust. Pleated air filters are often rated between MERV 5 and 8 and will catch matter as small as mold spores.
If you want to improve your indoor air quality, but aren’t sure where to start, contact us and we’ll perform the tests to identify any indoor air quality problems and their sources. Then we can implement solutions to improve your air quality.
Indoor air quality is a serious issue — we spend about 90 percent of our time indoors. The EPA estimates that air pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher in indoor air than in outdoor air. EDGE Energy can perform indoor air quality testing and air cleaning at your home.
EDGE Energy is a highly-regarded Residential, Commercial, and Government renewable energy systems installer and “green” building contractor which is licensed, insured, and bonded in all counties of VA, DC, and MD. We design and install custom solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy systems with pride and with proven track records. Our special focus is completing projects which decrease utility bills and energy consumption by 25% to well over 100% – even creating homes that are “net-positive.” An Energy Audit is the first step to your energy efficient home!
Visit our project maps page to learn about homeowners in your neighborhood that have worked with EDGE in the past. Remember, EDGE Energy works with HOA’s, civic groups, trade organizations, office pools, or just simply any GROUP of organized homeowners interested in completing blocks of energy audits AND retrofit services like weatherization, duct-sealing, or air-sealing, and attic insulation. Many special pricing offers have been extended in the past due to the hard work of various “Neighborhood Champions” – those who have dedicated extra time to organizing group meetings, gathering email distribution lists, and assisting with scheduling.
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To achieve Passivhaus certification, the homes have to achieve a minimum air tightness level of 0.60 ACH 50, which is five times “tighter” than the 3.0 ACH 50 required of new Maryland code-built houses. In this image, Robert Champ of...
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