A whole-house air purification system can be a fantastic investment for your home. Unlike a portable air purifier, an air purification system will clean the air in every square inch of the house. In this way, you can reduce allergies and prevent illness while also ensuring you can breathe easily all summer long. Air purification is important for people with severe seasonal allergies or respiratory ailments like asthma or COPD. The truth is that this type of system can really benefit everyone. Let’s discuss some of the benefits that an air purification system can provide to your home this summer while also looking into some of your different options for air purification.
Understanding the Problem of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution is a problem that affects all buildings. Studies have shown that the concentration of many harmful airborne pollutants is typically two to five times higher inside buildings than it is in the air outside. This is obviously a major issue considering that the average American spends approximately 90% of their time indoors, according to the EPA.
In hot climates like Las Vegas, indoor air pollution is typically at its worst during the summer. Once the temperature outside starts to heat up, most people leave their windows shut all the time and their AC running. While this is great for ensuring your home stays cool, it also means that the air inside the home will quickly become stale and the concentration of airborne pollutants will continue to rise.
Unfortunately, there is really nothing you can do to prevent indoor air pollution entirely. The reason that indoor air pollution tends to be so high is that many of the items in your home and even your home’s building materials constantly release harmful chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Carpets, wood and laminate flooring, wooden furniture, paint, varnish and adhesive are all major sources of VOCs found in most homes. Some laundry products, like dryer sheets and fabric softeners, have also been shown to potentially contain more than 100 different VOCs. These VOCs can be transferred to your clothing and then constantly off-gassed into the air. Electronics like televisions, computers, printers and copiers are also sources of VOCs.
Reduction in VOCs and Other Harmful Pollutants
Because so many different VOCs are released by various items in the home, your only real option for improving your home’s air quality and lowering indoor air pollution is with some type of air purification system. Some air purification systems, such as air scrubbers, have been shown to greatly decrease the concentration of certain aerosolized chemicals and VOCs. This is important as many VOCs have been linked with an increased risk of some illnesses and certain types of cancer. For instance, formaldehyde is one of the most common household VOCs. Long-term exposure to formaldehyde can cause asthma and an increased risk of cancer.
Most air filters are completely ineffective against VOCs and other chemicals. These molecules are much too small for the filter to trap. Air purification systems are different as they send out charged ions that attract airborne particles. When these ions bind to airborne chemicals, they change the composition of the chemical and render it harmless. Other purification systems use ultraviolet lights or a photocatalytic oxidation process to destroy VOCs as well as most other airborne pollutants.
Allergy and Illness Prevention
Air purification systems are also extremely effective at removing many household allergens. This includes things like pollen, pet dander, mold spores and dust mites. This can be a huge benefit to your home during the warmer months since spring and summer are the times when many allergens are at their highest. UV lights and other air purification systems can also help keep you and your family healthy and potentially prevent illness.
A UV light unit installed as part of your home’s ductwork will work to eliminate any bacteria and viruses in the air that flows through your ducts. When bacteria and viruses are exposed to UV light, their cells are damaged so that they can no longer spread or cause infection. UV lights also work to destroy mold spores so that they can’t spread.
If one member of your family is ill, the bacteria or viruses that they shed can still get into the ductwork and be circulated throughout the home, even if that person is confined to one room. However, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about if you have an air purification system, as it will clean and purify the air flowing through your ducts and in the rest of your home.
Air purification systems can also work to eliminate odors during the summer months. Many homes contain a huge amount of odor-releasing bacteria, especially if you have dogs and other pets coming in and out of the home all season. Formaldehyde and other VOCs can also contribute to your home smelling bad. Whenever your home is shut up tight for the summer, the air can also quickly start to smell stale and musty since no fresh air is making its way inside.
Dust is a major issue in dry, desert climates like Las Vegas. This problem can become worse in the summer when outdoor humidity is very low. This is often a problem in older homes, as they tend to have many gaps where air and dust can get drawn inside the building. Dealing with an overly dusty home can be frustrating, as it often seems like you clean constantly without having much of an effect. Without air purification, your air conditioner will constantly circulate dust throughout your home and HVAC system whenever it runs.
This is yet another area where a whole-home air purification system can be a huge help. Along with removing allergens and pollutants from the air, many of these systems will also work to filter out dust. This is important for helping to keep your home cleaner, but it can also have major benefits for allergy sufferers since excessive dust is one of the most common allergy triggers. Whole-home filtration is far more efficient and effective than your traditional furnace filter, which can often only trap large dust particles. A lot of smaller particles can slip through.
At Polar Air & Heating, Inc., we offer a variety of solutions for helping to improve your home’s indoor air quality during the summer and all year round. We carry a range of different air purification systems, and we also install germicidal UV lights, whole-home humidifiers and air filtration systems. Our team also specializes in all types of heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance and repair services, and we design and install HVAC systems for new construction projects as well. For more information on your options for whole-home air purification or if you need any other HVAC or indoor air quality service in the Las Vegas area, contact us today.