How Your Air Conditioning Unit Can Help improve Indoor Air Quality
In general, indoor air is four to five times more polluted than outdoor air. EPA studies show that even in the smoggiest cities, the air inside most modern homes is usually at least ten times more polluted than the air outside. Approximately 87% of American homeowners are unaware of indoor air pollution.
How can this be?
There are many reasons, some of which were discovered only recently. They include invisible assassins like radon and CO2, as well as gas-emitting chemicals like formaldehyde used in making modern carpeting, drapery, household cleaners, furniture and building materials. There are also common airborne pollutants such as pollen, viruses, dust and dust mites and damp areas where standing water can breed mold, mildew and other microbes.
Much of this problem is attributed to the way modern homes are built—for purposes of energy efficiency, and to be as air-tight as possible. The consequence is that stale air, laced with odors, chemicals, irritants – even minuscule insects – often becomes trapped in modern homes, where it circulates over and over. This can lead to eye irritation, sinus congestion, sneezing, runny nose, stuffiness, colds, flu, headaches, dizziness, outbreaks of allergies and asthma, sore throats, and various other respiratory ailments.
So serious and prevalent is this issue that environmentalists have coined a new term for it-IAQ or Indoor Air Quality. Today’s homeowners need to become more aware of the importance of IAQ and what they can do about it.
Get to Know Particulates
There’s more in the air than you can easily see—particles, dust and smoke, all of them potential triggers for asthma and allergy attacks. Particles like dust, smoke and bacteria are often .3 microns or less. At that size, allergens can get deep into your lungs because they aren’t filtered well by your nose and throat.
Reduce Particulates with an Air Cleaning System
An effective whole-house air cleaner, such as Trane CleanEffects™, can reduce the presence of potential asthma and allergy attack triggers in your home. Get rid of the majority of particles like dust, pollen, pet hair and dander, dust mites, mildew, lint, fungus, most tobacco smoke, cooking grease, and even bacteria.
As published in BioMed Central Journal, an independent publishing house committed to providing access to peer-reviewed biomedical research, Trane CleanEffects™ has been shown to reduce triggers for allergies and asthma. It removes up to 99.98% and particles and allergens from the filtered air. Installing Trane CleanEffects, Carrier Air Purifiers and Rheem Media filters can be an important part of your overall allergy and asthma management plan.
Expert Allergy Tips
Here are allergy experts’ tips for managing allergies and asthma in the home:
- Control dust mites — Use anti-dust mite covers and wash sheets in hot water at least once a week; 130 degrees is recommended.
- Eliminate mold sources – Fix leaky pipes and keep bathroom grout clean.
- Stay smoke-free — Avoid non-ventilated, smoky rooms and second-hand smoke.
- Avoid pet dander — Keep pets off the furniture, out of the bedroom, and if necessary, consider taking the pet out of the home.
- Close doors and windows — Keep windows and doors shut to keep outdoor pollens, molds and irritants outside.
- Install a whole-house air cleaner — An air cleaning system, such as Trane CleanEffects, Carrier Air purifiers and Rheem Media filters remove airborne particles and allergens too tiny for your nose and mouth to filter naturally. In addition to taking steps to control allergens in the home, you should always see an allergist to determine the cause of your symptoms. An allergy specialist can run a series of simple blood or skin tests to determine if your asthma symptoms are allergy-related.
Say Goodbye to Dust
Have you ever felt that no matter how often you dust the dust seems to reappear the next day? You’re not alone. The average six-room house collects 40 pounds of dust each year. New studies show that the installation of Trane CleanEffects, Carrier Air Purifiers or Rheem Media filters reduce dust accumulation in your home by more than 50%.
Did You Know?
- According to a study by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, indoor air contaminants are responsible for or aggravate half of all illnesses.
- Poor indoor air quality negatively affects more than 15 million Americans who have asthma and the 28 million who suffer from hay fever and other allergies.
- It is recommended we drink approximately two quarts of clean water each day. By comparison, we inhale approximately 15,000 quarts of air each day.
- More than 15 million Americans are estimated to have asthma, including one in 13 school-age children. Because they breathe faster than adults, children inhale 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults and are especially sensitive to air quality problems.
Does that mean whole house air filtration systems will eliminate the need for routine air duct cleaning?
No, routine air duct cleaning should still be performed by a professional air systems cleaning specialist every couple of years. Especially if you have smokers, pets, small children, elderly people, allergy and asthma sufferers residing in your home. However, it will it keep the air as fresh as possible between the air duct cleanings and may even extend the intervals between needing to have your air ducts cleaned.