The HVAC world ushered in a new family this year as ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) joined forces with the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA)! The merger represents both groups’ commitment to helping improve indoor air quality in buildings of all kinds, so with that in mind, we thought we’d present the top 10 indoor air quality tips from ASHRAE. Remember—the EPA estimates that indoor air quality can be as much as 100 times worse than outdoor air quality, so if you want to stay healthy in your home or building, follow these tips!
The Top 10 ASHRAE Indoor Air Quality Tips
Moisture in the air can lead to excess humidity and all the problems related to it, including damage to wood furniture, respiratory symptoms, and mold and mildew growth. Keep that moisture out by making sure the kitchen, all bathrooms, and laundry rooms vent directly outdoors.
Keep furnaces, air conditioners, and ductwork out of the garage and other places where indoor air contaminants may be present. Pollutants can be accidentally sucked into the system and distributed around the house.
Make sure fireplaces, wood stoves, etc. are vented outside the house, and tighten doors and outdoor air intakes wherever possible. Poorly vented wood-burning appliances can produce carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, and deadly gas.
Vent all clothes dryers, central vacuum cleaners, and anything else with the potential to kick up dust and humidity to the outdoors. Remember—the goal when you’re trying to improve indoor air quality is to keep as many contaminants as possible outside of your home, so ventilation is key pretty much everywhere!
Toxic or volatile substances, like paints, fertilizers, chemical cleaners, and more can all give off toxic gases than can be harmful in large doses. Keep these chemicals in the garage or away from your primary living space.
Limit your use of candles, indoor barbecues, vent-free heaters, and indoor smoking.
When cleaning or enjoying hobbies that use a lot of chemicals, keep windows open or make sure the space is otherwise ventilated.
Avoid natural-draft appliances, and instead opt for sealed-combustion, power-vented, or condensing water heaters and furnaces. If you absolutely have to use natural-draft appliances, call us to test them for proper venting.
Make sure your air filters are the right MERV rating for your needs, and change them frequently (once a month to three months).
Use a whole-home mechanical ventilation system to get fresh outdoor air in while venting out stale, dirty indoor air.
You can learn more about indoor air quality at the ASHRAE website.
For all your heating and air conditioning and indoor air quality needs, call Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing today!