September 15, 2020

For over 30 years, Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning has been helping Sacramento, CA, residents keep their homes comfortable all year long. We can give you the skilled support you need to keep your house at the right temperature. However, home comfort technology is always advancing. Solutions to improve indoor air quality are at the cutting edge of the home comfort field.

Why does IAQ matter?

The quality of your indoor air is important for the well-being of anyone who lives in your home. Poor air quality can cause several health issues. Allergens floating in your air supply will trigger allergic reactions. Sensitive people will experience chronic cold symptoms like a runny nose and cough. When a family member has asthma, high levels of irritants can trigger an attack.

High concentrations of chemicals in your air have negative short-term and long-term side effects. Some of the compounds in cigarette smoke are known to contribute to cancer over time. Chemicals in the air can lead to restless sleep, fatigue and a general sense of feeling unwell. Poor indoor air quality is a health and safety issue for your home.

Common Visible Impurities

In most homes, many impurities are floating in the air. When the sun shines through a window, you can see particles of dust lazily drifting in the light. Every time you take a breath, you are taking in some of these particles. At the visible scale, you see things like dander, dirt and small fibers. Thankfully, your body comes equipped with a filtering system that removes many large impurities before they reach your lungs.

Microorganisms in Your Home

When it comes to indoor air quality, the biggest concerns are the things you cannot see. Your home serves as the host to several different kinds of microorganisms. While many of these are harmless, some can cause serious problems.

Mold and mildew grow in areas with high humidity. A damp basement or a humid bathroom is a perfect environment for colonies of mold. Once the colony reaches a certain size, it begins to send spores into the air to continue to grow. Mold spores can cause respiratory issues in some people. They can also damage textiles and ruin paper products like old books.

Dust mites are a common microscopic home resident. They feed off of dead skin cells that make up a portion of household dust. Anywhere dust can accumulate, the dust mite population will grow. Some people are allergic to dust mite droppings, and large colonies will aggravate the allergy. The duct-cleaning service that we provide will clear out dust from your ducts and remove a favorite habitat for these critters.

You can find bacteria everywhere you go. Some bacteria benefit the body, and other species can cause infections. Anti-bacterial sprays and wipes will remove these organisms from surfaces. A strong filter or a purification system will help remove them from your air supply.

Viruses are the most abundant organism on the planet. Most viruses are so small that they will pass through the strongest filters on the market. This small size is part of the reason that when one person in your family catches a cold, others are soon to follow. However, viruses normally hitch rides on larger particles such as water droplets. Using an air purification system can lower the viral count floating in your air.

Volatile Organic Compounds

When something is burning in your oven, the smoky smell is the result of molecules coming into contact with receptors in your nasal passages. Whether they are pleasant or disgusting, such smells indicate the presence of volatile organic compounds. In higher concentrations, these compounds can leave you feeling unwell. Some side effects of prolonged exposure include headaches and nausea.

There are many sources of VOCs in the average household.

  • Cleaning products
  • Beauty products
  • Plastics
  • Paints
  • Adhesives and lubricants
  • Cooking oil

Professional ventilation solutions will lower the concentration of VOCs. Air purification systems use a chemical process to trap and pull them from the air.

Checking Your Air Quality

An air quality assessment is a helpful procedure when you suspect there is something wrong with your air. You might notice that family members have allergy symptoms that disappear when they are out of the home for a few days. If anyone in your home is showing common poor air quality symptoms, our team is ready to help. We have analyzed air samples from many area homes, and we can recommend professional solutions to improve your air.

The Importance of Ventilation

Builders use advanced materials and techniques to construct homes that are tighter than in years past. This ability is helpful for the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. However, the lack of airflow allows the concentration of impurities to increase. Many homeowners add ventilation systems to their heating and cooling systems to make it easier for fresh air to get into the house.

Healthy Air Habits

As a homeowner, there are some things you can do to improve your air quality. Opening windows on days with nice weather helps get fresh air into your home. Using ventilation fans in the bathroom and kitchen is an important habit. Venting out steam from your shower minimizes mold growth. Running the vents when you are using cleaning or beauty products will prevent these VOCs from getting into your environment.

Removing the sources of common irritants is another helpful step. Most towns have opportunities for homeowners to properly dispose of old paints and other household chemicals. Regular sweeping and dusting will remove some dust particles before they get into your air.

Air Filters and the MERV Rating

At your air assessment or your annual maintenance appointment, our team can help you choose a stronger air filter that will remove more impurities. We use the MERV rating to measure the strength of a filter. This acronym stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the MERV rating, the more reliable the filter is at removing small particles. Hospitals use high-MERV filters to remove impurities as small as 0.3 microns.

Keep in mind that a higher MERV rating will make your system work harder. It takes more effort to draw air through the dense material. Our technicians can recommend the right filter solution for your home.

Air Purification

An air purifier uses a system of filters along with a chemical catalyst to remove VOCs from the air. These devices are helpful when you want to remove unpleasant odors and lower VOC levels. You can find single units that clear the air in an individual room. There are also purification systems that work with the ducts in your heating and cooling system.

Your Home Climate Partner

Sacramento trusts Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to deliver the best in heating, cooling and indoor air quality services. Our technicians can recommend and install the best solutions for keeping your home comfortable in every season. We are also the team to call when you have an issue with your household plumbing. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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