INDOOR AIR QUALITY FAQS
How Does Humidity Affect Indoor Air Quality?
While Tampa Bay-area residents are accustomed to high humidity outdoors, measures should be taken to ensure that indoor levels remain between 30 and 50% to avoid the growth of mold and mildew. Dust mites also thrive in a moist environment, and the presence of any of these contaminants can aggravate allergies and lead to respiratory distress.
What is a HEPA Filter?
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are engineered to remove up to 99.97% of contaminants, such as dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and viruses, down to 0.3 microns. This type of filtration system is beneficial to anyone with allergies or asthma—but because they are so thick, these highly rated filters are not for use with a standard HVAC system, because they will restrict airflow.
What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?
VOCs are manmade chemical compounds that are emitted as gases by certain liquids and solids. Concentrations of VOCs found in indoor air are higher than in the outdoors and may cause the following symptoms:
- Eye, nose, and/or throat irritation
- Shortness of breath
- And more
Common sources of VOCs may include:
- Foam insulation
- Personal care products
- Cleaning products
- And more
Can Routine Annual Maintenance Improve Indoor Air Quality?
During your scheduled maintenance visit, one of our skilled technicians will inspect and tune your HVAC system, replace your air filter, and clean the system components. Dirt and other contaminants can decrease the life span of your equipment, due to unnecessary wear and tear on parts, and increase the amount of particulate circulating throughout your living space.
Is UV Light an Effective Air Cleaner?
An ultraviolet germicidal light can help to control and kill contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, and mold, by damaging the cell structure of these microorganisms. A UV light air cleaning system from Scott’s One Hour Air is installed into your existing, forced-air HVAC system. It’s an effective solution for our warm, humid climate, which provides the ideal environment for mold and mildew growth.
How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?
During operation, your HVAC system continuously recirculates the air throughout your home, drawing it in through the return air vents, passing it through the air filter, and then blowing it back out through the supply vents. As the air filter continues to trap particulate and becomes clogged, contaminated air is forced to travel around the filter and the particulate remains in your indoor air. Clean or replace your air filter every four to six weeks during peak heating or cooling season, and use a good-quality air filter for best results.
What is MERV?
Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) is used to rate an air filter’s ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns in size. Standard air filters have a MERV rating of between 1 and 12, with 12 being the highest that most HVAC systems can accommodate. Hospitals use filters rated between MERV 13 and 16, while HEPA filters are rated between 17 and 20.
What Role Does Ductwork Play in IAQ?
Ductwork is used to move air to and from your heating and cooling equipment. Over time, contaminants such as dust, dander, and mold spores can accumulate along the interior surfaces. Cracks or areas of disconnect can further allow the entry of contaminated air from unconditioned spaces such as a crawl space or attic, highlighting the need for regular duct inspections, maintenance, and cleaning.
Want to learn more? Call (813) 882-4776 or contact us online today!