We’re right in the thick of the fall season here in the Phoenix metro area, and while some parts of the country might mark the changing seasons by what color the leaves are, here in the Valley of the Sun homeowners are at least thankful that this year’s “non-soon” season is behind us and there are slightly more tolerable temperatures on the horizon.
Now that the weather is more reasonable, you may be tempted to start opening the windows to let some fresh air in your home. But did you know that Phoenix is one of the worst cities in the country for air pollution? Before you accidentally make the indoor air quality in your home worse, here’s what you need to know about indoor air quality, from the whole home experts at Ideal Energy.
What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in Phoenix, Arizona?
Air pollution can come from a number of different sources in your Tempe, Chandler, or Scottsdale home, including household cleaning supplies, off-gassing chemicals from carpets and furniture, high humidity from cooking or taking showers, leaky and unsealed ductwork or unsealed attic top plates and pressure imbalances in your house, which allow outdoor air pollutants to infiltrate your living spaces from your attic.
Mold, VOCs, dust, pollen, pet dander, carbon monoxide, bacteria, viruses—these are all air pollutants that can create unwanted health symptoms including headaches, fatigue and dizziness, coughing and sneezing, and increased asthma symptoms or indoor allergies.
What You Can Do to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Even though the EPA estimates that indoor air is two to fives times as polluted as the air outside, every home is different, and just because two homes are suffering from fall IAQ issues doesn’t mean they are the same problem, or that they would best be served by the same solution.
At Ideal Energy, we have a number of different services to help address your indoor air quality issues in one of the following ways:
- Preventing air pollutants from entering your living spaces in the first place
- Reducing the concentration of pollutants in your air
- Filtering air contaminants out of your air
No matter what our team of IAQ experts recommend, we’ll work hard to create a healthier indoor environment in your home and cleaner breathing air.
Improving the quality of the air filters in your home’s HVAC system can help remove air pollutants from your air as they circulate through your ductwork and back out into the rooms of your house. Higher filtration can affect your HVAC system’s air flow, so it’s important to have better air filters installed by HVAC system experts, like the professionals at Ideal Energy.
We recommend MERV 13 filters for the most practical and optimal filtration in order to filter PM 2.5, fine dust, VOCs and viruses while keeping your AC system’s static pressure low to ensure that the maximum cool air is delivered into your Phoenix home!
Mechanical ventilation is the best way to introduce a steady supply of outside air into your home that you actually have control over. An ERV (energy recovery ventilator) or HRV (heat recovery ventilator), brings in filtered outdoor air and expels old stale air while controlling loss of conditioned indoor temperatures. Simply put, you get the benefit of fresh air without sending your energy bills through the roof.
Holes and leaks in your ductwork can have one of the most detrimental impacts on your indoor air quality and increased dust in your Phoenix home. This is especially true when you have lots of holes on the return side of your ductwork – the return will suck and pull air from the attic, and push it through your duct system, including your AC coil. Not to mention, pulling dust through your AC system’s coil can actually cause your air conditioning system to freeze in the summer months when your system is running constantly. SRP and APS have duct sealing rebates in Arizona that range between $250 to $400 per duct system.
Upgrading your home’s insulation will lower your heating and cooling costs and make your home more comfortable. But removing old insulation can also help clean up the air in your home—old insulation can have mold growth from moisture issues or can even contain animal waste and critter nests. SRP and APS have insulation rebates in Arizona ranging between $250 and $600.
Finally, carbon monoxide detectors can help you monitor your home’s CO levels and avoid potentially deadly gas leaks. Carbon monoxide is not something you can smell, so if you ever pay a gas bill or have any gas appliances such as a gas furnace, gas stove, gas water heater, it’s important to also have a CO detector that has a battery back up if it’s hard wired in. At Ideal Energy, we recommend installing these in a central location in your home.
Fight Back Against Indoor Air Pollutants This Fall with Ideal Energy
Don’t let poor indoor air quality create bad allergic reactions or other health problems in your home this fall. At Ideal Energy, our certified and trained technicians will not only help keep your air conditioner running and your home comfortable, but we can help make your home healthier and safer for you and your family as well.