HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
When most people think about HVAC, they consider their furnace equipment in the winter and air conditioner in the summer months. But without your ventilation system, true comfort wouldn’t be possible. It’s your ventilation system that ensures air flows properly throughout your home.
Your ventilation system delivers warmed and cooled air to each room through a series of vents and registers. As the furnace or air conditioner heats or cools the air, it’s pushed through the ductwork, through vents, and out into your rooms.
As this air moves throughout your home, it can pick up pollutants and contaminants, depositing them into each room too. Having good indoor air quality starts with having a good HVAC system. Without it, your indoor air quality may be compromised.
How indoor air quality is compromised
Indoor air quality can be compromised in one of two ways.
The first is from poor air quality outside. The US Air Quality Index (AQI) is represented by six categories. Each category corresponds to a different level of health concern. The higher the AQI rating, the more risk it presents to your health.
An HVAC system relies on outside air to operate. Furnaces need oxygen to run, so they need fresh air from outside the system to continue to operate. Even the most sealed environment allows air movement when you open and close windows and doors. This means if outside air quality is poor, it can easily impact your indoor air quality too.
The second is from indoor air pollutants. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) exist in many different things. They are chemicals found in many of the products used to maintain your home. They live in the paint you use, the furnishings you buy, and the products you use to clean your house.
VOCs settle into the surroundings in every room in your home. As the HVAC system operates, it moves these chemicals around.
Improve your ventilation system, improve air quality
While HVAC systems don’t actively pull in fresh air from outside, they do rely on the air supply from outside of the system itself. As you open windows and doors, run fans, or use vent controls, it increases the ventilation rate. Some fans in your kitchen or bathroom can also work to remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located.
This is especially important in rooms where higher chemical compounds may exist. Use these fans to improve indoor air quality whenever you’re active in those rooms.
You should also have a ductwork inspection periodically to ensure it’s in good condition. If joints are compromised or your ductwork wasn’t installed correctly, it could allow compromised airflow to be circulating throughout your house. If mold has settled in, it can move freely from room to room.
How good is the indoor air quality in your home?
If you aren’t sure, now is the time for a thorough inspection. We can help you determine where improvements would make your home more comfortable, and healthier too.