Even the briefest glance at today’s news headlines clearly shows how little control we have over the quality of our outdoor air. Making a difference there will require worldwide accord and partnership at a level our governments have yet to achieve.
But the story looks quite different when it comes to our indoor air quality and temperature control. We have a very high level of ability to control the quality and affordability of our own indoor air.
Just having a highly rated, energy efficient HVAC system will go a long way toward protecting you and your family from many of the toxic effects of our compromised outdoor air supply. It will also help you spend less on monthly energy costs.
But when you add indoor air quality support to what your HVAC system is already providing, you double your power to ensure you and your loved ones are breathing highly oxygenated, toxin-free air. Plus, you will save even more money on energy costs!
P.S. This month, you have the chance to receive a FREE indoor air quality appliance: read on to find out how!
The Five Key Elements of Clean, Affordable Indoor Air
The following five elements are each a vital component of maintaining affordable, clean, and pure indoor air at home and at work.
1. Efficient heating
Furnace appliances are now rated based on their capacity to operate efficiently using a range of air filters. This is called a “MERV” rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating.
MERV ratings range from 1 to 16. The higher the MERV rating, the better filter a furnace can take.
For example, a furnace that carries a MERV rating of 16 can operate efficiently using an air filter constructed to HEPA-grade standards (HEPA, which stands for high efficiency particulate air, is the current air filtration gold standard worldwide).
2. Efficient cooling
As National Resources Canada explains, Canada regulates air conditioner efficiency using the EnerGuide label in partnership with the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star rating system.
An air conditioner will also carry an EER or SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, depending on whether you have a room-sized unit or a central A/C unit. The EER/SEER range goes from 8 to 12.
The higher the EER/SEER rating, the less energy the A/C unit will draw to produce cool air (you can read more about how SEER ratings impact your utility bills here).
Also, the higher the EER/SEER rating, the higher grade of air filter your A/C unit can take without sacrificing energy efficiency. At a SEER rating of 12, you can use a HEPA-grade air filter.
3. Adequate ventilation
Ventilation is the unsung hero of indoor air quality. Ventilation is the only way to ensure your indoor air supply remains both clean and adequately oxygenated.
But it isn’t always seasonally possible to just open a door or window to ventilate your home. Sometimes it is too cold, too hot, too polluted, or too humid outside, and using natural ventilation will worsen your indoor air quality rather than improving it.
The Government of Canada states that the best year-round ventilation solution is to use a mechanical ventilation system that integrates with your air conditioner and furnace.
This type of system integrates directly into the ductwork for a central HVAC system, working with existing air filters to completely separate stale outgoing air from fresh, filtered incoming air.
If you prefer not to use this type of ventilation system or your home doesn’t have ductwork, a great alternative is an air purification system, which uses ultraviolet light to accomplish similar air quality results.
Whether you choose a mechanical integrated ventilation system or an air purification system, your results will be the same—vastly cleaner indoor air.
4. Balanced humidity
We’ve been talking a lot about humidity over the past several months because it is all too easy to think humidity fluctuation is just something that happens seasonally over which we have no control.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only is control of your indoor air humidity levels possible, it is also vital to safeguarding your health and the integrity of your home.
In fact, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) cites humidity as one of the key causes of declining indoor air quality.
Too much indoor humidity can cause slime, mould, mildew, and excessive hard water deposits to form on appliances. It can also cause a range of unpleasant health symptoms ranging from temporary respiratory distress to chronic illness.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recommends using a simple device called a hygrometer to measure your indoor air humidity levels. This can indicate which rooms may be approaching safe humidity limits and help you achieve balanced indoor air humidity levels.
We always recommend keeping indoor air humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent depending on the season and weather. Allowing your indoor air humidity level to dip below 30 percent or rise above 50 percent can potentially trigger air quality issues as well as uncomfortable health symptoms.
5. Air quality control
Air quality control is best achieved through a combination of filtration, ventilation, balanced humidity, and purification.
If this sounds like a tall order, today’s technology is more than up for the challenge and is able to meet it with great efficiency and effectiveness.
Want a FREE Indoor Air Quality Appliance? Find Out How!
This month, when you purchase any A/C and furnace combo, you will receive a FREE indoor air quality appliance! You can choose from an indoor air humidifier, a UV (ultraviolet) Saber light purifier, or a media air cleaner!
To learn more and participate in this limited-time offer, just fill out this simple online form or give us a call at 905-549-4616.