With coronavirus literally in the air, now is the time to protect your home’s atmosphere. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), indoor air is five times more polluted than the air outside, making a whole-house ventilation system critical. The following insights from experts at Aprilaire, a maker of humidifiers and purifiers, and Sterling, Virginia-based Falcon Heating & Air Conditioning will help you create a safe living environment.
- A healthy air system has three components: fresh-air ventilation, air filtration and humidity control. Ventilation is most important; if you are ventilating your home properly, you are making it healthier.
- New homes have tighter building envelopes, with less ventilation through cracks in windows and under doors than older homes. Owners of new homes should consider a whole-house ventilation system that brings in filtered air, evenly dispersing it via the HVAC system.
- To improve air quality, attach a filter with a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) 16 rating to your HVAC system; it will trap particulates, allergens and other contaminants before they enter.
- Every home in our region should have a humidifier and a dehumidifier; humidification in the winter is most important because drier air exacerbates respiratory disease. Relative humidity levels between 20 and 60 percent year-round are optimal.