Indoor Air Quality 101: superwriter.ru’s Top Articles on IAQ [Round-Up]

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the analysis of the quality of the air inside of buildings and homes with regard to the occupant’s health and comfort. With how much time is spent in such a confined space, dust, bacteria and other pollutants can quickly build up inside of homes and other buildings, making the air inside of these buildings much more polluted than even outside air.

This is especially concerning for those who are prone to react to airborne contaminants such as those with asthma. In order to promote a happier and healthier Houston, superwriter.ru has compiled our top blogs covering everything you need to know about IAQ. Read through these blogs to make sure that you are doing everything you can to give yourself and your family the cleanest and most comfortable air possible.

IAQ: Facts You Need to Know

This blog is a great introduction into IAQ. It covers some of the basics of indoor air quality, who is at risk and what common household items, or habits can cause poor indoor air quality. It can be hard to believe how easy it is for pollutants and contaminants to be released into the air, however, as we spend so much time indoors, it’s only a matter of time before these pollutants are released and then inhaled.

How do Air Purifiers Work?

The HVAC industry’s solution to poor indoor air quality is the use of an air purifying filter within your HVAC system. This blog covers the solutions that air purifiers provide as well helpful tips to get the most out of your air purifier. From the function of air purifiers to cleaning tips to maximize your home’s air quality, read on to discover what an air purifier can do for your home’s air quality.

Best Air Purifier for Allergies: An Introduction to Carrier Indoor Air Quality Products

If you or a loved one has allergies, this is a must read! The need for clean, pure air in a household with one or more allergy sufferers is obvious. However, choosing your first air purifier can be extremely overwhelming and difficult. Where do you begin? What brands can you trust? Are there products that are more suitable to my family’s habits or my geographical location? Carrier has been a leader in HVAC industry for decades and offers three great air purifier products for all needs and income levels.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors vs. Carbon Monoxide Monitors

Every homeowner should be aware of the serious threat that is carbon monoxide. This silent killer is one of the greatest threats to your indoor air quality and the safety of your home. This blog covers the advantages that carbon monoxide monitors have over detectors for keeping your home as safe as possible.

How to Control Dry Air in Your Home

Aside from keeping your home more comfortable, this blog discusses the health benefits of maintaining a stable humidity level in your home.

For more homeowner tips and HVAC expertise, regularly follow the superwriter.ru blog. To help improve your family’s comfort and health, contact superwriter.ru to schedule an indoor air quality consultation or HVAC system maintenance today. 

Best Air Purifier for Allergies: An Introduction to Carrier Indoor Air Quality Products

Did you know that indoor air, due to airborne particles and poor ventilation, can be up to ten times more polluted than outdoor air? If your household is like many in the United States, you may have one or more allergy sufferers living in your home. Whether you or your loved ones face seasonal or pet allergies, maintaining good indoor air quality is incredibly important.

The good news is that we can help! superwriter.ru offers a great selection of indoor air solutions, including three different series of Carrier brand air purifiers, which can improve the quality of your indoor air above and beyond keeping your home and HVAC air filter clean.

By using an air purifier in your home, you can eliminate common contaminates, such as germs, mold, airborne vapors and chemicals, harmful compounds, and even airborne viruses. There is a suitable air purifier for every home, and we can help you determine the best one for you and your family’s needs.

Infinity Series Air Purifier

This is the very best unit you can get if you’re looking to prevent allergy attacks and get your indoor air as clean as possible. It offers standard filtration as well as germicidal air purification.

The award-winning Infinity Series Air Purifiers is an incredibly powerful, yet virtually silent, option that harmonizes with your current HVAC system, enabling your indoor air to be cleaner and healthier.

With a patented “Capture and Kills” technology, the system can trap and destroy up to 95% of pathogens. It works great for allergies because it is effective against pollen and animal dander, as well as smoke. Also, independent testing has verified that the Infinity series is effective at destroying 13 common pathogens as well as indoor fungus.  

Performance Series Air Purifier

The Performance air purifier is also a great way to improve indoor air quality for allergy sufferers as it is proven effective against viruses and other pathogens. It also works in conjunction with your home’s current HVAC system. While the Infinity series can eliminate up to 95% of pathogens, the Performance series air purifiers can destroy up to 75% of organisms, which is still a great improvement for your indoor air quality.

The Performance Series Air Purifier is also a smaller-sized air purifier (under 8 inches wide), so it works perfectly for smaller homes or in tight spaces. This air purifier is a great choice for those who need better flexibility for homeowners as far as installation of the unit.

Comfort Series Air Purifier

Carrier also offers a lower cost option that is suitable as a whole home air filtration system. It utilizes a high efficiency air filter to remove up to 65% of airborne pollutants, and its unique filter design encourages air to continuously flow throughout your home while purifying your air.

The Comfort Series Air Purifier is effective at reducing the number of allergens within your home’s air, whether you have pet dander or seasonal pollen that you’re trying to combat. This may be the best option for homeowners that are looking for an affordable air purifier that will help improve indoor air quality in their homes.

superwriter.ru specializes in home comfort. Whether we’re helping you and your family maintain the ideal temperature or finding ways to improve your indoor air quality. If you have any questions about our indoor air quality products and how they can help improve the quality of your air, give us a call today: .

How to Save Money and Keep Your Home Comfortable This Winter

Your home should be one of the most cozy and safe environments in your life. Whether you want to come home to relax, spend time with family, or get more work done, creating a comfortable home environment is important to health and happiness.

We know that finding ways to stay comfortable can be difficult, especially in the winter-time. What’s more is that home comfort can also get expensive if you’re not working to stay efficient. That’s why we have rounded up some of our top articles on home comfort to help you cut costs while keeping your home safe and comfy in the wintertime.

Money-Saving HVAC Tips

Your HVAC system uses up a lot of energy, especially when you’re running your heater in the winter. This energy usage can have a significant impact on your monthly energy expenses. If you want to keep your home comfortable this winter without breaking the bank, check out these blog posts on energy-efficiency:

  • Carrier Cor Thermostats: A Guide for Homeowners tells you all that you need to know about Carrier’s smart thermostats. These devices are great for gaining better control over your home comfort, but they can also help you save energy and cut electricity costs by allowing you to remotely monitor and control your home temperature, no matter where you might be.
  • In 5 Common Home Heating Myths, we take on some of the biggest mistakes that Houston homeowners make when it comes to heating their home. By avoiding these mistakes, you can work on cutting down your energy costs while safely and effectively keeping your family cozy this winter.

Controlling Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality plays a big role in your home comfort levels. You want to make sure that you and your family are breathing safe and healthy air while also enjoying a comfortable home climate. Here are just a few articles that offer helpful advice for maintaining indoor air quality in winter:

  • Winter means colder weather, which also means drier air. Our article, How to Control Dry Air in Your Home discusses the impacts of dry air in the home environment. This post also offers affordable solutions for controlling the dry air to create a more comfortable home environment for you and your family this winter.
  • Our post, How Humidifiers Can Help Relieve Allergy Symptoms describes the power of this popular indoor air quality device. If you or anyone in your family suffers from allergies, you may want to take a look at this informative article to find out if a humidifier might be right for your home.

Carbon Monoxide in Houston, TX

An important part of keeping your home environment comfortable is making sure that the air inside your home is safe to breathe. Carbon monoxide can significantly impact your health, making it the most costly of indoor air quality issues. Here are a couple of articles that help you better understand what Carbon Monoxide is and how it can impact your home environment:

  • Our article, HVAC Safety Tips: Residential Carbon Monoxide Leaks discusses some common signs that you may be dealing with a carbon monoxide leak in your home. The article also offers other important information such as what to do if your carbon monoxide detector goes off, who you should contact, and what your HVAC contractor can do for you.
  • In Carbon Monoxide Detectors vs. Carbon Monoxide Monitors, we delve a little deeper into the differences between detectors and monitors. You can also listen to an informative interview with owner Mike Douglas who appeared on the Chris Krok show to talk more about carbon monoxide and how it impacts Dallas families.

Want to learn more about home comfort, energy efficiency and HVAC? Read more helpful articles on our blog, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

What Is Indoor Humidity, and How Can I Control it?

If you’ve ever felt sticky inside your home or experienced dry eye and breathing problems, you may have poor indoor humidity levels. Moisture can make the air feel heavy outside, but at the right levels, it contributes to greater comfort inside.

What Is Indoor Humidity?

Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air. Indoor humidity always differs from exterior humidity. Depending on your heating and air-conditioning, humidity levels may rise and fall inside your home throughout the year.

Overwhelming humidity inside a house may make the air feel thick, but even slightly elevated levels can contribute to mold and insect infestations. Black widow spiders, cockroaches, and other uninviting creatures thrive in moisture-rich environments. Humidity can contribute to rot, peeling paint, and unsightly water stains.

Poor humidity can cause wooden floors and furniture to contract and feel uncomfortable. Dry air contributes to dryness in the nose, throat, eyes, and skin, creating uncomfortable sensations and increasing the likelihood of illness.

Measuring Indoor Humidity

Both low and high humidity levels can affect musical instruments and cooking. The optimal indoor humidity level hovers between 40% and 60%. You can purchase a hygrometer at big box stores or online to find out your home’s actual levels.

Humidity may vary throughout your home. The kitchen, bathroom, and basement will likely be more humid than other rooms. To gain an understanding of your home’s general humidity, measure the levels in the most-frequented rooms before you try to adjust it overall.

Controlling Indoor Humidity

Some humidifiers work as complementary systems to HVAC systems. These built-in or attached solutions monitor and adjust humidity to maintain the optimal range. If you do not have a humidifier connected to your HVAC system, however, you can take these steps:

  • Purchase a humidifier or dehumidifier. Depending on the humidity levels in your home, you may need a humidifier, dehumidifier, or both. Dehumidifiers use cooling coils to pull water out of the air. The drier air moves back into the room, while the moisture moves into a removal container for emptying. Humidifiers, on the other hand, add moisture to the air using vibration technology or heat to produce water vapor. In the South, you may need a humidifier for winter and a dehumidifier for summer.
  • Install exhaust fans. To remove moisture from the air, you may also want to install exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathroom, and other humid areas. Fans direct moisturized air outside the home to keep humidity levels within optimal ranges.
  • Boil water. If you need some instant relief from dry air, put a big pot of water on the stove on high heat. Watch the stove to prevent the pot from burning, and enjoy the humidifying benefits of warm water vapor in the kitchen.

Humidity can contribute to or take away from your airflow experience. If you’re curious about your own home’s humidity levels, add a hygrometer to your shopping list and talk to your HVAC provider about possible built-in humidifying solutions.

superwriter.ru would be happy to help you better understand your home comfort options when it comes to monitoring and controlling indoor humidity. Contact us today for more information.

How do Air Purifiers Work?

Improve Your Home’s Air Quality For Better Health

Most people are aware that air quality can have a significant impact on personal health, but what many may not know is that the air inside a home is typically more harmful than air from outside. Every year, Americans spend millions on home air purifiers, but how these devices work and their beneficial impact can be difficult to determine. Some air purification systems can actually cause more harm than good.

Indoor Air Contaminants

The air inside a home carries far more contaminants than outdoor air. Indoor air collects moisture, pet hairs, and dander that can circulate through the home’s heating and cooling ducts, and outdoor allergens and other particles can blow in through open doors and windows, and get trapped inside. Smoking indoors directly spreads toxic smoke throughout the home.

Moisture is a major area of homeowner concern, as excessive moisture can encourage the growth of dangerous molds. Mold spores can be highly toxic if aspirated, so your home’s air quality and moisture levels definitely play a role in your overall health. Moisture, mold spores, tobacco smoke, allergens, pollen, and pet dander can be trapped in carpets, furniture, and linens, creating even more health hazards.

How Air Purifiers Function

Most home filtration systems clean the air circulating through the heating and cooling ducts. Filters are usually cotton, fiberglass, foam, or other synthetic fibers. The density of the filter’s fibers dictates how well the filter performs: Dense filters have very small gaps, meaning they can catch some of the smallest contaminant particles.

These filtration systems require diligent maintenance. While some filters can be cleaned and reused, most need to be replaced after a time. Filters also reduce the overall efficiency of the home’s heating and cooling systems, and they inhibit airflow even more if they aren’t replaced regularly.

Some people invest in standalone units that filter the air; you can move them from room to room, anywhere in the house. However, some of these are more harmful than helpful; air ionizers can circulate ions back into the air and stain furniture and other surfaces. Unless the air purifier is HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) certified, it isn’t worth the investment and may cause more problems than it solves.

Tips For Healthier Indoor Air

Before you commit to an air filtration system, there are a few things you may be able to change around your home to get the most return on your investment. First, clean your home thoroughly, especially areas that are dusty, rarely used, or collect moisture. Smoking should take place outside. Not only does this improve air quality inside the home, but smoking indoors is a fire hazard.

If you have pets, make hygiene a part of your routine to help eliminate pet dander and hair. Vacuum your carpets often and try to circulate fresh air through your home. Open a few windows to allow fresh outdoor air inside and blow out some of the stagnant indoor air. Once you’ve done these things, it’s time to consider an efficient air filtration system installed and serviced by professionals.

superwriter.ru is the highest-rated heating and cooling company in Houston since 1981. We provide residential and commercial air conditioning, heating, and air quality services, as well as preventive maintenance to ensure your system operates efficiently and doesn’t cost you more money than it should. Visit us online to read about some of our success stories and happy clients and reach out to us for professional assistance in making your home’s air healthier.

Facts and Statistics About Pollution and Indoor Air Quality

So you have a home, that you spent the extra money to make sure the cool or hot air stays in or out. Now your home insulantion keep your home comfortable all year long right? Its also keeping in all the allergens inside, call us today and we’ll make sure your home has good indoor air quality.

Reasons To Replace Your Attic Insulation

Fall is a good time to consider performing home improvement projects. The weather is ideal for working and contractors are often less busy at this time. One of the projects you should consider if you have an older home is upgrading your attic insulation. Insulation in new or custom construction is usually of high quality, but as insulation ages it wears out and could mean a significant increase in electricity bills. Here are some signs that your home may require replacement of attic insulation.

High Utility Bills

A spike in utility bills often means that your air conditioning and heating system is turning on frequently. Replacing the insulation will regulate temperature and result in energy savings.

Inconsistent Room Temperature

Poor insulation results in inconsistent temperature. Walking into a room that has temperature clearly different from others in the home is a sure sign of inadequate insulation.

Crumbling Insulation

Lower quality, old insulation begins to fall apart after many years. Put on gloves and feel the insulation. If it starts crumbling, replace it with newer, better insulation, possibly even a green option, that will last longer.

Presence of Pests

Insects, mice and other pests like to keep warm and cozy just like you do so they make their homes in insulation. Basements and attics are favorite hiding places. If your home suddenly experiences a pest infestation, make sure you check the insulation. If you see signs of insects or critters, it’s time to replace it to avoid future problems.

Water Damage

Heavy rains or flooding can cause water to seep through the roof or walls into insulation. If that insulation doesn’t dry properly afterward, mold can start to form. Areas that experience high humidity or that have frequent flooding are prone to such problems. If you area has such problems, check the quality of your insulation just to be safe and replace it if it shows signs of damage.

Home insulation costs vary by city, type of insulation and the amount of square footage needed. Replace your insulation before weather becomes too extreme to preserve your home’s comfort. Follow this website for more articles that will keep your HVAC system running efficiently.

IAQ: Facts You Need To Know

When someone mentions the word “pollution,” what does it make you think of? Do you think about car exhaust fumes, factories spewing forth black clouds of filthy smoke, dirty rivers, and acid rain? Those are things that people typically envision when someone talks about pollution. Most of us don’t imagine that our own homes and other buildings we use frequently are actually massive producers of indoor air pollution. Does that surprise you? If so, the facts about indoor air quality outlined in this article may leave your jaw feeling a little bit slack.

Did you know, for example, that the cozy atmospheric candles you light in your home each evening could be damaging your health? If your candles are made out of paraffin as opposed to soy or beeswax, then they give off the cancer-causing carcinogens toluene and benzene each time you light them up.

Air fresheners are every bit as harmful as candles to human health. They contain dangerous chemicals called phthalates. They can stop children developing the way they should reproductively by interfering with their hormones. Phthalates can also worsen respiratory ailments such as asthma or bronchitis.

The furniture in your home may be having a negative impact on the indoor air quality. It depends when you purchased the furniture. Any furniture purchased before 2006 will have been sprayed with a fire retardant chemical which releases toxic fumes into the air.

Asthma is the most common ailment that is exacerbated by poor indoor air quality. Having asthma can put frustrating limits on your life style, since stress or any kind of strenuous aerobic activity can trigger an attack. If you have asthma, then you’ll know how horrendous it feels to have an attack. It is akin to trying to get all of your oxygen from a straw with a one millimeter circumference. If you think that suffering through such an ordeal would make you panic horrendously, you are correct.

Older people and those with disabilities that limit their agility are the most at risk from poor indoor air quality. This is simply because the elderly and disabled have no option other than to spend more time indoors than the rest of us.

Fortunately, you don’t have to just tolerate poor indoor air quality in your home. There are things you can do to limit it. For example, you could invest in a good quality air filter, and open your windows regularly to give the place an airing.

Did you find this article useful and informative? If so, please follow us to get other great articles about air conditioning, heating, and other important home requirements.

Should I Be Concerned About Carbon Monoxide In My Home?

Carbon monoxide, a gas produced during incomplete combustion of fuels, is an invisible, tasteless, and odorless threat to people’s health and safety. Though commonly associated with vehicle emissions and fires, carbon monoxide dangers and poisoning can accumulate in any home unless homeowners take certain precautions. It is deadly because it interferes with normal intake of oxygen for humans and other living organisms that need oxygen to live.

Symptoms of CO poisoning include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Tightness of chest
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Sleepiness
  • Vision changes or difficulty seeing
  • Redness of skin

Each year, close to 30,000 people in the U.S. suffer an accidental CO poisoning, and about 500 of them die. In fact, most of them die in their own home. Without the help of a CO detector, humans cannot detect this dangerous gas. According to findings of a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association released in 2013, CO easily passes through drywall. This porous building material used to finish ceilings and walls cannot stop the gas from seeping through.

While 25 states require residents to install a CO alarm in their homes, 10 states exempted residents without an internal CO–producing source, such as a fireplace, gas stove, or an attached garage, from installing an alarm. This move worries experts who fear that it may give people a false sense of security. Exempting certain people from having such alarms might lead to an increase in the number of accidental poisonings, especially in multi–unit buildings.

For example, if one’s neighbor brings a charcoal grill into his/her unit, carbon monoxide dangers in one’s home can begin that way. Once the gas is in the building envelope, it can get to any unit in that building. A 2002 Mecklenburg County ordinance required CO alarms in most homes; however, all–electric single and multi–unit residences without attached garages were exempt. In addition, there were no restrictions on the type of CO alarm used. Thus, many homeowners installed devices that operated by electricity only.

Mecklenburg County suffered an ice storm that cut off most of the area’s power in December of the same year. According to a CDC report, there were 124 reported cases of symptomatic CO poisoning over the subsequent days. 96.2% of the poisonings happened in homes with no reported carbon monoxide alarm.

Still, relying on people voluntarily installing CO alarms with a battery back up is not working. Shockingly, according to the CDC, only 30 percent of American homes have functioning CO alarms. Therefore, homeowners should take steps to prevent CO poisoning. These include keeping all appliances in good working order, installing working CO alarms, never using outdoor appliances indoors, and never leaving a car idle in the garage.

Follow our blog for more great articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs.

Combat Air Pollution With HVAC Technology

Improvements in the last several years in HVAC technology have led to increasingly better indoor environments that benefit everyone who lives or works in a building. Indoor air quality is particularly important for large commercial buildings such as corporate offices, stores, hospitals, etc that must have high quality indoor air for the many people that are there daily.

The primary standard for indoor air quality has been developed in a cooperative effort between American National Standards Institute and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Commercial facility managers need to become aware of these standards so that they can implement the right technology and maintenance practices.

Facility managers should consider four factors that affect indoor air quality: filtration, air quantity, remote monitoring and control of equipment and airflow patterns.

HVAC systems play a crucial role in maintaining indoor air quality by providing heating or cooling, humidification or removal of excess humidity and controlling airborne contaminants. Building climate control systems also bring in outside air that helps control the effect of indoor emissions and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and bioeffluents emitted by those living or working in the building.

You Can’t Rely On HVAC Technology Alone

In order to maintain high indoor air quality, factors such as maintenance practices, control systems, air handlers and filters should be closely monitored. Properly maintained HVAC systems improve air quality and keep the units running at peak efficiency. Changing air filters is important to overall operation, but they also aid in the proper removal of contaminants. Control systems and air handlers must be able to properly fulfill your building’s air quality requirements or else you will risk poor airflow and a decrease in indoor air quality.

State-of-the-art monitoring systems are able to integrate well with building automation to help improve air quality. This type of HVAC technology includes sensors for temperature, humidity and VOCS. Additionally, consider low-cost carbon dioxide sensors to assure that all areas receive proper ventilation. All of these types of data provide essential information that will help managers monitor indoor air quality.

Call Today To Speak With Our HVAC Technology Experts!