The annual State of the Air report by the American Lung Association says that the greater Cleveland area continues to be one of the top ten worst performers for air quality in the country. To make air quality matters worse, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that the average home’s indoor air quality is twice as polluted, or more, as metropolitan air.
When you consider indoor moisture problems, allergens, germs and VOCs, indoor air problems may appear overwhelming. That’s not the case, however, if you implement a proactive strategy to maintain healthful indoor air quality in your home. Here’s how:
Indoor humidity is an element of your home’s air quality that affects comfort, energy bills, and promotes the proliferation of microorganisms. Portable humidifiers and dehumidifiers work well for single rooms and basements, but they’re not a practical solution for your entire home.
To control humidity throughout your home, consult your HVAC technician about the benefits of whole-home humidifiers and dehumidifiers that attach to the ductwork.
Fine Airborne Particles
Cleveland’s pollution problem stems primarily from soot produced by manufacturing and automobiles. Soot and other fine particles can settle deep inside lung tissue. These contaminants aren’t captured by low quality disposable filters.
The immediate solution is to upgrade your air filter. Select a filter with no less than MERV 8 rating. MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) is a standard measure of filter efficiency, with 16 as the highest residential filter rating.
In addition to “dust,” common household contaminants that exacerbate respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma, are mold, germs, bacteria, viruses, and dust mites. For total indoor air quality protection, consider the benefits of whole-home air purifiers.
Air purifiers (or air cleaners) utilize multiple air cleaning devices to capture, neutralize, or destroy biological contaminants, fine particles, odors, and gases. A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter captures nearly all particles down to 0.3 microns. UV light, electrostatic, and carbon-activated filters are also often utilized in air purifiers, depending on the model.