The EPA estimates indoor air quality in most homes is five to ten times worse than outdoor air quality – and in some cases is over 100 times worse! Recent advancements in home efficiency have inadvertently made the problem worse. As a result, incidents of asthma have increased by 61% since 1982!
Whole House Filtration
The whole house filtration part of the Field Controls IAQ system traps particles as small as one micron in diameter, including pollen, dust and pet dander. Its five-inch-deep MERV 11 filter traps up to 100 times more contaminants than traditional filters before losing its effectiveness, and a single unit can replace multiple one-inch register filters.
Whole House UV Purification
UV radiation technology can improve air quality by effectively neutralizing bacteria and viruses, reducing allergy and asthma symptoms triggered by biofilm that can accumulate on your AC coil. The radiation is kept walled off within your AC unit, rendering it 100% harmless to your family while being extremely effective against mold, viruses and bacteria. Remember, a clean AC coil will help keep your air conditioner working as efficiently as possible!
Whole House Fresh Air Ventilation
The bread and butter of the whole Field Controls system is the house fresh air ventilation which allows your HVAC system to automatically deliver fresh air through your whole house, even during the off season. The whole house fresh air ventilation system provides fresh air exchange designed to meet residential standards and support your family’s health while creating uniform temperatures and humidity levels throughout your home. Best of all, year round operation enhances the effectiveness of the whole house filtration and air purification while providing fresh air as needed.
Three Basic Strategies
Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions. In many cases, source control is also a more cost-efficient approach to protecting indoor air quality than increasing ventilation because increasing ventilation can increase energy costs. Specific sources of indoor air pollution in your home are listed later in this section.
Another approach to lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming indoors. Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Opening windows and doors, operating window or attic fans, when the weather permits, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open increases the outdoor ventilation rate. Local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located and also increase the outdoor air ventilation rate.
It is particularly important to take as many of these steps as possible while you are involved in short-term activities that can generate high levels of pollutants–for example, painting, paint stripping, heating with kerosene heaters, cooking, or engaging in maintenance and hobby activities such as welding, soldering, or sanding. You might also choose to do some of these activities outdoors, if you can and if weather permits.
Advanced designs of new homes are starting to feature mechanical systems that bring outdoor air into the home. Some of these designs include energy-efficient heat recovery ventilators (also known as air-to-air heat exchangers).
- For more information about air-to-air heat exchangers, contact the U.S. Department of Energy‘s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy‘s Office (EERE) at www.eere.energy.gov/. You may contact the EERE Information Center with questions on EERE’s products, services, and 11 technology programs by calling 1-877-EERE-INF (1-877-337-3463).
There are many types and sizes of air cleaners on the market, ranging from relatively inexpensive table-top models to sophisticated and expensive whole-house systems. Some air cleaners are highly effective at particle removal, while others, including most table-top models, are much less so. Air cleaners are generally not designed to remove gaseous pollutants.
The effectiveness of an air cleaner depends on how well it collects pollutants from indoor air (expressed as a percentage efficiency rate) and how much air it draws through the cleaning or filtering element (expressed in cubic feet per minute). A very efficient collector with a low air-circulation rate will not be effective, nor will a cleaner with a high air-circulation rate but a less efficient collector. The long-term performance of any air cleaner depends on maintaining it according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Another important factor in determining the effectiveness of an air cleaner is the strength of the pollutant source. Table-top air cleaners, in particular, may not remove satisfactory amounts of pollutants from strong nearby sources. People with a sensitivity to particular sources may find that air cleaners are helpful only in conjunction with concerted efforts to remove the source.
Over the past few years, there has been some publicity suggesting that houseplants have been shown to reduce levels of some chemicals in laboratory experiments. There is currently no evidence, however, that a reasonable number of houseplants remove significant quantities of pollutants in homes and offices. Indoor houseplants should not be over-watered because overly damp soil may promote the growth of microorganisms which can affect allergic individuals.
At present, EPA does not recommend using air cleaners to reduce levels of radon and its decay products. The effectiveness of these devices is uncertain because they only partially remove the radon decay products and do not diminish the amount of radon entering the home. EPA plans to do additional research on whether air cleaners are, or could become, a reliable means of reducing the health risk from radon. EPA’s booklet, Residential Air Cleaners, provides further information on air-cleaning devices to reduce indoor air pollutants.
For most indoor air quality problems in the home, source control is the most effective solution. This section takes a source-by-source look at the most common indoor air pollutants, their potential health effects, and ways to reduce levels in the home. (For a summary of the points made in this section, see the section entitled “Reference Guide to Major Indoor Air Pollutants in the Home“).
- Ozone Generators That Are Sold As Air Cleaners (which is only available via this website) was prepared by EPA to provide accurate information regarding the use of ozone-generating devices in indoor occupied spaces. This information is based on the most credible scientific evidence currently available.
- “Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?” was prepared by EPA to assist consumers in answering this often confusing question. The document explains what air duct cleaning is, provides guidance to help consumers decide whether to have the service performed in their home, and provides helpful information for choosing a duct cleaner, determining if duct cleaning was done properly, and how to prevent contamination of air ducts.
This information is courtesy of the EPA