Submitted by Barron Heating
Indoor air quality (IAQ), while not a new concept, has recently been thrust into the spotlight. As our country is entering the “reopening” phase of the coronavirus pandemic, finding ways to reopen safely is top of mind. Hospitals, restaurants, schools…all are indoor spaces that are reliant on quality indoor air. And as many of us have turned our own homes into classrooms, offices, and gyms, considering the health of our own indoor spaces is just as important.
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a common condition of poor indoor air quality that has been a concern for some time. SBS can not only cause physical symptoms like headaches, sore throats, and dizziness, but is also known to affect less measurable traits like productivity and decision-making—qualities that are essential to successful employees and businesses (forbes.com). Green building standards of old have focused on energy conservation, often putting up airtight buildings with poor ventilation. This lack of airflow exacerbates the presence of indoor pollutants. New technologies, however, are evolving to support the health and comfort of indoor air and conserve energy. With these technologies, a more holistic building performance approach is being applied, pairing airflow control with tighter buildings for a powerful indoor air quality combination. Let’s dive a little deeper into what this building performance perspective brings to the conversation.
When protecting your home or business, it’s best to start with the basics. Having your HVAC system maintained is a great first step—not only to ensure the safety and reliability of your equipment, but to have a professional determine the best options to optimize performance and air quality. Changing filters is imperative to both the health of your system, your employees and your own. A 5-in-1 HEPA Bypass filter has the highest level of particle capture of any filter system, capturing 99.7% of particulate 0.3 microns or larger, proving to be a great match for the majority of airborne matter. But while it may be tempting to swap out your current air filter for a beefier one like the 5-in-1 HEPA, be warned—an uneducated swap can be damaging. Higher MERV rated filters, while effective in improving air quality, can significantly increase the static pressure of your home’s or business’ duct system if it isn’t equipped to accommodate one. Much like high blood pressure in your own body, static pressure that is too high can ultimately cause equipment failure.
In sticking with the basics, having your air ducts professionally cleaned and sealed are important next steps. While easily overlooked, ducts hide many offenders that lead to poor indoor air quality. Even the tiniest leaks can draw in air from crawl spaces, attics, and walls, carrying dust, construction debris, rodent urine, mold, and germs. Certified by the National Air Duct Cleaning Association, the Air Solutions Team at Barron uses full-truck vacuums that are 600% more powerful than a typical shop vac. Combined with a dual-compressor system—the most robust cleaning process available today—they can demolish the filth that often goes unseen. And once they’re clean, duct sealing ensures that contaminants stay out of your ducts for good. Aeroseal® is the industry’s most effective method for sealing entire duct systems, plugging otherwise unreachable leaks with its patented water-based aerosol adhesive.
Ready for the big guns in air sanitization? Electronic air cleaners (EACs) and air purifiers are both very effective additions to your HVAC system. EACs filter the air by positively charging particles as they move through the unit. The particles are then captured by negatively charged collector plates that can be cleaned instead of being replaced. And recreating nature’s process of purifying the air, air purifiers (sometimes called air scrubbers) use ultra-violet light to eradicate pollutants. They also produce hydro-peroxide plasma to purify indoor air. The charged plasma causes particles to stick together, making them larger and easier for filters to catch. The triple combination of electronic air cleaners, air purifiers, and a 5-in-1 HEPA filtration system is such an extremely effective approach to air quality we call the “Ultimate IAQ Upgrade”.
From proper cleaning, filtration, and ventilation to air cleaners and scrubbers, there are a number of steps you can take to be proactive in building health, whether it’s in your home or business. With Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing’s Ultimate Indoor Air Quality Upgrade you can arm your space with the best IAQ solutions. Sick season is inevitable, whether it’s paired with a pandemic or not, and being proactive about the safety of our indoor spaces is something we can all get behind. Making indoor air quality a top priority is key to bettering our health and the safety of our indoor spaces now and into the future.