Tag Archives: air quality

Got Condensation? Here’s Why and What to Do

We all recognize condensation when it forms on a glass of cold iced tea in August. But what does it mean when it forms on the inside of our windows? The same principal is at work on our windows and the iced tea glass: the cold surface meeting the warm, damp air causes moisture to form on the glass.

What is condensation and what can you do about it?

We usually see condensation forming on the inside of windows in the winter, especially at the beginning of the heating season. The cold air outside makes the window cold, and if the warm air inside has too much moisture, it will form condensation. In North Carolina, where the temperature usually rises well above freezing during the day, the condensation will usually dissipate during the day; however, that doesn’t mean that you should just ignore it.

Condensation on the inside of your windows indicates that your indoor humidity might be too high, which can cause much worse problems than foggy windows. Excessive humidity can cause paint to blister, wood to rot, floors to buckle, and insulation to deteriorate. Ironically, it’s often the newest, most energy efficient houses that can be prone to excessive indoor humidity; these houses are “tighter” and don’t allow air to flow freely through the walls to the outside. This keeps heating or cooling inside where you want it, but it also keeps humidity inside. Older houses were often built with more porous materials that allowed water vapors to escape.

Most experts agree on the following scale for indoor relative humidity, based on a range of outdoor temperatures:

  • -30° F or below – not over 15%
  • -20° F to -10° F – not over 20%
  • -10° F to 0° F – not over 25%
  • 0° F to 10° F – not over 30%
  • 10° F to 20° F – not over 35%
  • 20° F to 40° F – not over 40%

(Assumes 70° F indoor air temperature)

Since North Carolina winters are fairly mild, the humidity in your house should be in the 30 to 40 percent range for most of the season.

If your indoor humidity is too high, there are several steps you can take to bring those levels down:

  • Invest in a dehumidifier. They come in different sizes for different-sized spaces and can drastically reduce humidity. You can also buy moisture-eliminating products for high-moisture rooms like bathrooms or basements.
  • Add some air. Open windows for a little while each day, or run ventilation fans if you have them. If you don’t, consider investing in a ventilation system, which will keep your whole house dry.
  • Add some heat. Turning up the temperature will bring warm, dry air into the house, helping to reduce overall moisture.

The Benefits of Owning a Home Air Purifier

If you watch television, listen to the radio, or surf the internet, there is a good chance that you have heard of air purifiers. They are electronic machines that work to make indoor air healthier. This is done by trapping harmful air particles in the filters or collection grids—making your air healthier and easier to breathe. What are the benefits of having a home air purifier?

Air purifiers work to eliminate dangerous or unhealthy contaminants from the air. This is a great benefit for young children in the home, the elderly, and those with allergies. Having cleaner air in your home contributes to improved health and results in fewer illnesses as well as promoting a greater sense of well being. For those with asthma, the purifier helps to reduce the flare-up of asthma attacks. Many air purifiers also remove smells and odors from cooking or from those who smoke indoors. Pet dander, dust mite feces, pollen, and other airborne irritants are among the impurities removed from the air—providing you with an environment of clean, fresh air.

Some people do not purchase air purifiers because they feel that the cost is prohibitive, but purifiers come in a number of different makes and models with various options. Prices can range from $29.99-$300.00 for smaller, portable models to several thousand dollars for a central, whole-house air purifier. Once  you decide what you want an air purifier to do in  your home, you can explore the options. With a little research (which can be done easily online), you should be able to find at least one air purifier that is within your price range. Can you really put a price tag on clean, healthy, and breathable air?

As great as air purifiers are, it is important to remember one thing: you cannot reap the benefits of owning one if you do not use it. There are many individuals who make the purchase but do not properly use their air purifiers if they even use them at all. In most cases,  air purifiers work best when used all the time. Constant use allows your air purifier to continuously remove the air particles floating around inside your home or inside a particular room. If you make the decision to purchase an air purifier, be sure you actually use it.

Because of all the benefits in healthier living that are provided by air purifiers, isn’t it time for you to consider purchasing one for your home. You will find that it is one of the best purchases you have ever made.

Business Owners: The Importance of Owning an Air Purifier

Are you a business owner? What type of business do you own? Does your office have an air purifier? Whether you run a small office, a retail store, or any other type of business, you are advised to seriously think about purchasing one. After a close examination, youthe importance of having an air purifier for your business will likely find that you, your business, and your employees can benefit from the use of an air purifier.

Air purifiers are electronic machines that work to clean and purify the air. They are designed to trap and sometimes even completely eliminate harmful air particles or bacteria. While air purifiers are most commonly used in the home, they can also be used in your place of business?

Air purifiers come in a wide variety of makes and models. These include whole house or building air purifiers as well as individual room air purifiers. No matter how large or small your commercial space,  you should be able to find an air purifier that will work for you and your business. The major benefit of using an air purifier is, of course, having clean air. It is amazing what a difference clean air can make for your comfort, that of your employees, and those who may enter your business. Cleaner air helps to eliminate or prevent illness from occurring, since an air purifier removes or reduces many harmful air particles and bacteria. This may not only help to improve the performance of your employees, but it may also help to prevent the spread of office illnesses.

Air purifiers are ideal for those who have young children. Young children are more susceptible to illness. If you operate a doctor’s office or a daycare center, you may want to look into air purifiers and how they can benefit you.

Air purifiers are also ideal for those who have pets. Pets shed fur, feathers, or dander which not only makes breathing more difficult, but also causes allergies in those who are susceptible to these irritants. You may own or operate a business with a focus on pets. In the United States, there are a large number of pet stores which allow customers to bring their pets inside. Other businesses, such as veterinarians’ offices and pet grooming shops, have a constant flow of various animals.  If you are the owner of one of these businesses, you will find that an air purifier provides a more comfortable environment for you and your customers.

These are just a few of the ways that business owners can benefit from the use of air purifiers. Although some air purifiers, such as whole building models, tend to be more expensive, the benefits make the cost worthwhile.

Air Purifiers: The Importance of Filters

When it comes to purchasing an air purifier, many individuals are concerned with the cost.  While it is important to find a product that you can afford, you need to think about more than the price. In fact, it is important to examine not only the air purifier as a whole but also its parts as well. When it comes to air purifier parts, you should focus on the filters used.

Most air purifiers use filters, but not all do. There are a number of air purifiers on the market that are filterless. This type of air purifier uses a collection grid instead of a filter, and it just needs to be wiped off to clean it. If you are looking for a low maintenance air purifier, you might want to think about purchasing an air purifier that is filterless. Despite being easier to maintain, they are usually more expensive; however,  you may find that it is worth the price in the long run.

If you choose to purchase an air purifier that uses a filter, it is important to examine the type of filter it uses. Hepa filters are one of the better types of filters available. Why are HEPA filters better? The manufacturers who make HEPA filters must abide by a number of different rules and regulations which are imposed by the Department of Energy. Because of these strict rules and regulations,  Hepa filters are almost twice as effective as most other filters when it comes to trapping bacteria or harmful air particles. Despite being more expensive than other types of filters, they will prove to be worth the extra cost.

There are a number of air purifiers on the market today that have filters which only need to be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner, but the majority of air purifier filters need to be replaced, so it is wise to know which type you have and whether you need to replace it or simply clean it with your vacuum cleaner. Replacement filters usually need to be changed about once a year, but some filters will last as long as three years; some last only a few months. Since replacement parts impact the cost of owning an air purifier, it is important that you determine the ongoing maintenance costs before making your air purifier purchase.

By keeping the above mentioned points in mind you should not only be able to purchase a quality air purifier but one that is affordable.

Understanding Our HVAC Filters

Today, filters are a very important part of our lives. We use filters in our water systems to help filter the water we use. There are filters in our cars and trucks to help them perform efficiently. Your HVAC filter is a very important part of your heating and air conditioning unit’s performance; it helps to ensure that your family breaths clean air, reducing allergies that may be triggered by particles in the air. A clean HVAC filter will also save you money by improving the energy efficiency of your unit. There are three classifications of air conditioning filters based on the materials they are made of as well as the operations they perform. The three classifications are mechanical, electronic, and pleated air filters; we will take a look at each type.

Mechanical Air Filters

This is the most common air conditioning filter used in homes today. The mechanical filter uses synthetic fibers to catch small particles and debris. Mechanical filters are also available as a charcoal filter. Disposable fiberglass filters are available in various sizes to accommodate any HVAC air exchanger. A disposable fiberglass filter is the most economical but also the least effective. Disposable fiberglass filters will need to be thrown away and replaced by a new filter after use.

Pleated Air Filters

A pleated air filter will remove around 35 to 40 percent of the air pollutants found in your home. They are more effective than a mechanical filter because of the denser construction. They contain more fibers per square inch than a mechanical filter. Naturally the denser the fibers, the more particles they will absorb and remove from the air. These filters are more expensive, but you get what you pay for.

Electronic Air Filter

The electronic filter is the most expensive of the three types; it is also the most effective. It will trap the smallest of dust particles and debris. An electronic filter will also filter smaller molecules such as smoke, mold, and pet odors. These filters will have a longer life—lasting up to 6 months in some cases. Electronic filters are also marketed as allergy-free filters.

Air conditioning filters are classified into categories according to their MERV rating. Filters belonging to the MERV 7 category will remove larger particles and provide standard protection. MERV 8 filters will provide higher protection against pet odors, dust, and pollen particles. The best filters are found in the MERV 11 category. These filters will provide the best protection from allergies and asthma illnesses. If you have any question about which type of filter would be best for you and your family, check with your HVAC contractor to help you with your decision.