Indoor Air Quality Specialists
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a buzzword these days. With advances in building techniques, windows, and better insulation, our indoor quality may not be what it seems. We have several products that improve the air you breathe and can help those with allergies.
How Can I Help My Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?
We spend a good 90 percent of our time indoors enjoying the protection from the weather and the comfort provided by heating and air conditioning systems. Yet, indoor air quality can be up to five times more toxic than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Read on to learn about what goes into a home’s indoor air quality.
Filters are a vital part of any forced air heating and cooling system and must be changed periodically to keep the equipment clean and the air within your home of good quality. Filters are rated by the amount and kind of particulates they trap, the material they are made from, and the application.
Replacing filters at recommended intervals can be something the homeowner can do easily to improve indoor air quality. If airborne allergies are a problem for anyone in the household, you may want to invest in a filter with a higher MERV rating. The rating indicates the size of particles the filter can trap. For residential uses, the rating scale goes from one, for the lowest particle protection, to 16.
The MERV rating, or minimum efficiency reporting value, is how well an air filter actually filters particulates in the air. The rating a filter receives depends on how well it removes large particles, such as pet dander and pollen, and submicron particles, such as some airborne bacteria that can cause health issues.
Below is a table grouping MERV ratings by particle size:
|MERV||Min. Particle Size||Typical Controlled Contaminant||Typical Application|
|1-4||> 10.0 μm||Pollen, dust mites, cockroach debris, sanding dust, spray paint dust, textile fibers, carpet fibers||Residential window AC units|
|5-8||10.0–3.0 μm||Mold, spores, dust mite debris, cat and dog dander, hair spray, fabric protector, dusting aids, pudding mix||Better residential, general commercial, industrial workspaces|
|9–12||3.0–1.0 μm||Legionella, Humidifier dust, Lead dust, Milled flour, Auto emission particulates, Nebulizer droplets||Superior residential, better commercial, hospital laboratories|
|13–16||1.0–0.3 μm||Bacteria, droplet nuclei (sneeze), cooking oil, most smoke and insecticide dust, most face powder, most paint pigments||Hospital & general surgery|
|17–20||< 0.3 μm||Virus, carbon dust, sea salt, smoke||Electronics & pharmaceutical manufacturing cleanroom|
Most Common Filters We Sell
We carry several different and effective filters for our customers, including:
- Air Bear: MERV 8 – replace 2-4 times per year
- EZ Flex 16, 20 and 24: MERV 10 – replace 2-4 times per year
- 2” Pleated: MERV 8 - replace 2-4 times per year
- 1” Pleated: MERV 5 - replace every 90 days
- 1” Non-Pleated: MERV 4 - replace monthly
Not only can Illinois winters be bone-chilling cold, they can be bone dry also. With the lack of moisture in the air, we try to compensate for the cold by turning up our thermostats. Using a humidifier in one or more rooms can add back some of the moisture and comfort to everyday life.
The two main considerations for sizing a humidifier are the size and tightness of the home. Also taken into consideration is the amount of space required to install a humidifier on the furnace, whether it be fan powered or a bypass unit. A bypass humidifier is connected to the ductwork next to the furnace and relies on the furnace fan to help move the humidity by pushing warm air through the water panel. The fan powered unit, as the name suggests, has its own fan which circulates the humidity. It also relies on a water panel to gather moisture. Unlike the bypass humidifier, which runs only when the furnace fan runs, the more efficient fan powered unit can be set to humidify as needed.
Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)
With today’s tight and well insulated homes it’s vital that we maintain healthy indoor air quality and an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) does just that. An ERV continually exchanges indoor air for fresh outdoor air all year long. We recommend an ERV in our humid climate because it helps keep the humidity level in your home constant.
Global Plasma Solution (GPS)
The GPS-2400 is easily added to any forced air heating and cooling system. With most installations taking 15 minutes or less. A GPS-2400 provides exceptional air quality by breaking down gases into harmless compounds and clusters particulates so that the filter captures more dust increasing effectiveness. Some of the benefits the GPS-2400 provides are odor, mold, virus, bacteria and allergen control. There are no replacement parts and essentially no maintenance. If you’d like to improve the air quality in your home with little to no maintenance this is the product for you.
Advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation (APCO)
Advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation or APCO uses a combination of UV-C light and a photon catalyst to create a chemical reaction, destroying germs and odors. VOCs or volatile organic compounds are also cut down in this reaction. A whole house purifier, APCO installs directly into the HVAC system purifies the air as it circulates. It is rated to kill over 99 percent of airborne mold, bacteria, viruses, and allergens. If you want to improve the air quality, kill germs and bacteria and reduce the VOC’s in your home this product would be an excellent buy!
With maintenance help from the professionals at Hoveln Heating & Cooling, Inc., HVAC systems can do much more for an indoor environment than simply keep you warm or cool. With proper upkeep, they also can make the indoor atmosphere cleaner and more livable.
Other steps the homeowner can take for better air quality include:
- Open the windows for better ventilation when you are using toxic cleaning products or performing other tasks that can pollute the air.
- Store toxic chemicals, paints, pesticides, solvents, and cleaners out of the area of the home that is occupied.
- Vent kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms directly outdoors.
- Do not locate furnaces, ductwork, or air conditioners where they will draw outdoor contaminants into the home.