After such a long, cold winter under quarantine, the warming, fresh spring air outside can feel like, well...a breath of fresh air. It is tempting for homeowners here in the Westchester County area to turn off their heating systems and open their windows before the summer heat forces them to turn on the AC. However, if it is healthy, fresh air you are looking for, opening the windows isn’t the only solution—and it definitely isn’t the best, nor the most efficient option.
Here’s how the team at Healthy Home Energy & Consulting gives homeowners control over the quality of the indoor air they breathe, through whole home ventilation, purification, and a better-performing home.
What Happens When You Open Your Windows?
Springtime in New York brings much-awaited sunshine and accompanying warmer temperatures, and opening the windows in your home can provide some respite from the stale indoor air. However, fresh air isn’t the only thing entering your home when those windows are up! Outside air brings many contaminants with it, like:
Once these contaminants enter your home, they are absorbed into your heating and cooling system, where they are combined with existing indoor air contaminants. Your heating and cooling system then recirculates these contaminants over and over again, giving them multiple opportunities to affect the health of the inhabitants of your home.
This is why the EPA has estimated indoor air to be between two and five times more contaminated than the air outside! So, you may be wondering what you can do to breathe fresher, cleaner air inside your home—here’s what we do at Healthy Home Energy & Consulting to help homeowners with their indoor air quality.
Better Indoor Air Quality Begins With Better Control
If you want to ensure you are breathing fresh air in your home, we must first ensure there is no excess outside air getting in. Of course, open windows will allow more outside air into your living space, but there are many other hidden holes and gaps throughout your home that will do the same without you even realizing it, and besides, what are you going to do next winter?
By locating and sealing up those holes (air sealing) and upgrading your insulation, you can finally gain control over the contaminants allowed to infiltrate your breathing air. From there, we can start to address the ventilation, filtration, and purification measures that will keep your home healthy, regardless of the season.
Additionally, a home that is underinsulated will exacerbate any air infiltration, increase indoor drafts, and force your heating and cooling system to work harder, further recirculating those harmful contaminants.
Ventilation, Filtration, and Purification
Even after you have stopped opening your windows, and your home’s air boundary has been sealed off through air sealing and insulation, we still need to do something about the pollutants that have already entered your home, as well as the indoor air contaminants that come from inside the home.
There are still particles that can affect your health that are borne from the things already in your living space. Some you may already know about, like dust, dirt, and pet dander, but there are some you may not have thought of, like VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from household cleaners, paints, furniture, carpeting, and more. We solve these problems with the following upgrades:
Most homes have some form of ventilation, like a bathroom fan or an oven range hood. However, these fans are often overlooked, and rarely vent contaminated air back outside, where it belongs. As the whole home ventilation experts, we can develop a plan to upgrade your ventilation and give harmful contaminants a clear path back outdoors.
Filtration and Purification
Proper ventilation can’t always catch everything that enters your home, and sometimes your leaky ductwork will allow contaminants from the attic and crawl space to enter your breathing air. Upgrading your air filters to HEPA filters, or installing a purification system like the Intellipure air purifier inactivates harmful molds, bacterias, and more, keeping your air fresh and healthy and providing greater control over your indoor environment.
Ready to Take Control of Your Indoor Air Quality?
If you have been concerned about the quality of the air you are breathing at home, are looking for a test for air quality, want to resolve your poor ventilation issues, or a combination of all of the above, get in touch with the home improvement expert that is looking out for the health, efficiency, and overall comfort of your home. Schedule a healthy home evaluation with Healthy Home Energy & Consulting to learn what is in your air through an indoor air quality test, and get a customized plan for how to move forward with making your home a healthier place to live.
What kind of contaminants are you letting in through your open windows? Take control of your indoor air quality with Healthy Home Energy & Consulting. Schedule an evaluation today at 914-242-9733 or get in touch here.