From pets to kitchen smells, your home can be full of odors you may not be aware of. Some of these smells may cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks for your family or friends. What causes these smells and how can you make sure the air inside your home is as clean and healthy as possible? Continue reading to learn how your heating and air conditioning system can contribute to keeping your home’s air healthy and free of odors year around.
A visitor to your home will sense odors more quickly than you. Prolonged exposure makes odors in your home sometimes invisible to you. You may notice them when you first arrive home but then adjust to them within a few minutes. Odors are part your body’s self-defense warning system.
Dogs, cats, hamsters, carpet, cooking, people… all give off cells, hair, fur, gasses, VOC’s that are detectable to the human nose. To some people, it’s just a smell. To some, it can trigger an allergic, histamine reaction. Though we aren’t experts in allergies, our team works to control conditions related to humidity and air filtration inside people’s homes. Controlling relative humidity in South Alabama is a large part of maintaining indoor comfort.
Mold grows in humid conditions, making air conditioning technicians a resource for controlling airborne mold inside the home. We apply and repair the equipment that controls humidity and filters particulates from the air. If you live near The Eastern Shore, your summer consists of 8 months of 90% or higher relative humidity.
Mold cannot grow in an environment of 55% relative humidity or less. When you trust Swinson AC to replace indoor air conditioning equipment, we always improve the seal; very often we find huge holes that have been pulling attic air into the house, sometimes for decades. This makes it harder to lower humidity in your home, which makes mold growth more likely.
We’ve written more about mold growth and how to control it within your return air duct. Swinson AC specializes in ensuring proper cleaning and sealing of your HVAC components. Read a more in-depth article about your return air duct and it’s relation to allergies and asthma here: https://peterswinson.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/iaq-allergies-and-asthma-return-air-duct/
Newer houses are constructed to leak less air than older houses. The home you grew up in during the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and 80s exchanged air more freely with the outside which reduced the concentration of various pathogens and chemicals. Tightening up today’s homes creates a different indoor environment with which ventilation practices have not been able to keep pace.
Carpet can be cleaned. The pad under a carpet cannot be cleaned. Dirt from outside sifts through the carpet and pad and forms a silt-like layer on the underlying floor. If you watch carpet being replaced, look at the fine powder on the floor under the pad. 3-month air filters last 3 months in a carpeted home, 6 weeks or less with wood or tile (2 to 4 weeks with pets). Air filters last longer in a carpeted house because carpet catches a large amount of dirt. Carpet in a home collects years worth of debris from shoes, skin cells from humans, spills, dust mites, etc.
The dirt under the pad can have dust mites that can trigger allergies. It also has bacteria in abundance. Interior relative humidity above 65% provides an ideal environment for mold. Mold propagates well in dark, damp places and bacteria is a food-source for mold.
A normally functioning central air conditioner will maintain about 55% relative humidity many months of the year. If your system is not functioning at peak efficiency (maintenance link) or is running with a dirty coil or filter (coil cleaning link), the humidity in your home will be affected.
If you are having allergic reactions and you have carpet, consider hard-surface flooring as an alternative.
The control of pet odors varies with the pet. Assuming each pet is cared for and their quarters are clean, there are still odors that can be readily detected by visitors. For this there is a magic bullet- Oxidizers. That annoying guy on the Oxiclean commercials is selling a product that uses this principle in cleaning fabrics. It can also be used to clean air.
Ozone and hydrogen peroxide react with mold and viruses in the ductwork and in the household environment killing them and/or stopping their propagation.
Peroxide generators are surprising in their effectiveness in eliminating odors inside the home (link to air purification). The installed cost of a peroxide generator is about $1,000.00 and they require an element replacement every 3 years at a cost of about $350.00. This gives an annualized cost of operation over a 15 year period of $165 per year or 44¢ per day.
It is a luxury but it is a nice luxury and it can really make your home smell fresh with no masking odor. There is a reduction in allergens which can reduce histamine reactions. This type of purification system isn’t perfect for every home situation. We offer several other great home purification systems you may read about on our website (purification link).
In conclusion, factors inside your home such as pets, carpet, household trash, and more, affect the quality of the air you breathe.
Swinson AC is a trusted licensed and insured HVAC contractor serving The Eastern Shore of Alabama. We specialize in indoor air quality solutions, as well as ensuring your system is kept clean and working at peak efficiency year-round.
If you or a family member are struggling with allergies related to your home’s environment, give us a call. Often times, the solution is relatively simple and can greatly improve the quality of the air you breathe. Swinson Air Conditioning is a trusted independent American Standard HVAC Contractor serving Loxley, Fairhope, and surrounding Alabama areas.
Call today: 251-990-0998