What Is Indoor Air Quality & How Is It Measured?
With more and more people spending time at home, you might begin to notice things around the house that have previously been overlooked. Maybe it’s something small, like the amount of dust around a windowsill, or something more nerve-racking, like the amount you or a loved one sneezes inside. If this time indoors has got you thinking about your property’s indoor air quality, you are not alone.
As the name suggests, indoor air quality—also known as IAQ—refers to the quality of the air inside and around buildings. This can be measured in a number of ways and typically involves multiple sensors, working in tandem. For example, many HVAC companies that offer IAQ testing use a combination of humidity meters, carbon monoxide sensors, and VOC sensors. This provides a holistic picture of the density of volatile organic compounds as well as the current level of ventilation in your home.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) include chemicals like benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, and ethylene glycol. These types of compounds are often found in common household cleaners and building materials, such as carpets, composite wood products, paints, adhesives, and cleaning products. In addition to VOCs, common airborne contaminants can build up indoors, leading to increased exposure to bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.
When continuously exposed to these contaminants, you could experience side effects such as an increase in allergy and asthma symptoms, headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. Additionally, it can affect the efficiency of your HVAC systems, the humidity levels in your home, and even the amount of dust and debris in your space.
Is an HVAC UV Light Worth It?
With tons of products on the market that claim to purify your home of contaminants, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start. One product that has been chosen by hospitals and other healthcare facilities to sterilize areas and medical equipment is ultraviolet lights. And these lights are now being offered to homeowners as well.
In-Duct UV lights, also known as HVAC UV lights or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation systems, are placed inside your ductwork to purify the air being circulated throughout your home. Utilizing the same ultraviolet rays as sunshine, these systems destroy the DNA of certain microorganisms—preventing them from reproducing or killing them altogether. While these lights don’t completely eradicate every type of airborne contaminant, they do have some surprising benefits.
5 benefits of an in-duct ultraviolet light are:
- Reduces exposure to the types of contaminants that most drastically affect our health, including viruses, bacteria, molds, mildew, and other allergens.
- Minimizes unpleasant odors around your home.
- Improves the efficiency of your HVAC systems.
- Boosts ventilation and airflow.
- Affordable to install and easy to maintain.