All posts tagged indoor air quality

The weather has been beautiful here in the Haverhill, MA area. We’re spending more time outdoors, but we still spend almost 90 percent of our lives indoors. And while air conditioning makes a difference in comfort, indoor air quality is very important to your health. One of the most important and often overlooked aspects when it comes to indoor air quality is ventilation.

When you think about home ventilation, you probably think about opening a few windows and letting in some fresh air. This is a great way to ventilate, but as we know, that’s not always an option in Haverhill. That’s where the team at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone comes in. Advancements in technology can provide the same effects as having your windows open on the perfect spring day.

Air-sealing techniques used in building today’s homes reduce air leakage so well that contaminants are actually sealed inside of your home. This could be anything from mold, mildew, pollen and even radon. A whole-home ventilation system works by drawing just the right amount of air from outdoors. This will not only give you the benefit of nicer feeling air, but it will remove odors that may be lingering in your home. It does all of this while still being energy efficient.

There are two types of ventilation systems. The system used in our area is a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). This system uses two ventilation ducts. One carries cool, fresh air in; the other carries humid, stale air out. In warmer climates, such as the south, they use a system called an energy recovery ventilator (EVR).

There are many ways to improve your indoor air quality. Ventilation is just one piece of the puzzle. When it comes to Haverhill air conditioning and HVAC repair, we want you to breathe easy about the air you’re breathing. The professionals at Climate Zone are always available to answer any questions you may have about improving your indoor air quality. Give us a call at (978) 912-7677 or use our handy online scheduler to book a no-obligation consultation.

For most people in Haverhill, the return of spring means a break from winter’s chill.

But for others, it means the annual renewal of the age-old allergy fight with blooms, pollen and other irritants that can ruin sunny days with constant sneezing and red, watery eyes.

It’s bad enough to suffer with allergies this time of year, but even worse when the battle continues in the comfort of your own home.

Improving indoor air quality can give you the upper hand in the fight against allergies. The wide selection of air filtration and purification systems available from the home comfort professionals at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone offers many great ways to make your air cleaner.

The road to cleaner air starts with a simple task: changing your HVAC air filter every two months—even monthly in high-allergen seasons. Your air filter is an important piece of the healthy-air puzzle in your home’s HVAC system.

But while air filters are crucial to indoor air quality, it doesn’t end there. Lennox® has the industry’s most effective air filtration systems and air purifiers.

Air Filtration Systems

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems offer the best protection against allergens. These systems use hospital-grade technology to clean your air to the highest levels possible.

The Healthy Climate® HEPA system removes particles with up to a 99.97% efficiency with no ozone emission, which is a known lung irritant. Its sealed design helps contain particles in the system and keep them from bypassing the filter and going back into your home environment.

Air Purification Systems

So, what’s the difference between an air filtration system and an air purification system? Where filtration systems use filters to remove particles from the air blowing through them, purification systems sanitize the air.

The PureAirTM air purification system perfectly demonstrates the difference between the two. PureAir is the only system that combats all three classes of contaminants: particles (dust, pet dander), biological (mold, pollen, dust mites) and gasses (cleaning supplies, air fresheners and pesticides).

UVA-light technology allows the PureAir to remove over 95% of particles, which is less than the amount filtered by the Healthy Climate filtration system.

But the PureAir goes beyond simply filtering the air, it reduces and destroys ozone as well as approximately 50% of household odors and chemical vapors within 24 hours. Filtration systems can’t as effectively deal with those gas-based contaminants in the air.

Forced-air heating and cooling systems move air throughout the entire house, making the HVAC system the ideal place to tackle allergy and indoor air quality issues. Fortunately, air filtration and purification systems can be incorporated into almost any HVAC system.

Climate Zone offers many air purification and filtration systems to give you clean air. Our professionals will help you find the solution that’s best for battling seasonal allergies and keeping your home healthy, as well as assist you with any other home comfort needs.

Our professionals are available 24/7 and you can reach us by phone at (978) 912-7677 or use our handy online scheduler.

It’s that time of year: A sniffle leads to a sneeze. A sneeze leads to a cold. And a cold leads to a miserable way to spend the winter.

Most people think that dealing with winter sickness is just a fact of life in the Northeast. Opening a window to let the fresh air in and send the bad stuff out isn’t always an option during a snowy Massachusetts winter. But improving your indoor air quality can help you survive the cold months while keeping the sniffles to a minimum and have a positive impact on your long-term health.

Here are five easy ways to improve your indoor air quality:

  1. Check for clean filters. When outdoor temperatures drop, your furnace circulates warm air through your house and your air filter’s job is to keep that air clean. A dirty air filter, though, can allow dust, mites and other microscopic debris to blow around your house and make you sick. When it’s time to replace your air filter, look for HEPA filters that can trap smaller particles than other filters.
  2. Maintain your furnace. There’s nothing worse than waking up to a freezing house because your furnace has stopped working in the middle of a winter’s night. Unfortunately, it happens all the time-and it’s usually preventable. Routine service, even in the winter, keeps your system free of dust and debris that can lead to a furnace breakdown and the accompanying, unwanted chilly winter surprise. Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone has years of experience maintaining and repairing furnaces throughout the Haverhill and Boston area.
  3. Stay smoke free. Every year, millions of Americans make quitting cigarette smoking a New Year’s Resolution. And while cigarette smoke certainly leads to poor indoor air quality, there’s another smoke-generating culprit in many homes: the fireplace. Soot and ash can linger in the air long after that roaring fire dies out. Turn up your heater and play a fireplace video on your TV. It’ll be just as warm and romantic, and your air will stay cleaner.
  4. Avoid too many chemicals. Caused by everything from pets to cleaning products to even your cooking appliances, household odors and chemical vapors can create unpleasant smells that can lead to unpleasant side effects. Opening a window isn’t always the best course of action in winter, so now it’s extra important to be aware of the chemicals used in your home. Being aware can make a big difference in keeping your air healthy and clean.
  5. Use a humidifier and an air purification system. A Haverhill winter can mean running the furnace 24 hours a day. The dry air that comes with winter can cause more than just static shocks. It leads to dry skin and nasal passages that are prime territory for winter sickness. Whole-home humidifiers add moisture to air that your furnace pushes through your air ducts to combat dryness in every room. Air purifiers are an equally strong weapon in the battle for air quality. They use filters or, in the case of the PureAir system, UV light to kill germs and keep the air throughout your house healthy. Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone offers a wide range of humidifiers, air purification systems and other products that can help keep your air healthy.

Every home is unique, and so are their indoor air quality needs. But by taking a few steps to keep the air in your house healthy, you’ll spend more time this winter enjoying the season and less time sick in bed. Find out more about ways you can keep your home’s indoor air quality in top-notch condition all year long by talking to the experts at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone. Call them at 978-872-1190 to receive a free, no-obligation consultation or schedule an appointment online.

Most homeowners understand what air filters are and what their purpose is for indoor air quality, but when it comes to deciding which air filter you and your home needs, the options can be dizzying. Which is the best quality? Does price mater? What size do you need? Air filters don’t need to be as mystifying as rocket science, so we’ve laid out some important details to simplify the air filter decision process.

How do I know if I need a new air filter?
There’s a simple test that you can do right outside your home to determine how efficient your current filter is and see if you need to buy a new one or not. You can either complete this test outdoors or with something below your filter so you won’t have a mess afterward: Hold the filter horizontally and pour standard table salt through the filter. If some or all the salt falls through the filter, then you can bet that the filter will let salt-sized dust through, as well. The more salt that falls through your filter, the sooner you should upgrade your filter to something more efficient.

How do I choose a filter with the best material and rating for my HVAC system?
All air filters are rated in efficiency based on the MERV rating, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV ratings range from 1–16 and the number rating tells homeowners how well the filter is designed to trap dust and dirt under the least efficient conditions. Here are some of the typical materials of air filters, their MERV ratings and how they correspond to efficiencies (these are only a guide and any further questions can be answered by our Climate Zone professionals to help you determine the best air filter for your home):

Fiberglass, Disposable Panel, Washable Metal/Synthetic, Self-Charging (Passive)
MERV 1–4: 60–80% average filtration efficiency

Pleated, Media Panel, Cube
MERV 5–8: 80–95% average filtration efficiency

Extended Pleated
MERV 9–12: >95% average filtration efficiency

Electronic
MERV 13–16: >98% average filtration efficiency

While a higher MERV rating may seem like it provides the best filtration efficiency, it’s important to be careful with high MERV ratings. The higher the MERV ratings, the more expensive it usually is to operate your HVAC system and the harder your system will have to work because there is not as much air that can flow through. Think about it this way; the most efficient “filter” would actually be a piece of plywood that would just trap ALL contaminants (and all the air) from entering your home. That’s maximum air filtration, but would also be the least comfortable way to go.

We usually recommend a MERV 6–8, but there may be reasons this isn’t the best type of filter for your home. For instance, if a member of your family suffers from allergies or respiratory problems, you may want to consider a higher MERV rated air filter or a whole-home air filtration system. Our Climate Zone experts in Haverhill are happy to talk through this filtration efficiency business with you to make sure that your home is comfortable, energy efficient, clean and not costing you a fortune to heat and cool.

What filter size should I get?
We’ve saved the easiest for last—the best way to determine which size filter you need is to simply look at the label of your existing filter or measure it you can’t find the labeled size. The standard home air filter is 1” thick.

Air filters are supposed to protect our homes and loved ones from harmful pollutants, dust and dirt, so it’s important that we understand all the facts about getting the best air filter for our personal needs. We hope this information has simplified the air filter phenomenon. But, if you have any further questions, feel free to contact the professionals at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone in Haverhill at (978) 872-1190.

Regardless of whether it is heating or cooling season in the Haverhill area, clogged air filters can cause any number of problems for your heating and AC system. Notice that your in-home air is slightly boggy? Is there a decreased airflow or short cycles of air throughout your home? These are just a few of the signs that your air filter might need to get replaced.

Furnaces usually use a heat exchange method to heat or cool your home’s air. The unit’s fan pulls existing air out of rooms via ducts and toward the heat exchange, where it is heated or cooled, and then is moved back out into the room. The air filters are an essential part of this airflow and when they become clogged or dirty, this decreases the cycle of air in your home.

Here are a few other side effects that might occur when your air filters are not changed regularly based on the weather in the Haverhill area:

  • Frozen coils. Dirty air filters often make your system work harder to heat or cool, increasing the risk of having your cooling coil freeze. When your system is continuously working overtime, complications become more and more likely.
  • Lower energy efficiency. Because the system relies on the constant recirculation of air, energy consumption is a large part of your heating and AC system. The harder your fan works to get air throughout your house, the higher your energy bills will be. Per the Department of Energy, clogged filters can use 15% more energy than a non-clogged air filter.
  • Unhealthy air. Clogged air filters allow dust and debris to be re-filtered back into your home, which can be especially bad for people with allergies or respiratory conditions. Pets or chemicals in the house can also cause these filters to get clogged more often and produce diminished air quality.
  • Total loss of cooling or heating. This can occur over months of unreplaced air filters and can mean that your system has worked so hard that parts might need full replacement. These drastic system problems lessen the longevity of the equipment, forcing you to spend more money on repairs or even on an entirely new system.

If you can’t remember exactly the last time you changed your air filter, it may be a good time to call the team at Climate Zone at (978) 872-1190 or schedule an appointment online so you can prevent any potential damage. Our experts can answer questions about where your air filter is, what kind of air filter you will need and more.