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Improving Winter Air Quality in Your Home Can Improve Your Well-Being

In partnership with Enercare

Thursday, October 22nd 2020, 5:45 am - Five air quality upgrades that can make your home healthier

Enercare: Improving home air quality during wintertime Courtesy: Enercare

Canadian winters treat your home like a punching bag. Bone-chilling temperatures can freeze your pipes and put a strain on your heating system. The weight of snow wreaks havoc on your roof while ice and wind will try to tear off shingles. Inside the home, when cold surfaces meet warm air, condensation rears the perfect breeding ground for mould. While you’re busy dreaming of flying to a tropical destination, the dry indoor air sends microscopic organisms to every room.

While you can’t control the weather outside, you can on the inside. Installing various air treatment products or upgrading your home heating, cooling and ventilation systems can make your home healthier and send those airborne microscopic pests packing.

UV Light System

Nasty germs are travelling through your home and range from bacteria and viruses to mould and fungus. Identifying if your home has an invisible problem can be difficult, but moulds, such as mildew, have a distinct musty smell. Air fresheners may seem like a good idea, but by making your room smell pleasant, you could be masking a more significant issue.

Installing a UV light system will help clear the air by reducing up to 99.999996% of air-borne microorganisms. As microscopic pollutants pass safely into the system’s short-wave ultraviolet light, they are neutralized with fresh, sterilized air that is then returned back into the home. The positive side effect isn’t only a reduction or elimination of nasty odours, but more importantly, purer air for you and your family to breathe in.

HEPA Air Filtration System

Spain’s Aleix Segura Vendrell landed in the Guinness Book of World Records when he held his breath for 24 min and 3 seconds. The average human, though, can hold their breath anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Perhaps Vendrell knew about the air particles floating around his home. Rest assured though, there are other easier ways to avoid breathing in these nasty impurities.

A HEPA Air Filtration System cleans 95% of your home’s airborne particles. It does this by trapping them in layers of fine variable-gapped netting. As the filter draws in air, the netting captures dust, dander, bacteria and other volatile organic compounds. The cleansed air is then returned to your home using the existing air duct network – which when cleaned regularly minimizes even air pollutants. Humans breathe approximately 20,000 litres of air every day, so clean air equals a healthier you.

Duct Cleaning

A sandy beach with palm trees might be your ideal winter vacationing spot, but for all the microscopic impurities lurking around your home, the ductwork is their all-inclusive resort. It’s a holiday destination for dirt, mould, dust, pollen, dust mites, pet hair, and spider webs. A thorough duct cleaning will suck out these allergy-aggravating contaminants.

When should you get your ducts cleaned? If you stick your nose into the vents and it smells musty, it’s time for a cleaning. Experts also recommend duct cleaning if you’ve completed renovations or move into a new home; otherwise, every few years is sufficient. Heavily soiled ducts not only can make you feel under the weather, but your HVAC equipment has to work harder, causing heating and cooling costs to climb.

Air Exchangers with a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) or Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)

Your home needs to breathe, but opening windows is not practical during the cold winter months. An Air Exchanger with a Heat Recovery Ventilator unit is designed to warm and move fresh air into the house while exhausting an equal amount of stale air back outdoors. Think of it as your home’s lungs, continuously breathing in fresh outdoor air and exhaling the bad. HRVs also reduce moisture damage by expelling excess mould-causing humidity.

The other Air Exchanger option is one with an Energy Recovery Ventilator. This type of ventilator simultaneously exchanges heat and moisture, ideal for homes with air conditioning and high outdoor humidity. ERV’s can also help in climates where the winter air is dry by adding moisture to the air coming into your home.

High-efficiency HVAC system with a variable speed motor

If your furnace is starting to look like a museum exhibit, it may be time to upgrade. Consider a high-efficiency HVAC system with a variable speed motor. This technology provides better filtration and indoor air quality than obsolete units. A variable-speed blower motor works by running at different speeds to precisely control the flow of heated or cooled air throughout your home. When the fan is in constant operation, the motor will continue to slowly circulate air, allowing your air filters to capture more contaminants.

For more information on how you can make your home healthier and cleaner with the help of air treatment products, visit enercare.ca.

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