3 Options For Improving Your Home's Indoor Air Quality

If you have a central air conditioning system or a forced-air heating system, your HVAC equipment plays a substantial role in your home's indoor air quality. With a well-sealed and insulated home, your HVAC system is arguably the most critical element in your overall air quality. Many air quality issues, such as mold or unusual smells, come down to poor HVAC maintenance or equipment.

Fortunately, you have plenty of options for keeping your home's air fresh and clean. If you're not happy with your current air quality situation, check out three tips and upgrades to create a more comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

1. Upgrade Your Air Filter

The cheapest option for improving your indoor air quality is to upgrade your HVAC air filter. Air filters keep small particles out of your home's air, including allergens, dust, and even bacteria and viruses. Upgrading to a higher MERV rating will allow your filter to catch more contaminants, ultimately improving your home's air quality.

However, it's essential to realize that better filters are also more restrictive. Upgrading your filter can limit airflow through your system, so you shouldn't rush out to the store and buy the best filter available. Instead, consider contacting a local HVAC contractor and discussing the upgrade. They can help you understand if your system's current blower can handle a more restrictive filter.

2 Install a UV Light

UV lights are relatively cheap and easy upgrades that you can make to your home's HVAC system. The most common configuration involves installing a UV light inside the air handler unit in the center of the evaporator coil. The UV light runs continuously and helps kill mold that may try to take hold of the coil's surface.

These lights can also help reduce your maintenance overhead by reducing the need for your HVAC contractor to clean your coils thoroughly. If you already have a mold problem in your air handler cabinet, a UV light may help reduce or even eliminate it without relying on more costly remediation options.

3. Buy a Whole-Home Dehumidifier

A whole-home dehumidifier is one of the most substantial upgrades you can make to improve your air quality. High moisture content can make the air feel uncomfortable and clammy, forcing you to waste money by setting your thermostat to a lower temperature during the summer. While any AC system will reduce humidity, it may not be sufficient if you live in an area with very humid summers.

Humidity can also promote mold growth, both on surfaces around your home and in your HVAC ductwork. Installing a whole-house dehumidifier to control this problem will make it far more challenging for mold to take root, helping to improve the air quality in your home by a wide margin.