Bonfe Insider: April 2021

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What factors influence indoor air quality?

Home should feel like a safe haven. The CDC now recommends increasing air filtration “to as high as possible without significantly reducing design airflow.” This is especially important because high-quality indoor air filters have been shown to help limit the spread of the virus that causes illnesses like COVID-19.

When used in combination, an ionic air purifier, a UV light, a humidifier, and an electronic or HEPA air filter can significantly improve the air quality in your home. These systems help dramatically improve the air quality inside your home by reducing the number of particles, viruses, and bacteria from the air inside your home, and can also help maintain proper humidity.

Read on for nine factors that make a difference in your indoor quality. A few of them might surprise you!

The number of people in your home. More people equals more bacteria, more viruses, more dust….in short, more of everything that can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Amount of time you spend at home. Most of us have spent a lot more time at home over the past year, and that contributes to higher concentrations of bacteria, viruses and dust.

Pets. Pets introduce allergens and dander through shedding, and also by tracking outdoor elements inside.

Flooring. Carpets tend to cling to irritants in the air, while irritants blow around in houses with tile or wood flooring.

Quality of your HVAC system. An outdated HVAC system can contribute to lower air quality. 

Filters. Filters on HVAC systems vary widely in their effectiveness at trapping bacteria, viruses and other particles that can cause indoor air quality issues. However, air filters that are too restrictive cause air flow issues, which can shorten the performance and longevity of your system. The best filtration systems capture the smallest particles while still allowing appropriate levels of air flow.  See the info below for details. 

Windows. Open windows are a great way to bring in the fresh air, but they can also introduce allergens and pollutants, which can be a problem if anyone in your home has allergies.

Humidity levels. Ideal humidity levels are between 30% and 50%. Humidity levels that are too high OR too low can significantly increase the prevalence of airborne germs.

What can I do to improve my indoor air quality?

We know the list above can be a little overwhelming. Here are four things you can do to improve air quality at home:

  1. Reduce Particles in the Air- Standard 1-inch media filters capture just 2% of particles- mostly large, visible particles like dust and pet fur. But the real culprits are the small particles that aren’t visible. An Electronic Air Cleaner (EAC) can capture up to 97% of particles. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can remove 99.97% of dust, pollen and airborne particles. 
  2. Maintain Proper Humidity Levels- Viruses grow more readily and stay active longer in the air when humidity levels are very high or very low. A whole-home humidifier can be installed on your heating and cooling system where it distributes the proper moisture levels into the air throughout your home.
  3. Deactivate Viruses- Ionization air purifiers generate ions which adhere to pathogens and pollutants, impacting their molecules and turning them into harmless compounds. In a lab-based test, these ion-based air purifiers inactived 99.4% of the virus that causes COVID-19 after only 30 minutes. UV lights can also be used to deactivate viruses and bacteria. The UV light systems installed by Bonfe are 3 times more powerful than standard UV lights that are sometimes mounted in A/C units to prevent mold. UV lamps can effectively deactivate up to 85% of viruses in the air that passes by it. 
  4. Vacuum! We hate to nag you on chores, but vacuuming is one of the simplest ways to improve air quality in your home. Plan to vacuum your entire home at least once per week, and regularly shake out duvets, pillows, and rugs. When possible, use a vacuum instead of a traditional duster since dusters often simply kick up dust rather than eliminate it. There are even HEPA vacuums that suck up the dirt and keep it contained inside the bag, leaking the lowest amount of particles out into the air. 

Per the CDC guidelines, it’s worth looking into more substantial methods of improving air filtration. Even better, invest in air purification options in addition to enhanced filtration. 

Trained experts like the team at Bonfe can help you explore options and make recommendations based on your home’s existing HVAC system, your budget, and your goals.  In a lab-based test, the ion-based air purifiers were used against the virus that causes COVID-19. After 30 minutes, 99.4% of the virus was inactivated. We’re here to help you make the smartest, safest decision for your family.

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