Studies have shown that the air inside a building is usually between two and five times more polluted than the typical outdoor air. Poor indoor air quality can lead to numerous potential health issues, which makes it something that everyone should take seriously. However, it can be especially problematic for people who have asthma and other respiratory issues or anyone who frequently suffers from allergies. Air purifiers and dehumidifiers can both be good solutions to help tackle issues with poor indoor air quality. However, they do so in very different ways.
Tackle Airborne Allergens With an Air Purifier
As you might expect, an air purifier is designed to clean the air inside a building. Both portable air purifiers and whole-home purifiers work the same way by forcing air through a filter that works to trap airborne particles and prevent them from being spread throughout the building. There are also some whole-home air purifiers that utilize UV lights to kill bacteria and other germs.
In most cases, a whole-home air purifier is usually the best option since it filters the air in the entire home instead of just one or two rooms. This type of unit connects directly to your HVAC system to enable it to filter the air circulated throughout the home whenever your heating or air conditioning is running. Although your furnace filter does trap some airborne particles, an air purifier essentially adds another layer of protection to better clean the air.
Most decent air purifiers should trap pollen, dust, pet dander, mites, and mold spores. These are all common triggers for both allergies and asthma attacks, which makes an air purifier an excellent choice for anyone with respiratory issues. You can also find more efficient purifiers that also trap additional airborne pollutants, allergens, and contaminants, such as bacteria, gas fumes, smoke, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and other common sources of indoor air pollution.
However, the efficiency of the filter the purifier can use is dependent on how powerful your HVAC system is. Trying to use too efficient of a filter can restrict the airflow into your HVAC system, which potentially results in it not heating or cooling as effectively and decreasing the lifespan of your furnace or air conditioner. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a knowledgeable HVAC technician to determine what type of air purifier your system can handle.
Eliminate Damp Air and Inhibit Mold with a Dehumidifier
Mold spores can be a huge problem for anyone who suffers from allergies or respiratory ailments. Most commonly, mold issues are seen during the spring and summer when the humidity outside is much higher. However, issues with mold can arise at any time if the humidity inside your home gets too high. Ideally, the indoor humidity level should be around 50%. If it rises much higher than this, that damp air can create the perfect breeding ground for mold to begin growing inside your walls, basement, attic, ductwork, or other parts of the home. Noticing any damp, musty, or moldy odors inside your home or odors coming from your HVAC vents is a good sign that your humidity is too high and indicates mold growth somewhere inside the home.
The easiest way to overcome issues with excessive indoor humidity is to install a whole-home dehumidifier. These units work in conjunction with your HVAC system to dry out the air as it passes through the system. This is done by drawing air through a series of refrigerated coils that cause excess moisture in the air to condense into liquid water.
Although a dehumidifier doesn’t clean the air inside the home, it can still improve air quality by preventing mold from growing and thus minimizing the number of airborne spores. Excessively humid air can also make it feel more difficult to breathe. This can obviously cause issues for anyone with respiratory problems. However, it can easily be overcome by using a dehumidifier.
At Wingate Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we offer numerous solutions to help you improve the air quality inside your Cincinnati home. Our team of experienced HVAC technicians can also handle any of your other heating and cooling installation, repair, or maintenance needs. We also employ a team of licensed plumbers and electricians that are on hand to tackle any plumbing or electrical problems you might encounter. Give us a call today to learn more about our indoor air quality solutions or other services.