Keeping Our Indoor Environment and Air Healthy

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In the world of energy efficiency, there are things that should be enhanced rather than compromised to save a few bucks on our bills. Among them is Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and its partner, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).  

We know from previous studies and programs that a quality home energy assessment will provide us with valuable, actionable information that can make us more comfortable and save us money at home. When we do these upgrades in air sealing, insulation, and equipment we also reduce our carbon footprint, thus taking our good fortune into the community as well. 

Among the basics for achieving these ends we need to maintain our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC). The ventilation part is important for our overall health. One way we do this is to select and then change, as directed, the filters that protect our equipment and ourselves from dust and particulates that can cause discomfort. Check out this link for a primer on air filters and touch base with your HVAC contractor to make sure any changes in filter ratings are compatible with your system. 

Our first line of care for the IAQ at home is our HVAC system and its filters. There are also portable/room air purifiers available as well. 

A new series of products referred to as ‘air scrubbers’ (see key image above) are becoming more and more popular as add-ons to HVAC systems in an effort to enhance IAQ. What are they? How do they work? Are they effective? 

The scientific community has yet to fully weigh in on air scrubbers. Folks we’ve talked to who are experts in home health and ventilation are cautious about endorsing them. Holistic thinking and following best practices will continue to be prioritized by professional groups like the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), which sets guidelines for residential ventilation based on peer-reviewed science. 

We have not found any reporting which suggests air cleaners, air scrubbers, or any other filters in a home setting will prevent the possibility of contracting COVID-19. See this report, for example. 

To sum up what has been shared, use the right furnace filters and change them as directed, in addition to utilizing room air cleaners and air scrubbers at your own discretion, determined by your own needs!


(Pictured above is one example of a room air cleaner.)

For more information on how to achieve healthy indoor environmental or air quality, please contact us at (314) 577-0228 or energymanager@mobot.org.

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