Your home’s ductwork consists of a network of sheet metal or fiberglass pipes that distribute hot or cold air to the vents throughout your home. You can plainly see the ductwork in your furnace room, and it’s also behind the walls, in your ceilings and under the floors throughout your home.
TIP: Schedule regular maintenance checks and duct cleaning in order to reduce allergens and also properly maintain the temperature and humidity in your home.
Your air filter removes airborne particles like dust, dander, pollen, mold spores, bacteria and pet hair from the air. This purifies the air that circulates in your home and also helps prevent damage to your furnace.
Many furnaces use inexpensive, disposable accordion-pleated filters that are easy to change. It’s important to change a filter that becomes clogged and dusty because a dirty filter makes your furnace work harder and can eventually cause damage. You can find furnace filters at home improvement and hardware stores everywhere.
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you may want to consider a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing) filter. A HEPA filter is an add-on to your home heating and cooling system that makes a significant difference in air quality by removing 99.97% of airborne particles.
TIP: Ask your contractor which filter is best for you, what size your furnace needs and how frequently you should replace your filter.
If you experience static electricity and dry skin in the winter and uncomfortably clammy air in the summer, then you may need a humidity control system in your home. Controlling the moisture level in the air can have a tremendous impact on your home’s comfort and indoor air quality.
A humidifier will add moisture to the air so that your home feels more comfortable in the winter. A dehumidifier will remove moisture from the air in the summer. Your contractor can install a humidity control system as an add-on to your home’s heating and cooling system. A humidistat may also be part of this system. It’s similar to a thermostat, but it monitors the amount of moisture in the air and controls the humidifier and dehumidifier.
TIP: Ask your contractor how a humidity control system would affect your home’s indoor air quality.
Your thermostat monitors the temperature inside your home and controls the functions of your heating and cooling system. The thermostat turns your furnace and/or air conditioner on and off to maintain the indoor air temperature you set.
TIP: Set your thermostat to run in constant fan mode. Your humidifier, air filter and other system add-ons only work when air is running through them!
Air Exchange System
An air exchanger – also referred to as an energy recovery ventilator or a heat recovery ventilator – is an add-on to your home’s heating and cooling system that brings oxygen-rich fresh air into your house and ventilates stale air outdoors. Stale, polluted air is constantly replaced with an equal quantity of fresh, clean air.
In these energy-conscious days, most homes have weather stripping around doors and windows, caulking around frames, and insulation in attics and inside walls – all in an attempt to cut down on draftiness and heat loss. Although this makes homes more energy efficient, super “tight” houses can have air that’s stale from being circulated repeatedly. Circulating stale air can redistribute allergens, molds, viruses and bacteria, as well as carbon dioxide.