Using Ventilation to Improve Air CirculationPublished on: May 1, 2013
Each of us has experienced breathing stale air in a building, perhaps lingering cooking odors or the musty smell of mold. Poor indoor air quality can affect the health of those who breathe the air or worsen conditions of those who already have lung diseases like asthma. There are ways to keep indoor air fresh and clean through avoidance of source pollution, good ventilation and use of fans, air exchangers and air purification devices.
How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Good ventilation helps the exchange of air, bringing fresh air from outdoors into the building and exhausting stale indoor air to the exterior. Indoor air pollutants include combustion sources like gas from cooking stoves or heating fuels like oil, kerosene or wood. Other sources come from furniture and textiles like carpets and upholstery or from building materials like plywood. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), gasses that come from solid and liquid substances, are found in personal products like nail polish and aerosols as well as common household products like paint, varnish, cleaning supplies and craft materials. Good air circulation within a building refreshes the air and dissipates VOCs and other air-borne pollutants.
Some houses are so tightly sealed that the air exchange rate is very low, trapping pollutants and creating an unhealthy indoor environment. Poor circulation can result in higher humidity levels that provide an environment for mold growth. Houses with a lot of leaks allow too much air to infiltrate. Although good air circulation helps improve indoor air quality, it can place additional load on heating and cooling equipment. The higher the air exchange rate, the more an air conditioner has to work to remove humidity and heat to keep the indoor environment comfortable.
Good Practices to Enhance Ventilation and Air Circulation
AC Southeast®’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors are trained to evaluate the air exchange rate in both commercial and residential buildings and recommend a range of products and practices to keep indoor air clean without compromising cooling efficiency. We also provide educational materials for our customers who want to know more about indoor air quality. Simple, cost-effective ways to improve air exchange include:
• Install ceiling fans. Although ceiling fans may not reduce temperatures, the movement of air within a room makes the air feel cooler. In seasons with moderate temperatures and low humidity, ceiling fans may provide adequate cooling or allow the air conditioning temperature to be set back a few degrees. Fans with reversible circulation help mix air during winter. Fans also help to disperse odors and VOCs.
• Use exhaust fans in bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens. Rooms that have excess humidity or odors like kitchens and bathrooms should have exhaust fans that can be used as needed to facilitate air exchange.
• Keep air filters and ductwork clean. As simple as it sounds, cleaning or replacing an air filter regularly lowers energy usage, helps machinery work efficiently and captures air-borne pollutants before they reach the living space. Over time, dust, debris and other particulates may accumulate in ducts. Our technicians can evaluate the condition of ductwork to see if duct cleaning is needed.
About AC Southeast®
AC Southeast® provides a full range of air conditioning and heating services in the five-state area of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina. More than 200 affiliated dealers serve local communities. Our trusted dealers offer:
• Highly trained technicians certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE)
• Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealers
• Bryant® Factory Authorized Dealers
• 100 percent customer satisfaction guarantee
• Attractive financing
• Knowledge of rebates and tax credits in your state
• Licensed, ensured and bonded
Our network of dealers holds customer satisfaction as our number one priority. Find one of our dealers in your area to take care of all your HVAC products, service and maintenance needs.