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Air Quality Tip: How Indoor Air Quality Devices Work with Your HVAC System


Indoor air quality is not something that many people think about in Lutz. However, the EPA says that indoor air quality is one of the top 5 respiratory health concerns in the nation. Many people don’t realize that the air inside their home can actually be more polluted than the air outside. Without proper ventilation, humidity control and air cleaning, your air will continue to be dirty. If you’re not sure exactly how an indoor air quality control system would work with your AC system, we’ve put together a short description of how it works.

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How Your Air Conditioning System Works

Most homes in Lutz have a traditional central air conditioning system. This system has an outdoor condensing unit that uses a refrigerant to remove heat from your home. The refrigerant is circulated through a series of evaporator coils inside the indoor air handler where a fan blows air across the cooled coils. The refrigerant in the coils strips the air of its heat and the air is pushed throughout the house via your ductwork.

Common Pollutants

The air we breathe is filled with all kinds of particles. These contaminants are classified into two categories: particulate matter and gaseous pollutants.  Particulate matter encompasses things like pollen, mold, bacteria, viruses, pet dander, smoke and dust.  Gaseous pollutants include tobacco smoke, vehicle exhaust, gasses from combustion of gas stoves and from the use of products like paints, varnishes, pesticides and cleaning products.

Types of Air Cleaners

Most air cleaners operate in-duct. This means that they are installed in your duct work or inside your air handler. Air cleaners can either trap the particles, using a filter or electrostatic attraction, or destroy them, as is the case with ultra-violet cleaners.

  • Particle Removal – Particle removal is normally accomplished by passing the air through a membrane that captures the particles. They can be flat or folded. These devices trap dust, pollen, some molds and pet dander. They come with a MERV rating that indicates which kind of particles it can trap. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles it will trap but the more restrictive it is to air flow. HEPA filters are a type of filter that are typically installed in medical facilities.
  • Pollutant Destruction – Some contaminants can’t be trapped and have to be destroyed. This is the case with some bacteria, viruses and mold spores. These have to be destroyed. This is accomplished by installing ultra-violet lights in your ductwork. While harmless to humans in small quantities, UV light is fatal to many kinds of bacteria and viruses.

If you have any questions about indoor air quality, call the experts at Ierna’s Heating & Cooling. We have years of experience offering outstanding indoor air quality services in Lutz. We’d love to talk with you.