Take simple steps to maximize your indoor air quality. With the current prevalence of allergies, consumers are becoming more interested in ways to minimize the presence of particles and pollutants in their homes, from paint- and carpet-based VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to airborne elements like dust mites, pollen and mold. Fortunately, ongoing industry innovation has produced several options that can greatly improve the quality of indoor air.
The first step to improving your indoor air quality is making sure you have clean, high-filtration furnace filters. There are several types of filters to choose from, including electrostatic, which create an electrical charge that attracts dust particles; pleated, which have ample surface area that provides increased filtration; and activated carbon, which are optimized to absorb chemicals, fumes and odors. Another important consideration when choosing a furnace filter is its MERV rating, which is based on a scale of 1 to 16. Basically, the higher a filter’s MERV rating, the stronger its filtration power.
You can further improve your indoor air quality by purchasing a whole-house air cleaner, which is installed directly onto your HVAC system, or a portable air cleaner, which is designed for single-room use. Since portable cleaners are both effective and affordable, many homeowners opt to put one in each room rather than invest in a whole-house system. In either case, using an air purification device in conjunction with a high-quality furnace filter can maximize the quality of the air in your home.
Save energy with a programmable thermostat
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Many homeowners want to reap the benefits of smart, energy-efficient technology but are wary of the expenses. However, according to Jenny Vance, office manager at Schmitt Heating Company, Inc. in San Francisco, there’s at least one way for consumers to go Green without having to make a large initial investment. “A great way to get started without spending a lot of money is by installing a programmable thermostat,” she says. “Traditional thermostats turn off and on all day to maintain the temperature, but programmable thermostats can be set to operate less frequently. For example, you can program your thermostat to shut off when you leave for work in the morning and turn on right before you get home at night. It’s a more energy-efficient and less expensive way of monitoring your home’s heating system.”