According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the average American spends an astounding 93% of their life indoors. 87% of that is indoors, and then an additional 6% is in cars or public transportation. That’s only around 7% of your entire life outdoors─ which really puts it all into a different perspective. Since we are spending more time than ever indoors, it's extremely important to pay attention to your quality of air─ not only because it reduces allergens, but increases your quality of life!
So what is air infiltration? Air infiltration is the unintentional or accidental introduction of outside air into a building, typically through cracks in the building envelope, and through the use of opening doors. Many newer homes are built to reduce air infiltration as much as possible, which is fantastic─ but doesn't cover your quality of air completely.
Which leads us to our next point, your system.
Adding fresh air to a heating or cooling system accomplishes two things: It pressurizes a building, and increases indoor air quality by reducing polluted or stale indoor air. Don't worry! Adding a fresh air intake to most systems is typically a painless, and relatively inexpensive solution.
Here is a little break down of how fresh air intakes work:
In recent decades, indoor allergens and irritants have become much more prevalent. This fresh air intake is open to the outside atmosphere 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whenever there is a differential pressure outside the house from inside the house, fresh air will come in. The same goes for when there is a moisture differential between outside and inside the house – fresh air helps equalize the difference. Basically, instead of just pulling air from outside into your home and only using the filter, it goes through another filtration system eliminating even more contaminates or allergens from the outside.
However, know your facts! In areas like Dallas, a fresh air intake is extremely useful since our pollen counts and contaminates are higher due to warmer weather. If you lived in say, a colder region (such as Wisconsin or New York), it wouldn't be necessary to activate this until your warmer months. The overall effect of the Fresh Air Intake is to dilute what pollutants are in your house. Then it refreshes the air and makes it more breathable.
Remember – nature's filter in your home is your lungs, which will happily filter out many contaminants─ but the more you breathe in these contaminants, it weakens the body's resistance to getting sick.
So, clean the air and help reduce the problems.
Want to know more prevention and keeping your systems healthy this coming spring and summer season in Dallas? Check out our next Tuesday blog about proper cleaning of outside units and condenser coils.