Breathing Better at Home
There was a time when the word drafty actually meant how the air could move through an old home. Folks would find ways to use heavy curtains and thick doors to trap a room’s temperature and prevent it from bleeding out prematurely.
However, today’s homes are built with such an airtight approach, that the opposite is occurring, requiring people to open things up once in a while to remove stale, bad air. While these designs are quite good at keeping the outside out, they also have a bad habit of trapping allergens inside, which can be outright irritating and harmful to those with sensitive breathing issues.
How Much of An Issue is Internal Air?
With sealed systems in most homes and workplaces, people today spend well over 90 percent of their time inside structures and breathing filtered air. As a result, how that air is filtered and purified as well as replenished matter a lot. Where insufficient steps are taken, people have suffered from severe allergies, breathing problems, inhalation irritation, and more.
Why So Much Sealing Now?
Much of the design in homes has been trying to achieve two things: produce better insulation overall and push more of the ventilation through the installed HVAC system. For all of that to work properly, the rest of the environment inside a home needs to be sealed as much as possible.
Otherwise, the HVAC just works like a giant vacuum, sucking lots of outside air and blowing it around. Ideally, with regular filter-changing, a home’s internal air should work pretty well.
However, what this design fails to take into account is how much dust and particles people generate themselves. That in turn builds up as lint and similar inside HVAC systems and ducts, and then it turns into problems with breathing after a few years.
Various Solutions are Tried
Most times people first try a solution that is local to the room they are in. Some opt for plants to naturally filter the air, but the output requires a lot of plants for each room. Other localized ideas include humidifiers and stand-up air purifiers which are small units that can be moved from room to room.
However, they only last for a few years at best and the output is minimal. Once a person leaves the room, or if the room is too big, the benefits are nil and none. What’s needed instead is a system similar to the HVAC that services the entire house. That way, no matter what room a person is in, they are breathing clean air throughout the house.
One of the ways to ensure breathing levels are clean throughout is to use whole-house air purification systems. These assemblies connect with the entire duct system and filter out all the contaminants, whether they are generated from the outside air pulled in or from inside and from people.
Between the two, a tremendous amount of particles are captured. The same kind of system also takes advantage of the sealed nature of a modern home, actually making it work properly versus trapping it in bad air. With the two, a homeowner and residents are actually breathing the air that was originally intended to be clean when the sealed home design was first thought up.
How Complicated is an Installation?
A whole-house purification system can be attached to the existing HVAC, or it can work on its own channel system. If using the same existing system, the existing ducts need to be cleaned out first for a good start.
If a stand-alone, new ducting needs to be installed and placed throughout the house for proper airflow cleaning and distribution. Obviously, one approach is less expensive than the other. The age of the home and the existing HVAC system will come into play as well in the same decision-making process.
Either way, moving towards cleaner air is a smart idea. It affects long-term health, stress, sleep, and overall breathing ease, especially for those who already have sensitivity issues.