Indoor air quality is one of the most misunderstood parts of the HVAC world. Since it’s not something the average homeowner can easily measure, it’s very easy to get confused about how air quality works. Many people end up putting a lot of time and effort into air quality fixes that don’t do anything or even make their air quality worse. If you want the best air quality possible, it’s important to be informed. Our guide will go over common indoor air quality myths so that you can have the information you need to get fresh, clean air.

1. Indoor Air Quality Isn’t a Big Deal

One of the most important myths to overcome is the idea that air quality isn’t important. Many people think, “As long as our air is the right temperature, who cares about air quality?” Since you can’t necessarily see or touch air quality, it might not be your main priority.

However, your indoor air quality plays a big role in your overall health. Breathing air filled with pollutants or microbes can make you feel sick and unwell. Your air quality also impacts your indoor comfort. Unpleasant smells or debris floating in your air can distract you and make your home feel grimy and dingy. Boosting your air quality is a simple change that can help you feel better and enjoy your house more.

2. Outdoor Air Is Always Worse Than Indoor Air

When you think about poor air quality, there’s a pretty big chance you picture a busy city highway clogged with car exhaust. The modern focus on outdoor air quality has led to some big misunderstandings. People often assume that pollution is something that only happens outside, and they can protect themselves by going inside, shutting all the windows and doors, and turning on their HVAC system.

The reality is that indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air. Research finds that volatile organic compounds and other pollutants often get released from household items and trapped inside your home. Outside, the vast amount of air easily dilutes most pollutants. Inside, they can build up over time and create very poor air. In fact, outdoor air is often so much fresher that HVAC companies will improve air quality by installing ventilation systems to bring outside air indoors. Unless you have the misfortune of living in a very high pollution area, your indoor air might be the worst air you breathe all day.

3. It’s Hard to Improve Indoor Air Quality

It’s fairly common for people to ignore their air quality because they think it’s too hard to fix. There’s a common misconception that air quality is almost impossible to control without installing fancy filters and high-end equipment. This can discourage many people from taking steps to improve their air quality.

Fortunately, indoor air quality is a lot simpler to address than you might think. You don’t actually need to spend massive amounts of money on specialized equipment. A few simple changes can greatly improve your air quality. The modern indoor air quality industry is very large, so there are a variety of helpful products to choose from. Even one or two budget-friendly devices can make a big difference.

4. Pollution Is the Only Thing You Need to Worry About

If you’re focused on improving your indoor air quality, your main concern is probably chemicals like volatile organic compounds. Homeowners often put all their time and energy into getting toxic pollutants out of their air. However, this can be a major oversight, and it leads to problems because people ignore other sources of poor air quality that they could be addressing.

Chemical pollutants are definitely a cause for concern, but it’s important to keep in mind that they aren’t the only thing that can harm your air. There are a lot of technically natural items that still irritate your lungs and cause issues when you breathe them in. Things like dust, pollen, and pet dander impact your air quality just as much as cleaner fumes or furnace exhaust.

5. Air Fresheners Can Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

Many people make the mistake of assuming that as long as their air smells fine, it is fine. This can lead to problems when they try to fix poor air quality with air fresheners. Since many of these products boast things like “scent trapping beads,” homeowners frequently assume that an air freshener can solve all of their air quality issues.

Sadly, air fresheners can’t actually fix problems. All they do is mask bad smells and keep you from noticing the signs of poor air quality. An air freshener can’t get rid of pollutants or kill foreign microbes. In fact, some air fresheners actually worsen air quality. Many include aerosolized chemicals that can further pollute your air and cause more breathing problems.

6. Changing Your HVAC Filter Isn’t Important

Your HVAC filter might sound like your first line of defense against indoor air pollution, but far too many people ignore it. Some homeowners assume that filters are just meant to catch random bits of debris that can harm your HVAC system. Since they don’t physically blow pollutants out of your house, homeowners often ignore them.

This is a big mistake because HVAC filters are actually quite useful. Modern HVAC filters can easily catch microscopic particles. They trap things like pollen and dust mites, so you don’t have to worry about these substances in your air. If you’re particularly worried about air quality, you can even get high-efficiency filters that catch tiny bacteria and toxic fumes. Just make sure you check your HVAC system’s maximum filter rating, so you choose one that works well with your system.

7. You Can Easily Tell If You Have a Moldy HVAC System

Mold infestations are one of the most dangerous types of air quality issues. Having spores of mold inside your home can end up causing major respiratory issues. Unfortunately, many homeowners end up living with hidden mold infestations because they think they’ll be able to notice the mold. A common myth about mold is the idea that it always results in thick, black powder over your walls and intense musty smells from your HVAC vents.

The reality is that mold is often a hidden problem. It can grow inside your air ducts or other areas where you can’t spot it. Furthermore, many species of mold don’t have strong, unpleasant smells. Many homes look and smell fine even while mold infestations flourish and harm the house’s occupants. The only way to confirm whether or not you have mold is to test your air for the presence of mold spores.

At First Choice Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re passionate about helping Metuchen residents improve their indoor air quality. In addition to explaining how things work, we can also assist you with tasks like installing filters and improving ventilation. We have years of plumbing and HVAC experience, so we can assist you with all sorts of repairs, maintenance, and installation. Contact our team today to schedule a service visit with First Choice Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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