Tag Archives: IAQ

Considering Improving Your Home’s IAQ by Using UV Lights? Here’s What to Know

Considering Improving Your Home's IAQ by Using UV Lights? Here's What to KnowYou may not spend a lot of time thinking about the quality of the air inside your home. However, clean air can help keep everyone in the home healthy. It has even greater benefits for allergy sufferers and for those with breathing difficulties. Improving your indoor air quality, or IAQ, is a fairly easy task that offers a great return on your investment.

What Affects IAQ?

The quality of your air can be affected by many factors. If you have smokers or pets in the home, if you have pollen-bearing plants in your yard or neighborhood, or if there’s a major roadway nearby, your air may not be as clean as you’d want it to be. Other factors affecting IAQ include having lots of dust in the air or high levels of humidity that might encourage mold growth.

What Improves IAQ?

The first, and simplest, fix for your IAQ is a good filter for your HVAC system. If you replace it regularly, a filter will catch many of the larger allergens and contaminants that get into your home.

Filters aren’t sufficient to catch the smallest particles, however. They also don’t do much about mold or mildew growth inside your ducts or around your A/C’s evaporator coil.

To take care of these contaminants, many homeowners opt to install UV, or ultraviolet, lights inside their ducts or near their evaporator coils. These lights work at a wavelength that attacks bacteria and mold spores. The lights disrupt the contaminants’ DNA, preventing them from reproducing and shortening their lives.

Since UV lights are installed within the HVAC system, they have no effect on the people or pets living in the home. These lights are remarkably effective. They have been shown to improve IAQ in less than an hour after being turned on, and they continue to clean the air as long as your HVAC system is on. Paired with a high-quality filter, UV lights can give you the indoor air quality your family needs to stay healthy.

For more information about using UV lights in your Portland area home, contact Roth Heating & Cooling today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Clean Your Air With These Houseplants

Clean Your Air With These Houseplants | RothDecorating with houseplants creates natural beauty indoors, along with enhancing indoor air quality (IAQ). Some plants are natural air cleaners and remove stubborn volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that could degrade your health. VOCs come from many common household products and are one of the most difficult indoor pollutants to neutralize.

These plants offer the best protection against a buildup of VOCs indoors:

  • Spider plants
  • Dracena
  • Ficus trees or weeping figs
  • Peace lily
  • Boston fern
  • Snake plant (mother-in-law’s tongue)
  • Aloe vera
  • Bamboo palm, lady palm,
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Golden pothos
  • English ivy
  • Wax begonia

These plants are among the most common used indoors and are readily available at local nurseries, in the garden centers of home improvement stores and at flower shops. Although each of these is easy to grow, they have individual needs for light exposure and moisture requirements.

To achieve higher IAQ using plants, you’ll need two plants every 100 square feet, whose pot diameter is 10 to 12 inches. Some are also toxic to children and pets, so before choosing, check with your veterinarian or look it up on a reputable website to learn if it’s safe.

The gases from chemicals that these houseplants remove include benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethylene. These VOCs come from new furniture, flooring, carpeting, paints and finishes, along with cleaning supplies. You’ll also find them in air fresheners, cosmetics, anything perfumed and many household cleaners.

VOCs lower IAQ as they concentrate, primarily because of the lack of fresh air ventilation. You can, however, use ultraviolet lights inside the ductwork or the air handler for your HVAC system to lessen the impact VOCs make on your health.

An energy recovery ventilator (ERVs) dilutes the concentration of VOCs by exchanging stale indoor air with fresh, outside air. ERVs are an energy efficient option for better IAQ since they use heat exchange technology to keep cooling and heating bills low.

While houseplants are a solution for removing harmful VOCs, you can also use your home’s HVAC system to improve the overall air quality. To learn more, contact Roth Heating & Cooling, providing trusted HVAC services for Portland-area homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Helpful Tips for Allergy Season

Helpful Tips for Allergy SeasonSpringtime means it’s also allergy season. Since the Portland area gets hit pretty hard when it comes to grass and pollen allergies, taking steps to reduce allergens in your home is crucial. Use the following allergy tips to get started.

Use New Air Filters

The air filters in your home’s HVAC system are supposed to trap allergens and other debris, but they can’t do that effectively when they’re dirty. One of the first things to do this spring is take out your current air filters, and replace them with brand new ones. This helps ensure that your filters are able to catch allergens and prevent them from being blown around your home when your HVAC system is running. Keep in mind that switching to high-efficiency air filters means that you’ll have even fewer allergens in your home.

Clean Return Vents and Registers

Dust, allergens and other debris can end up covering your registers and return vents. When your HVAC system is on, these particles are blown around your home, which lowers the indoor air quality and triggers allergy symptoms. Wipe these down with damp rags to remove allergens and other debris that has built up.

Clean Indoor and Outdoor Units

Keep allergens and dust off of your indoor and outdoor HVAC units by doing a thorough cleaning this spring. When these units are dirty, the allergens and other debris on them are circulated throughout your home.

Schedule Routine HVAC Maintenance

One of the most effective allergy tips is having HVAC maintenance done. This helps ensure that your system is free of blockages, as well as allergens and other debris that can make it harder for it to run. Making sure that your HVAC system can run efficiently can go a long way toward reducing indoor allergens.

To schedule HVAC maintenance to improve your indoor air quality and reduce allergies this spring, please contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We offer HVAC maintenance and installation services for homeowners in the Portland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Use These Methods to Control Pollutants in Your Home

Use These Methods to Control Pollutants in Your HomeEven the cleanest home will have a certain level of pollutants in the air. Activities of daily living, the use of certain products, and even simple inactivity can result in the production of dust, odors, and other pollutants that can make your indoor living spaces unpleasant. Here are some ways you can control pollutants in your home and make your indoor air fresher and cleaner.

Stop Pollutants at Their Source

Indoor pollutants include both particulates, such as dust and pollen, and gaseous material, such as fumes and odors. Stopping these pollutants at their source prevents them from getting into your home in the first place. Clean and dust your home, including vacuuming rugs and carpets, at least once a week. Take out trash regularly — every day, if possible. Keep odor-causing materials such as paints, solvents, and cleaners in tightly-sealed containers. Store them away from HVAC system return ducts where any leaked odors could be pulled into your heating and cooling ductwork and distributed throughout your house.

Be Careful with Daily Activities

Where possible, avoid doing any activities indoors that would generate pollutants, such as sanding, painting, or drilling. Limit or prohibit smoking inside your home. Test new cleaners or other material before bringing them indoors to see if the odors are strong or objectionable. Run kitchen fans when cooking to help remove food odors. Operate bathroom fans to help remove moisture and odors from this area.

Increase Indoor Ventilation

Open windows and doors to increase the amount of fresh air flowing through your home. Put fans in windows to increase the amount of clean air being brought into your home. Install a whole-house ventilation system that will allow you to sustain good levels of ventilation in the summer and winter. These systems remove stale indoor air and bring in fresh outdoor air while maintaining indoor temperatures.

With nearly four decades of experience in the HVAC industry, Roth Heating and Cooling provides expert sales, installation, and service for customers in Portland, Hillsboro, Canby, and the surrounding Oregon communities. Contact us today for more information on controlling and reducing pollutants in your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland, Oregon area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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5 Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality This Spring

5 Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality This SpringAlthough our green landscape means Portland enjoys better air quality than many cities, there are always things you can do to improve your indoor air quality. That’s especially true in spring when the pollen count rises. Here are some smart tips to put to use to keep your IAQ high all spring long.

Tips to Boost Indoor Air Quality

  • Vacuum smart – For your spring cleaning, choose a vacuum cleaner that contains a HEPA filter. Remove the dust kicked up by vacuuming by turning the thermostat to “fan on,” letting it run 15 minutes and then switching it back to “auto.”
  • Filter and clean your air – Use an HVAC system air filter with a MERV of 5 or higher, which is the minimum for improving indoor air quality. If you’re managing allergies or asthma, go for a MERV 10 or 11 pleated filter. Consider installing an air cleaner to control contaminants such as tiny dust and pollen particles, mold and bacteria, as well as the harmful fumes known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  • Maintain good airflow – To control odors and humidity, run exhaust fans for a few minutes after showering and cooking. If you had condensation on your windows this winter and still see it in spring, your home most likely needs more ventilation. A heating and cooling technician can assess your home and advise you on your best passive and mechanical ventilation options.
  • Get a handle on humidity – High humidity makes you less comfortable and helps mold and dust mites spread. In addition to ventilating, repair leaky plumbing fixtures and basement or roof leaks because these also add moisture to the air. If you notice mold on your ceilings, bubbling paint or other signs of high humidity, consider installing a dehumidifier.
  • Keep the HVAC system in shape – During normal use, the furnace and air conditioner pick up dust and debris that impair their efficiency and can eventually reduce air quality. Schedule your air conditioner’s annual inspection and cleaning early in spring so you have your pick of service providers and appointment times before the best ones are booked.

For more information on improving your indoor air quality, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We proudly handle the HVAC needs of Portland area homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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