What does IAQ mean for HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)?
IAQ stands for indoor air quality. It's a measure of how clean and healthy the air is inside your home, office, school, or other space in which you work or live. Common pollutants can negatively affect indoor air quality. These range from the obvious (secondhand smoke) to the insidious and invisible (radon, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide).
Why does indoor air quality matter to me?
- Unknown pathogens: You may be thinking that your air quality is perfectly fine — and it just might be! However... those invisible, odorless offenders we mentioned earlier could be silently affecting the air you breathe each day, creating air pollution at home. This isn't meant to scare you, but it's definitely something to consider when you're installing a new HVAC system.
- Allergies: Poor indoor air quality — especially when it's affected by particulates, mold, or other allergens — can trigger allergic reactions in people of all ages. This has led to the popularity of devices that help control indoor air quality — which we'll be talking about a bit later.
- Asthma: Living with asthma is very common, and treatments are available to help manage it. But, it can become a serious problem when it's triggered by poor indoor air quality.
- Pets: I don't know about you, but we love our pets. They complete the family and (in our opinion) make life better overall. However — if you are a pet parent — you know very well how much they might be shedding around your home. Depending on the pet, there's other elements to consider such as dander and other particulates, allergens from the food they eat (such as hay for small animals) and other air pollutants that can build up over time in the home. Plus, addressing your indoor air quality ensures your fur babies are breathing as well as you are!
- Learning and cognitive performance: Studies have shown that poor indoor air quality can contribute to reduced performance at work and impaired cognitive ability. It's such an important factor that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) launched their "IAQ Tools for Schools" program to help address it, providing guidelines and best practices for schools in the U.S. However, during the COVID-19 epidemic, many kids are engaged in distance learning — meaning that maintaining the air quality in the home is critical to ensuring they have the best opportunity to learn until it's safe to go back to class.
How can Barrington Heating and Air improve my indoor air quality?
When you get a quote on a new HVAC system from Barrington Heating and Air, make sure to mention that you're interested in addressing your indoor air quality. Our technicians will review your quote and present you with options to help improve the IAQ in your home. This could entail applying some best practices such as upgrading air filters, sealing ducts, improving the air seal from your attic or crawlspace, among many other options. It could also take the form of installing a specific device to improve indoor air quality. That device is called the iWave.
The iWave comes in different forms for different applications and maintenance schedules. What they share in common is that they work by applying a special, patented method of ionization to the air being brought into your HVAC system and distributed throughout the home. This process breaks down pollutants and gases. It also helps to destroy molds and other pathogens by removing their hydrogen molecules; this is their source of energy.
The iWave's ionization process also helps to reduce allergens — such as pollen, for example — along with other particulates. It's simple, really: when the ions attach to these irritants, it causes them to cluster together and grow to a larger size, making them easier to catch in the air filtration system.
What about COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic has had deep, reverberating effects on people worldwide — and has created new concerns over indoor air quality as well.
Fortunately, IAQ devices such as the iWave help address this concern... and they have the tests to prove it. This pathogen test by an independent third party found that the iWave-C unit was able to inactivate 99.4% of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus particles within 30 minutes, in an environment designed to resemble that of a commercial aircraft. Another test with the iWave-R unit showed a 90% reduction in 60 minutes. (You can find the full details on these tests on iWave's official website.)
How do I include an IAQ device in my new AC or furnace install?
Get started by contacting us online or giving us a call — and make sure to discuss IAQ with our technicians. They'll help determine the best route to improve the air quality in your home and get you the best price possible. The iWave device can be installed in any duct air conditioning system.