When we say, ‘air pollution’ you probably imagine a smokestack belching out chemicals or a car exhaust spitting out dark smoke. But, according to the EPA, this picture isn’t wholly accurate. You’d have been closer to the truth if you’d imagined a suburban home surrounded by a white picket fence. You see, the air inside the average American home is actually 5-10 times more polluted than what’s outside. Guessing you’re safe in St. Cloud? Think again.
If you’re ready to clean up your air, call Augusta Plumbing & Heating and ask about our indoor air quality (IAQ) services in the St. Cloud area. For more information on solutions to the problem, read through this page in its entirety.
You’re probably asking how these contaminants get into the air in the first place. Radioactive radon seeping in from the soil, smoke from old cigarettes, off-gassing from fire retardant materials, and cleaning product vapors are just a few causes of indoor air pollution in St. Cloud. Dust mites, mold, viruses, pet dander, and mildew also play a part. As homes become more energy-efficient and changing lifestyles lead many of us to spend more time indoors, poor air quality has become a public health crisis.
Indoor air quality is a big problem in the 21st century both here and abroad. As homes become better sealed against the elements, the importance of having clean air increases. Without you even knowing, your air duct system could be contaminated with particulates that are harmful to you and your family. Each time the HVAC system turns on, it can circulate dust, dust mites, animal dander, pollen, and bacteria throughout the air inside your home. Below are a few statistics that help drive home the seriousness of the IAQ crisis:
By selecting Augusta Plumbing & Heating to combat your air pollution problems, you and your family will reap a variety of benefits:
A lot of people in St. Cloud have an air quality issue but don't realize it. They might just chalk it up to things like high pollen counts and general fatigue. But, if you regularly notice the following, it's worth getting an air quality analysis done:
How do you know what services you’ll need if you don’t set a baseline? Our comprehensive air quality tests check your air for pollutants, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and humidity issues. Taking only 30 minutes or so, they’re a great option for people already getting work done by our HVAC experts.
Scheduling an air quality test will:
Air that’s too wet is not good for you. Bacteria, mold, and viruses thrive in environments above 60 percent humidity. The high humidity also enables these contaminants to stick around longer and cling to your household’s porous surfaces. In the summer, excess humidity leaves you feeling sticky and hot.
Dehumidifiers installed in your system:
Though not exactly an air quality service, dryer vent cleaning is an important part of homeownership in St. Cloud. Every year, thousands of house fires are traced to a build-up of lint in either the dryer's trap or the pipe leading out of it. Luckily, our expert staff are equipped to truly remove all of this debris, making your home safer for you and your family. To schedule a dryer vent cleaning in Sauk Rapids or Sartell, call (320) 237-4219.Reduce Fire Risk
Looking for a way to keep your family healthy? The only filter that can capture something as small as a virus is a HEPA filter. While typically found in hospitals, residential home HEPA filters are available. However, HEPA filters restrict air flow, and cannot go directly in the return air stream back to your furnace. Instead, HEPA filters are installed in a ‘bypass’ loop in the return air ductwork. With each pass, some of the air is shunted into the bypass and is pulled through the HEPA filter by a separate fan in the HEPA unit before returning to the main air stream. This way the furnace fan motor always has adequate airflow and eventually all the air is purified by the HEPA filter. For more information on how these filters are a smart buy, reach out to us at Augusta Plumbing & Heating.
High-efficiency filters can help with:
Healthy air has humidity levels between 30 and 60 percent. A home that’s too dry deprives your nose and body of moisture needed by protective mucus layers and enables germs to travel farther. It also aggravates your throat and nose leading to allergy problems. Humidifiers, of which there are three main kinds, bring water into your home’s air to solve these problems. Letting Augusta install a whole-home humidifier will mean more comfortable living for you and your family.
Installing a humidifier in the St. Cloud area will:
With a UVC Air Purifier (also called an Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation, or UVGI, air purifier) we harness the sun’s power to cleanse and put it in your ductwork. Per the EPA, ‘UVGI air cleaners are designed to use UV lamps to kill or deactivate microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, and fungal spores and fragments that are airborne or growing on surfaces.’ Typically, the application for killing microorganisms growing on surfaces is to keep the air conditioning coil above the furnace clean. However, if the purpose is to kill microorganisms in the air, the UVC Air Purifier is placed in the return air duct so that the air first passes through the UV kill zone before going through the filter or air cleaner.
Installing Germicidal lights in your ductwork will:
Air purifiers work by removing allergens, toxins, and pollutants from your air. Unlike humidifiers, they don’t emit anything and, to the uninformed, look like a heavier filtration system. While a portable air purifier may be sufficient for one or two rooms in your house, to purify your whole house, you’ll need a whole-house air purification system. Please note that these products require a forced-air system to operate effectively.
Having Augusta Plumbing & Heating install an air purifier for you in the St. Cloud area will lead to:
To schedule your Air Quality Services in Sauk Rapids MN, just email us!Scrub Your Air
The desire to leak-proof our homes and seal up old ducts has compounded our air quality issues. Many modern IAQ issues could actually be fixed by bringing fresh air in. That’s where air exchangers (aka ventilators) come in. They use one fan system to blow indoor air out and another to pull outside air in. This stops pollutants from overstaying their welcome and alleviates many of the symptoms of "Sick Building Syndrome.”
Air exchangers offer the following benefits to people in the Sartell area:
Over time, dust and germs build up in your home’s ductwork. Vacuuming your registers can help but won’t reach things deep inside your ductwork. Getting duct cleaning done every few years can help remove long-standing odors and remove the irritants caught by other items on this list.
Calling St. Cloud’s duct cleaning experts will:
Sometimes a simple duct cleaning isn't enough to fix an air quality problem in St. Cloud. Old ductwork develops leaks over time. Though usually thought of as a ventilation issue, this can have an impact on the quality of your air. Fortunately, Augusta is a full-service HVAC provider with the ability to repair, seal, and replace leaky ductwork.
Duct repair and sealing has a number of benefits in St. Cloud, including:
For households with existing IAQ equipment, we also offer comprehensive maintenance and repair services. If you have a filter or humidity control system that’s not working right, give us a call at (320) 237-4219, so we can try and uncover the problem.
At Augusta Plumbing & Heating, we’ve been helping homeowners with their IAQ problems for years, since 2007, in fact. We always take the time to explain possible solutions and outline the costs ahead of time. Our HVAC company stands firmly behind the products we sell and are always willing to come back and investigate if air pollution issues recur. We service St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Sartell, and the surrounding communities. Therefore, if you're looking for an 'IAQ company near me,' you know you've come to the right place. Please reach out to us at (320) 237-4219 today to schedule an air quality test or get a quote on dehumidifier installation.
Yes, they do. Homes with exceedingly high humidity levels end up with mold, dust mites, and mildew. Houses with humidity that’s too low, meanwhile, experience dust and recurring sinus issues. Maintaining your home’s humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent keeps you in the “Comfort Zone”.
Studies show that air in your home is likely more polluted than the air outside. No matter how tidy your house is, your air will still be filled with pollen, viruses, dust, and pet dander. Only installing an air sanitizer or UV germicidal lights in your HVAC system can truly expel these contaminants.
The most frequently found contaminants in your home are relatively harmless except for causing discomfort to those who may be allergic. They include pollen, fabric fibers, dust, pet dander, and other common household particles.
Start by determining how thick of a filter your system can accommodate. Most HVAC systems can’t accommodate filters that are more than an inch thick. We recommend using only filters with a particle removal rating of MERV 11 or higher. This is especially important if anyone in your home suffers from respiratory or cardiac disease. You might also want to consider installing a much thicker, more efficient filter.
If you’ve done any research on IAQ, you’ve probably seen references to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). This term comes from a study where public workers in one building reported headaches, fatigue, nausea, nose irritation, and watery eyes. Researchers examined this building and found it to have a lot of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. This case gave birth to the term and is now used as a diagnosis for someone who experiences air pollution symptoms at work and notices an immediate improvement upon returning home.
We recommend that homeowners who are concerned with the quality of the air they breathe take the following steps: