Indoor Air Quality in Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Rogers, AR, and Surrounding Areas
‘Indoor Generation’ sees increases in health issues from pollution
Dust mite feces, pet dander, skin flakes, pesticides, mold, more impact indoor air quality
Most would not intentionally ingest dust mite feces, pet dander, skin flakes, pesticides or mold. But unbeknownst to many, all of those are swirling around in the air trapped indoors.
Indoor air can be two-to-five, and as much as one hundred times, more polluted than outside air, according to a report on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. “
This is due in large part to the advancements in insulation, and Energy Star-qualified windows and doors. Homes are sealed more tightly in order to keep everything in and all-things out” says Buford Martin, owner of Martin’s Heating and Air.
Well-insulated houses have become easier to heat and cool. However, in correcting one problem, others have emerged.
Consider the smell of fresh crisp air after a thunderstorm. This is a reflection of the natural cleaning that occurs. The outside environment naturally cleanses itself.
Rain acts as a natural cleanser, helping to clean the air of ozone precursors like nitro-us oxides and volatile organic compounds, according to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
Studies show that ionization found in thunderstorms and ultraviolet energy from the sun can help clean even the most polluted outdoor air.
However, the air trapped inside modern, tightly sealed homes is continually polluted by fungal spores, pesticides, microbiological growth, body odor, cosmetic odor, volatile organic compounds and much more, according to the EPA.
To make matters worse, even the best passive filters offered at local retailers are only capable of removing a percentage of dust particles (above one micron in size), which is less than 2 percent of the particles in the air we breathe, according to Michelle Hogan, indoor air quality expert at Pure Air-x.
Pure Air-X is a company that specializes in providing heating and air companies like, Martin’s Heating and Air, with solutions to help customers improve air quality in their homes.
Compounding the issue of poorly filtered, trapped air, are lifestyle changes of the modern world, resulting in more time indoors. According to the EPA, on average, Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors.
With more time indoors, asthma has increased 50 percent in the last 10 years and a vast amount of “illnesses are either caused by or aggravated by polluted indoor air,”
according to the American College of Allergy.
“There has been an increased prevalence of asthma in the U.S. over the past several decades,” explained allergist Clifford W. Bassett, M.D.
Every single one of the homes tested as part of a recent Harvard study were found to have “toxic compounds” present.
“Now that we know what was is happening with the air itself, we must look at what it is doing to your heating and air system itself as well,” said Kim Martin, co-owner at Martin’s Heating and Air.
A dirty evaporator coil, condenser coil or blower wheel could increase air conditioning or heat pump electrical usage by 50 percent or more. A blower wheel with lint and dust provides 15-20 percent less air, Martins said.
The result is lower efficiency. A dirty blower wheel usually indicates a dirty evaporator coil. Clean systems restore capacity and lessen run time, thereby reducing operating costs and extending system life span.
“What this means is the accumulation of disgusting debris in your entire HVAC system is causing you to pay your utility companies more and more money as it builds up,” said Beth Corey, marketing coordinator at Martin’s.
Martin’s Heating and Air provides a variety of solutions to help home owners with indoor air quality issues, including:
• Polarized Media Cleaner
• UVC Germicidal Unit
• UVV Oxidizing System
• Bypass HEPA System
Each of these tools use technology to mimic the way in which the natural environment cleans itself.
Consulting with customers on their air quality is a key part of Martin’s overall service.
“Installation of products is just one part of the job. If we are not educating our customers during the process of servicing or installing their HVAC unit, then we are not showing integrity,” Kim said.
Integrity is one of the core value’s at Martin’s, as is going “above and beyond,” Corey said.
This core belief is reflected in their, “Out of this World experience” motto, which the team discusses daily, Kim said.
“We truly are concerned about the health of the community and with keeping our customers informed to help them prolong the life of their equipment,” Corey said. “Our mission is to provide a comfortable, safe, and healthy environment for our customer’s home or business.”
From lower electricity bills to cleaner air, service and attention to the heating and air system is critical, Buford said.
“The longer an HVAC system goes without professional attention, the more it will lose efficiency, causing the system to work harder and longer” Buford said. “Over time, home owners will most likely see higher utility bills, HVAC components will gradually see a buildup of dirt and other airborne particles, causing poor indoor air quality and possible unit break down.”
Annual or bi-annual tune-ups and keeping filters, blower wheels and coils clean can extend the efficiency and prolong the life of the equipment. Just as vehicles require routine maintenance like oil changes and tune-ups, to run at peak performance, so do heating and air systems.
Martin’s Heating and Air services the greater Fort Smith and eastern Oklahoma area. To start an “Out-of-this-World-experience,” improve indoor air quality, or to schedule a consultation, contact 479-785-4444 or visit their website at martinshvac.com. They can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
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