5 Technologies Improving Indoor Air Quality
Clean Tech

5 Technologies Improving Indoor Air Quality

There’s a lot of talk about environmental pollution, but what about air pollution inside of your home? If you’re like most people, you spend 90% of your time indoors, which means you’re constantly exposed to indoor air pollutants. The EPA has ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental dangers.

From the insulation in your wall to the carpet on your floors and dust mites, pollutants are everywhere in your home. Poor ventilation is the most common cause of indoor air pollution, but improving ventilation can often be a costly or challenging prospect.

Here’s the good news: new technologies are helping to tackle this important issue. These five technologies are improving indoor air quality.

1. Air Cleaners

One new technology, which is recommended by the EPA, is air cleaning. There are several different types of and sizes of air cleaners on the market today, from tabletop to whole-house solutions.

Most modern HVAC systems have filters that, essentially, clean the air, but you can also purchase portable devices that will purify the air in a particular room.

It’s important to note that air cleaners will not remove all pollutants, and both types of systems require filters that need to be changed regularly.

Before investing in an air cleaner, it may be wise to have your indoor air quality tested. In addition to an air cleaner, you may need additional solutions to purify the air in your home.

2. UV Air Purifiers

Along with regular air cleaners, which use filters to remove impurities, there are UV air purifiers. A relatively new technology, UV air purifiers use the power of ultraviolet light to kill mold, mildew, germs and, in some cases, viruses and bacteria.

What makes ultraviolet light so effective at purifying the air? UV light has the power to destroy cells, which is what causes sunburns and effectively destroys air impurities, particularly mildew and mold.

UV air purifiers use UV-C light, which is actually the most dangerous to cells and living organisms. The earth’s atmosphere blocks 100% of UV-C rays from the sun, but it can be made artificially. When used properly, UV-C rays can purify the air by destroying cells in airborne organisms. The rays are never released into the room, so there’s no need to worry about exposure.

These air purifiers can be used to eliminate:

  • Mildew
  • Mold
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Dust mites

Airborne organisms are often missed by filters in conventional air purifiers. They’re so small, they simple slip through the gaps in the filter and are recycled back into the air.

3. Energy Recovery Ventilators

Energy recovery ventilators work by controlling the humidity in the air and reducing the concentration of pollutants. It does this by cycling out stale air and bringing in fresh air.

These devices, known as ERVs, are equipped with filters that remove outdoor contaminants. Heat exchangers then move energy from the outgoing air to the incoming air, working like a heat pump to condition the outdoor air.

4. Monitoring

Air quality monitors may not be able to improve the quality of your home’s air, but they can help you take action. Some monitors identify contaminants in the air. Others provide you with important information on humidity and temperature levels. Higher temperatures and humidity can lead to the growth of mold and mildew.

Some new programmable thermostats and smart home systems come equipped with sensors that monitor indoor temperatures and moisture levels and automatically make adjustments. These adjustments make the home more comfortable while improving indoor air quality.

5. New Drywall Technology

One of the biggest contributors to indoor air pollutants are volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. VOCs, like formaldehyde, are vapors emitted by solids and liquids. The process is known as “off gassing.”

A new type of drywall technology is helping reduce the levels of VOCs in homes and commercial buildings. It works by acting as a giant filter. The drywall extracts the VOCs from the air, and neutralizes them within the walls.

The drywall, which is a gypsum board product, uses patent-pending technology to capture VOCs as they circulate through the air. Once extracted, VOCs are transformed into inert compounds that remain trapped in the board.

The drywall technology takes a unique approach to indoor air purifying. The manufacturer says it’s the first in the industry to use formaldehyde-absorbing technology.