Ottawa HVAC Systems Help Maintain Proper Indoor Air Quality

According to Health Canada, Canadians spend close to 90 per cent of their time inside. That means indoor air quality is especially important for homes, offices, schools, and recreational environments. There are things you can do to improve indoor air quality, like making sure your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system works properly, and that it maintains the correct temperature and humidity indoors. With the humid climate of Ottawa, HVAC systems are important to a comfortable home.

A properly functioning system provides a comfortable indoor temperature, circulates fresh air from outside, and removes contaminants through filters and fans. HVAC systems maintain indoor air quality, also known as IAQ, by using a combination of indoor and outdoor air, or air transferred from other places in the building. This is known as “room air distribution.” Air distribution is important in determining the quality of indoor air—the HVAC ventilation should limit carbon dioxide and indoor pollution. Think of it as similar to how you’d open a window while painting in doors to vent the fumes out of the air you breathe.

The industry standard of ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality is called “ASHRAE.” ASHRAE, short for the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, focuses on creating sustainable, energy-efficient solutions for indoor air quality and refrigeration. The standards were set in place to prevent airborne illnesses, such as tuberculosis, and maintain residential ventilation standards. ASHRAE 62.2 is the minimum standard for residential buildings.

When air quality dips beneath the standard, most people typically experience headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, or coughing. Because ventilation is such an important factor in the air quality of your home, if it isn’t working properly, then the air quality suffers. For adequate quality, Health Canada recommends not smoking indoors, ensuring adequate ventilation, monitoring humidity levels, dusting regularly, and ensuring mold is cleaned away. When humidity or pollutants are high outdoors, this can cause mold and bacteria growth.

There are other ways to ensure an HVAC system maintains proper indoor air quality and distribution: Air purification or filtration systems can be attached to furnaces to destroy air contaminants; dehumidifiers and humidifiers can maintain moisture levels; and germicidal lights can reduce harmful micro-organisms. If your Ottawa HVAC system is not cleaned or maintained, dust and dirt can clog up the air filters and reduce airflow. The worse the air inside, the dirtier the air filters will get, so maintaining your HVAC in Ottawa is important for long-lasting use.