man opening window for ventilation

6 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality Using Your HVAC System

When installing heating and cooling systems, we often get asked the question whether or not HVAC systems improve indoor air quality and if there’s anything you can do to improve indoor air quality further.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the best ways to improve indoor air quality using your HVAC system.

1. Regularly Check and Replace Your Air Filters

air filter

One of the simplest and most effective ways to improve indoor air quality is to regularly check and replace your HVAC system’s air filters.

Air filters are designed to trap dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne particles, preventing them from circulating throughout your home. Over time, these filters can become clogged and less effective, reducing airflow and allowing contaminants to bypass the filter.

You should replace your standard filters every 1-3 months, high-efficiency filters every 6-12 months, and more frequently if you have pets or allergies.

2. Increase Ventilation

man opening window for ventilation

Your HVAC system can help increase ventilation by bringing in fresh air from the outside and exhausting stale air from the inside. This exchange of air helps to dilute indoor pollutants and reduce the concentration of harmful contaminants.

Ways to increase ventilation:

  • Use exhaust fans: Install and use exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to remove cooking fumes, humidity, and other pollutants.
  • Open windows and doors: When weather permits, open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate.
  • HVAC ventilation settings: Make sure your HVAC system’s ventilation settings are adjusted to bring in the appropriate amount of fresh air.

Increased ventilation not only improves air quality but also helps regulate indoor humidity levels, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth.

3. Maintain Your HVAC System

A well-maintained system is more efficient at filtering and circulating air, reducing the presence of pollutants in your home.

Key maintenance tasks:

  • Schedule annual inspections: Have a professional HVAC technician inspect and service your system at least once a year.
  • Clean ducts and vents: Make sure that your ducts and vents are clean and free of dust and debris.
  • Check for leaks: Inspect your system for any leaks or damage that could affect its performance.

Routine maintenance helps identify and address potential issues before they become major problems, making sure your HVAC system operates properly.

4. Use High-Efficiency Air Filters

Air filter

Upgrading to high-efficiency air filters can significantly improve indoor air quality.

These filters are designed to capture smaller particles and a higher percentage of airborne contaminants compared to standard filters.

Types of high-efficiency filters:

  • HEPA filters: High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can capture up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
  • Electrostatic filters: These filters use an electrostatic charge to attract and trap particles.
  • Activated carbon filters: Ideal for removing odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air.

Using high-efficiency air filters in your HVAC system can greatly reduce the presence of allergens, dust, and other pollutants in your home.

5. Balance Humidity Levels

Maintaining optimal humidity levels in your home is crucial for indoor air quality, and your HVAC system can play a significant role in this. Both too much and too little humidity can lead to various health and comfort issues. Here’s how your HVAC system can help balance humidity levels:


How your HVAC system dehumidifies:

  • Air conditioning: Your AC naturally removes excess moisture from the air as it cools, helping to reduce indoor humidity levels.
  • Dehumidifiers: Integrated dehumidifiers can be added to your HVAC system to provide more precise humidity control, especially in areas with high humidity.


How your HVAC system humidifies:

  • Humidifiers: Adding a whole-house humidifier to your HVAC system can help maintain optimal humidity levels during dry winter months, preventing issues such as dry skin, irritated respiratory passages, and static electricity.
  • Automatic controls: Modern HVAC systems can include automatic humidity controls that adjust the operation of humidifiers and dehumidifiers to maintain the ideal humidity level, typically between 30-50%.

By utilizing your HVAC system to control humidity, you can create a healthier and more comfortable indoor environment, improving overall air quality.

6. Install a Whole-Home Air Purifier

For maximum air quality improvement, consider installing a whole-home air purifier. These systems work in conjunction with your HVAC system to provide an additional layer of filtration and purification.

Benefits of whole-home air purifiers:

  • Comprehensive filtration: Captures a wide range of airborne contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and more.
  • Improved health: Reduces the risk of respiratory issues and allergies by providing cleaner air.
  • Convenience: Works automatically with your HVAC system, requiring minimal maintenance.

Whole-home air purifiers offer an effective solution for maintaining a healthy indoor environment, particularly for households with individuals who suffer from allergies or respiratory conditions.

If you’re looking more further understand air quality indoors, here is a video below!

How Does HVAC Affect Indoor Air Quality?

Your HVAC system plays a critical role in maintaining indoor air quality. It is responsible for heating, cooling, and ventilating your home, all of which impact the air you breathe.

The system’s air filters trap dust, pollen, and other airborne particles, preventing them from circulating throughout your home. Proper ventilation helps to dilute indoor pollutants and bring in fresh air from the outside.

Your HVAC system helps regulate indoor humidity levels, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth. Continuous air circulation makes sure that indoor air is regularly refreshed and contaminants are minimized.

A well-maintained HVAC system is essential for ensuring good indoor air quality, making it important to invest in regular maintenance and upgrades.

Can AC Act as an Air Purifier?

air purifier

While your air conditioning (AC) system is primarily designed to cool your home, it can also contribute to air purification to some extent. Here’s how your AC can help improve indoor air quality:

  • Filtration: Most AC systems are equipped with air filters that capture dust, pollen, and other airborne particles. Upgrading to high-efficiency filters can enhance this capability.
  • Dehumidification: By removing excess moisture from the air, your AC helps prevent mold and mildew growth, which can negatively impact air quality.
  • Ventilation: Many AC systems have ventilation settings that allow for the intake of fresh air, reducing indoor pollutant levels.

However, it’s important to note that while your AC can assist in improving air quality, it is not a substitute for a dedicated air purifier. For the best air quality, consider using an air purifier in conjunction with your AC system.

From regular maintenance to emergency 24-hour AC service, call us anytime. We’re happy to help!

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