Air Quality FAQs

Our Experts Answer Top Home Comfort and Air Quality FAQs

There are no set rules when it comes to home comfort—it’s whatever makes you feel comfortable at home. But there are a few things every homeowner should know to improve their comfort and maintain a healthy home for their family. Keep reading to learn the basics—like how often to replace your air filter—and more advanced insights, like what zoning is and how you can benefit from it in these top home comfort FAQs.

Air Quality experts share their advice

How Often Do I Need to Replace My Air Filter?

How often you replace your air filter depends on your system and your family’s health. One-inch filters should be replaced roughly every one to two months or more often if you have pets or if someone in your home has asthma or allergies. If your system uses a media or high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, you only need to replace or clean it once every six months to a year. Ask our experts if you aren’t sure how often to replace or clean your filter, or if you need help finding a replacement.

My Family Suffers From Allergies—Is There Anything We Can Do to Alleviate Symptoms While Indoors?

Yes! First and foremost, change your air filter regularly (note the answer above). This ensures as many contaminants as possible are caught and filtered out of the air. Here are a few more tips:

  • Change your bedding often
  • Vacuum and clean weekly, especially if you have pets
  • Monitor your humidity levels, which can aggravate symptoms
  • Keep your windows and doors closed and locked to block pollutants

Also consider a higher efficiency air filter—just make sure to select one that fits your system and doesn’t block airflow. And ask us about investing in an air cleaner, which can remove up to 99.9 percent of airborne contaminants.

What Is Indoor Air Quality? How Does It Affect My House?

Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within your home or commercial building. More specifically, it refers to the health and comfort of people within these indoor spaces. Polluted indoor air can increase your risk of health concerns, including:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Irritated eyes, nose, or throat

Also, remember to replace your carbon monoxide alarm batteries twice a year as an extra precaution against dangerous carbon monoxide leaks.

Do House Plants Actually Improve Indoor Air Quality?

There isn’t hard evidence saying “yes,” but there is a 1989 NASA study that indicates it’s highly possible. In this study, NASA found that plants reduced the number of airborne contaminants and improved oxygen levels in a closed, limited environment (chamber), which led scientists to believe that indoor plants play a much larger role in our homes than once realized. The top recommended plants for cleaner air and better oxygen levels include spider plants, Boston ferns, snake plants, and aloe vera.

Is a WI-FI Thermostat Really Worth the Cost?

Wi-Fi thermostats have some wonderful benefits and typically don’t cost that much more than standard thermostats. Here are a few reasons many homeowners are upgrading to these smart controls:

  • Reduced energy costs—Wi-Fi thermostats automatically adjust the temperature to maximize energy based on your family’s needs and schedule. They also analyze your heating and cooling usage to recommend improvements.
  • More control—Wi-Fi thermostats often let you control your home comfort from an app on your smartphone or tablet. It’s that easy.
  • Maintenance reminders—you’ll never miss another maintenance appointment with a Wi-Fi thermostat. It sends you a friendly reminder when it’s time.

How Do I Know If I Need a Humidifier or Dehumidifier?

Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are affordable systems that can make a huge difference in your home comfort, but they both do very different things. Homeowners invest in humidifiers to add moisture if their home becomes unbearably dry, especially in winter. Dry air can breed cold- and flu-causing germs, cause static electricity, and damage your wood furnishings. When installed, you’ll eliminate all these problems and save on energy bills because humidified air feels warmer (even when you set your thermostat lower).

Dehumidifiers do the opposite. They remove excess moisture from your home to prevent mold and mildew growth, reduce asthma and allergy symptoms, and protect your home against wood damage, whether that’s your flooring or furniture. With a dehumidifier, you can set your thermostat higher to save money and still feel comfortable because dry air feels cooler.

What Exactly Is Zoning? Do I Need It?

Zoning is a system that uses separate thermostats and ductwork dampers to divide your home into different sections. You then have the freedom to heat and cool each area of your home to suit your family’s unique comfort needs accordingly.

You might need zoning if your home often has hot and cold pockets that don’t even out. Or if your family is in a constant thermostat battle. Zoning takes care of both of these issues and can greatly improve your energy-efficiency—your system only runs when and where necessary instead of heating or cooling your entire home to one temperature.

Should I Leave My Thermostat Fan Running or Set It to “Auto”?

There are pros and cons to both the AUTO and ON setting. We recommend the ON setting if you’re trying to regulate uneven temperatures in your home. Another advantage is the continual filtering of the air within your home. With AUTO, your fan only runs when your system cycles.

What’s the Best Temperature to Set My Thermostat To?

Just like there’s no one size that fits all, there’s no one setting that fits all. We recommend setting your thermostat to the highest or lowest setting your family feels comfortable at, depending on the season.

Have Another Comfort Question? Just Ask!

Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or a seasoned one, you’re going to have questions about your comfort. That’s when you call the better choice in home comfort: Cliff Bergin & Associates. Our pros are here to help with whatever you need—from heating and cooling to plumbing and water service. Call 262-242-2456 or contact us today.