How Is Your Indoor Air Quality?

Air Quality BarrieHeating and Cooling Barrie

Indoor air quality refers to the air in and around a building and the health and comfort of the occupants. With so many of us spending most of our time indoors, up to 90%, between school, home and office. That’s why IAQ (indoor air quality) has become such a concern in recent years. It’s more alarming once you hear that the indoor air quality is on average 2x-5x more polluted then the outside air and as severe as 100x more polluted. Its no surprise that asthma and allergies have steadily been on the rise since the 1980s. Just to put the severity of the situation into perspective, the EPA has ranked indoor air quality as one of the top 5 environmental dangers.

Common signs and symptoms you have poor air quality:

The following signs and symptoms are indications that you have poor indoor air quality: headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, sneezing worsening allergies, asthma symptoms, coughing and/or sneezing, nausea, dizziness, eye, nose, throat and skin irritations.

Common sources of poor indoor air quality include:

The most common sources for poor indoor air quality include the following: tobacco products, mould or mildew, household cleaning products, scented products, pesticides and inadequate ventilation. Most of these can be easily avoided moving forward.

Easy solutions to quickly improve your IAQ:

Here are some quick tips to improve your IAQ and breath easier: suck up as many allergens and dust as much as you can using a vacuum with good suction and a HEPA filter. Ensure your fuel burning appliances are operating as efficiently as possible with a tune up by a qualified company technician. Use household products with low VOC’s and free of scents. Air purifiers and air cleaners are an easy and cost-effective solution to drastically improve your home’s IAQ. Improve ventilation, ensure your kitchen and bathroom fans are working properly and vented to the outdoors. HRVs are an efficient solution to exchange stale air in your home for fresh air outside. Humidifiers are another easy solution to manage humidity levels in the home and keep everyone breathing easier.


The short and long on furnace filters


We are coming across many homes using the $30-$40.00 1″ Merv 11-13 furnace filters. The higher the Merv rating the finer the particles that are caught in the filter, which seems to be common knowledge at this point. However, that also means more restriction to your airflow. Straight out of the packaging it will restrict your airflow more than a basic Merv 8 pleated filter ($10), so it doesn’t take much dust to start effecting the efficiency and life span on your forced air system.


If you have allergies, asthma or just simply hate the thought of airborne particles in your home we would recommend you stay away from the 1″ Merv11+ filters, and upgrade to a 5″ filter to allow for better airflow. We can install this simple 5″ media filter rack in most homes for as little as $250.00. Which will prolong the life of your equipment and allow higher efficiency. We offer a full line of clean air products that are high in filtration and easy on your HVAC system.

Media vs. Electronic Air Purifiers

Know the difference between media air purifiers and electronic air purifiers to know which air cleaner is best for your home.

Media Air purifiers allow the air to flow through the system catching large and small particles with one or more filters. These filters come in many different styles according to the machine’s efficiency, size and material used. Filters are generally made up of a cloth like material that is disposable and should be changed on an annual basis.

Electronic air filters can also be known as ionizers or electrostatic precipitators. These use high voltage power to positively charge and attract particles onto large filter slots. These should be washed 3-5 times a year and reused.

Here are some Pros and Cons of Media Air Purifiers.

Pros are, filters only need to be replaced once a year and can be done fairly easily. These systems require less maintenance than the electronic air purifiers as they only need to be cleaned once a year.

Although these systems can tackle minor allergies, if your family suffers from severe allergies, this may not be the type of system you would want to go with.

Here are some Pros and Cons of Electronic Air Purifiers.

As just mentioned, Electronic systems tackle severe allergies much better than a media system. There also are little to no ongoing filter costs.

Unfortunately, it has been stated that some Electronic air cleaners emit low levels of ozone. And if you are looking for low maintenance, this may not be the air purifier for you. Once they are slightly dirty, they lose their efficiency, hence they need to be cleaned about 3 – 5 times a year.

Thanks for watching, for more information on Air Purifiers, call Affordable Comfort Heating and Cooling at 705-503-HEAT.

How often should I change my air conditioner or furnace air filter?

Furnaces Barrie

A question often asked is, how often should an air conditioner or furnace air filter be changed? There is no exact answer to this because there are so many different attributes to take into account. Not all filters are the same technology, method or size. Also, it depends what size home you have and different attributes your family may have.

Some filters are washable, for instance – electronic air filters that have fin type sections can be washed by hand or even sometimes in your dishwasher and should be done every 3 to 4 months. If your air purifier uses media filters, then you may also be able to wash them out or vacuum them several times before having to replace completely. It is a general rule for standard one inch media filter should be checked once a month and changed every 3 months. Larger box filters can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months.

Again, these are just general guidelines and you may find you need to adjust times and methods of changing your air filter depending on your family’s needs. Some reasons you may want to clean/wash or change your air filter more often are if your home contains smokers, if someone in your home has mild to severe allergies, if air is circulating through the air filter more often than other homes.

Why Choose Us?

Find Out What Makes Affordable Comfort One of the Top 3 Barrie HVAC Companies.

Wide Range of Services

We offer a full range of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Air Quality Services to the Barrie, Ontario area.

24-7 Emergency Service

Whether your furnace, AC unit, or boiler breaks down at 12:00am or 12:00pm, we’re here to help!

0% Financing Options

We offer 0% financing options on many of the heating and cooling HVAC services we offer in Barrie & area.

BBB Accredited

Affordable Comfort Heating & Cooling is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ rating.

TSSA Quality Assessed

Affordable Comfort Heating & Cooling Barrie provides service quality assessed by the TSSA.

HRAI Member

Affordable Comfort is a member of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada.