HOW THE RIGHT HVAC SYSTEM CAN IMPROVE YOUR HOME’S HEALTH
HVAC contractors aren’t typically classified as healthcare practitioners, but their expertise matters when it comes to our health and wellness. Studies show that we spend 90% of our time in a built environment. The degree of time spent working, playing, sleeping or simply existing varies from person to person. However, there’s a tight connection between physical wellness and the healthiness of your home. Your home and its HVAC system play a role in conditioning your health before your regular visit with your physician.
Spending 90% of our time indoors means less exposure to outside air — for better or worse. On one hand, when inside we are not victim to extreme conditions in temperature or air quality. On the other hand, heating and cooling systems must be chosen with care as their performance impacts indoor air quality and comfort.
LESS DUCTS, LESS DUST
Conventional central air conditioners deliver conditioned air through long and bulky duct runs that can harbor bacteria, mold, dust mites and other debris. Additionally, with central systems the ductwork supplying air to the rooms often becomes leaky. This means more air is being pulled back into the air handler than is being supplied. This causes negative air pressure that sucks unwelcome outdoor pollutants into your home.
To eliminate these perils, your HVAC contractor can install a better-engineered split-ductless or ducted heat-pump system. Ductless units include multiple options like wall-, floor- and ceiling-mounted, available in different styles and features. Ductless units are physically in the space they’re conditioning and provide supply air and return air equally for a healthier, balanced airflow. The high-performance, low-profile ducted units are smaller than traditional air handlers and typically serve one room each, attached to short runs of ductwork. Properly sized systems with less ductwork lead to better air circulation and distribution for a healthier environment.
Another way split-ductless indoor units improve indoor air quality is through continuous air filtration. Each indoor unit is equipped with its own washable filter to catch harmful allergens, bacteria, viruses and particles. Ask your contractor about the variety of filters available from manufacturers like Mitsubishi Electric for high-quality split-ductless units. Examples include nano-platinum filters, anti-allergy blue enzyme filters and nature-inspired catechin filters, which also offer an anti-microbial effect by incorporating a bioflavonoid derived from green tea. There’s even a charcoal filter for neutralizing unpleasant odors. These filters can last up to 10 years, which saves money compared to filters that need to be replaced every month for best results.
When your contractor installs a better-engineered heat pump, you can expect a quieter HVAC system in addition to better indoor air quality. Your health, cognition and overall sense of well-being won’t miss the unwelcome and unexpected sounds of conventional central air-conditioning systems that loudly turn on and off. Outdoor units for high-performance split-ducted and ductless heat pump systems operate at whisper-quiet sound levels as low as 58 dB(A) and are much better options than getting distracted by unnecessary background noise. Central air handlers can operate with vibrating vents and wooshes of air, causing interrupted sleep, while the split-ducted and ductless units operate as low as 20 dB(A) in “quiet” mode.
HEALTHY HOME, COMFORTABLE HOME
Happily, the HVAC systems your contractor can install to make your home healthier will also improve your thermal comfort.
Conventional air conditioners always run at full power. Once they reach a comfortable temperature (or “setpoint”) they typically stop only to start again, sometimes within an hour, as rooms become uncomfortable. Besides wasting energy, this starting and stopping leads to temperature swings and diminishes the system’s ability to remove moisture, which leaves your home more vulnerable to condensation and unhealthy mold.
More advanced split-ductless and ducted heat-pump systems are equipped with INVERTER-driven compressors, which run all the time, but speed up and slow down at just the right levels to constantly maintain the setpoint in each zone of your home. A zone can include one room or several, depending upon your home’s design. Whether ductless or ducted, this means these systems use no more than the precise amount of energy needed to keep every part of your home at the temperature you deem comfortable for that particular part (zone).
Mitsubishi Electric systems accomplish this through an array of innovative features and technology. Advanced user control capabilities through the kumo cloud® app allows homeowners to adjust system settings at the push of a button, or by voice commands using the Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant. The optional 3D i-see Sensor™ in ceiling-recessed or wall-mounted indoor units provides dynamic comfort by reading a room’s thermal profile and automatically adjusting temperature and airflow based on occupancy.
All of these features combine to offer the most pleasant user experience possible and an improved quality of life for homeowners.