image of an hvac air filter replacement

All homes have indoor air pollutants. These unwanted air particles are typically too small to see with the naked eye, but their adverse effects can be felt. Families concerned about indoor air quality should ensure that the filters are replaced regularly. Some can follow the manufacturer’s recommended schedule, but it is best to conduct monthly checks. There are homes that need to replace their HVAC air filters more frequently than the manufacturer’s recommendations. Ensure that the filters are compatible with the system and your needs as well. Check the MERV rating of the filter to determine which is the best match. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the MERV rating, a crucial factor to consider when buying HVAC filters.

What Is A MERV Rating?

Buying air filters can be a confusing task if you haven’t done it before. Virtually all products will say that they are the best. Conduct some research, and you will find out which ones are off the mark. Attempt to understand the specifications and familiarize yourself with what the numbers mean. You will encounter terms like “MERV,” which is the acronym of Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV is an essential indicator of the ability of an air filter to trap unwanted particles. Air filters with a high MERV rating mean they have better filtration capacity.

How MERV Ratings Work

disposable hvac air filters

The MERV rating ranges from 1 to 20. You would generally get a higher rating, but some applications need a mid-scale MERV rating. For instance, demanding structures like hospitals, cleanrooms, and nuclear power plants often require air filters with a MERV rating of 16 to 20. On the other hand, most homes usually need filters rated from MERV 5 to 13. Filters with a rating below MERV 5 will not be adequate in maintaining good indoor air quality, while those rated above MERV 13 might compromise the performance of your residential HVAC system.

How Is MERV Rating Determined?

Filters go through rigorous tests to find out their MERV rating. The process presents several particles in three various size ranges, including:

These particles are invisible to our eyes because we cannot identify particles smaller than 40 microns. As a comparison, human hair has a diameter of around 50 microns. The good news is that sensitive laboratory equipment can detect them. The tiny particles are sprayed through the filters and counted after. The worst test score determines the MERV, as this rating is meant to measure the filter’s “minimum efficiency.” A product should catch 95% or more of the particles to qualify as a MERV 16 filter.

MERV & Your Indoor Air Quality

Your family’s health and comfort are significantly affected by the indoor air quality. Consider converting to a filter with a higher MERV score if you experience frequent allergic reactions. This way, the filter can remove more air pollutants, reducing common allergy symptoms. Moreover, the home occupants will also complain less about headaches, rashes, runny nose, eye irritation, sore throat, and persistent sneezing. The filter upgrade also serves as a protection from damage caused by bacteria and dust. There are fewer periods of illness, and contagions are avoided. A high-MERV filter is also highly beneficial if you live with someone who has a weak immune system.

Your Energy Use & MERV Ratings

Air filters require smaller holes to catch more airborne particles. The openings get smaller as time passes, making it difficult for air to pass through. As a result, the HVAC system will use more energy to operate well. This is the reason it isn’t recommended to use a MERV 20 filter in homes not built to deal with this filtration level. Energy bills will spike, and HVAC systems might suffer from an early breakdown unless you make adjustments. Filters for residential use tend to be between MERV 8 and 13. They are sufficient in the maintenance of decent air quality in your home without drastically increasing your energy expenses. If you are unsure of the type of HVAC filter that best fits your home, you can consult a professional HVAC contractor.

How Your HVAC Air Filter Impacts The Condition of Your HVAC System

dirty hvac air filter

All forced-air HVAC systems come with a recommended air filter MERV rating. Therefore, homeowners should closely follow the recommended values to prevent undesirable complexities. Low-rated filters might be cheaper, but they can result in expensive system problems down the road. These air filters do not have enough capacity to catch pollutants. Dust and bacteria will accumulate in the ductwork. Moreover, HVAC system efficiency will drop while maintenance prices will rise. On the other hand, going beyond the recommended rating will decrease airflow, quicken wear, and shorten the system’s service life.

Should I Buy Filters With High MERV Ratings?

People are often drawn to higher ratings when it comes to hotel designations, product reviews, and others. This mostly leads to better experiences, but it isn’t true at all times. Higher doesn’t always translate to better where it concerns MERV ratings. Filters with a high MERV score might be better at trapping bacteria, pollen, and pet hair. However, they also stop air from moving at ideal speeds throughout the heating and cooling system. Poor airflow can spike energy consumption, increase monthly costs, and reduce indoor comfort. Compatibility is crucial, so you need to match the system with the most fitting air filters.

What MERV Rating Should My Filter Have?

Every heating and cooling system is unique, so it can be a challenge to make exact recommendations. Check the owner’s manual about this matter. Most homes should do well with a filter rated between MERV 8 and 13. They can remove most of the undesired particles without burdening the system. You can get better results with all components working well together. When your home has few occupants and pets, a MERV 8 filter should be enough. However, a MERV 11 filter is better suited in a house with more people and some pets. A MERV 13 filter might be needed if there are people with a weak immune system in the home for their health and well-being.


It is crucial to consider the MERV rating when selecting air filters. It is an indication of the worst-case performance when the product is met with microscopic impurities. Low ratings are unwanted since they are inadequate for air cleaning. Highly-rated filters aren’t necessarily ideal because they can cause adverse impacts on incompatible systems. Mid-range filters with MERV 8 to 13 ratings do well for most homes. However, the best one still depends on each unique home.

Call Tower Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

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Tower Energy provides outstanding HVAC services throughout Hartford County, Connecticut. We have highly skilled and the best professionally certified technicians who can conduct excellent heating and cooling tune-ups, installations, repairs, and replacements. Each of our friendly techs has the right tools, extensive knowledge, and years of experience to service any HVAC system correctly.

Our company has the most affordable HVAC service prices in the locality. Rest assured, our maintenance services can improve your comfort, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and more while reducing your home’s energy costs. When you need to replace or repair your HVAC system, we can recommend the best solution that best fits your home and budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee. Book your next service appointment and give Tower Energy a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

Contact us now or call us at (860) 677-7347 to find out more.

image of dog on carpet depicting indoor air quality

All homeowners want to have a safe and comfy home. Therefore, they will do all that they can to achieve this. Some will opt to install a carpet because it provides the look they want while adding insulation and reducing noise to their homes. You can also choose from many beautiful patterns and colors that will surely match your home’s interior design. However, this does not mean that carpets do not come with disadvantages as well. Understanding that carpets are bad for you will ensure that you make better and smarter decisions when it comes to all things carpet in your home.
Read on to find out why carpet is bad for you and how carpets impact your home’s indoor air quality.

How Do Carpets Affect Indoor Air Quality?

You might think that carpets are made from natural materials because they feel soft and plush. Truthfully, most carpets are made of synthetic fibers. Many manufacturers like using these materials because they are cheap and stain-resistant. Unfortunately, toxic chemicals are utilized when carpets are manufactured and installed. If these chemicals are released, continuous exposure can pose a risk to your health. Older carpets can also be harmful as these trap dust, pet dander, mold, bacteria, and other debris that are not easily removed.

What Is Indoor Air Quality?

image of house and indoor air pollutants

Indoor air quality, or IAQ, is the state of the air circulating within the building. Poor air quality means that your health and well-being suffer while you occupy these areas. It can cause you to get sick and feel irritable as well. Depending on several factors, the symptoms from having poor IAQ may be prominent immediately or slowly emerge as time passes. It can also range from mild, moderate to severe. Air pollutants can have interior or exterior sources, so it is best to stay vigilant. Knowing what commonly causes poor IAQ and how you can minimize them are essential in keeping a safe environment for your family.

What Impacts Indoor Air Quality?

IAQ is most affected by the structure’s ventilation. A home that has poor ventilation is bound to have poor IAQ as well. Most modern homes have an airtight design so that the cold or warm air from their HVAC units do not leak out. The HVAC air filters in their system are cleaned or replaced regularly to manage air quality. However, this alone is not enough as dust, dirt, and other contaminants continue to get trapped and accumulate in your home.

Harmful chemicals might also be produced by interior sources and these cannot be vented outside. You also might have high humidity levels indoors, which can encourage mold and bacteria to grow. This can cause problems with your health if you leave them be. Other common indoor pollutants include paints, pressed wood products, cleaning products, and tobacco products.

Is Carpet Bad For Your Indoor Air Quality?

Close-up view of young woman with allergies depicting indoor air pollution

Carpets can worsen your IAQ. However, this does not mean you can’t do anything to combat this situation. Knowing how to clean carpets and how to keep the air clean means you can have carpets in your home without worry. After all, carpet can become a huge problem when you leave them to gather dust and other contaminants.

When this happens, you and your family will have symptoms pertaining to respiratory illnesses. You might notice that you cough and sneeze a lot, have a runny nose, or have trouble breathing properly. If you have a pre-existing condition like asthma, you might even suffer more than usual because of the carpet’s dust and debris.

You might even suffer from allergies when exposed to these airborne particles. Some people are highly sensitive to dust mites or pet dander. These can cause allergic reactions, such as skin irritations, continuous sneezing, or high fever.

Our body has a defense system that protects us from harmful particles found in our immediate environment. However, it can weaken as time passes and when it is overburdened with a toxic environment. Babies and toddlers also frequently crawl on the floor and are more likely to come in contact with the carpets and their pollutants than adults.

Steps To Take Before Buying Carpet

Before you purchase a carpet, it is a must to conduct the necessary safety measures to ensure that you can better manage your home’s indoor pollution. Here are some of the things you need to think about if you have your heart set on getting a carpet for your home:

1. Research The Materials And Construction

couple researching different carpeting and impact on iaq

Look into more than the design, color, and cost when choosing a carpet. Research on the different kinds of carpet materials. It is always recommended that you go for natural fibers. However, if this is beyond your budget, you can opt for the least toxic synthetic one.

2. Look For Info About Their VOC Emissions

Find out if there is any information about the carpet’s emission of volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Most carpets release VOCs to some degree. However, some carpets are still eco-friendlier than others. Find out which brands have less toxic carpets for their consumers and go for these green brands instead.

3. Stay Somewhere Else During Installation

image of couple at hotel during carpet installation

Carpets are installed using foul-smelling adhesives that emit harmful particles. Therefore, opt for alternatives to keep your carpet in place. You and your family should also stay somewhere else so that you do not inhale the unpleasant smell and poor IAQ during carpet installation. These should clear out after a few days.

4. Have Proper Ventilation In Affected Areas

Pollutant removal can go faster if you have proper ventilation at home. Do this by opening the windows in the affected area so that fresh air can circulate and take the contaminants outside. Open all exhaust fans around your home as well.

5. Read And Follow The Care Instructions Carefully

All carpets have different maintenance guides that depend on the materials used and their construction. Therefore, read the manufacturer care instructions and follow them carefully. Make sure you clean the carpet regularly, especially the areas you tend to pass through a lot.


Carpets can be a good flooring option depending on particular situations. However, it needs to be taken care of and cleaned properly and regularly. Otherwise, it will contribute to poor indoor air quality in your house. Contact your local, trusted HVAC technician to know more about how you can keep your home safe and comfy even when you have a carpet installed.

Call Tower Energy For Superior Indoor Air Quality Solutions

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When you need superior heating and cooling services in Hartford County, Connecticut, do not hesitate to call Tower Energy. We have professionally certified and highly trained technicians who can help you with your HVAC and indoor air quality needs. All our skilled techs are knowledgeable and experienced to conduct accurate services like maintenance, replacements, installations, and repairs.

Tower Energy has highly competitive and affordable HVAC service rates in the area. We offer tune-up services that guarantee to enhance your IAQ and comfort while increasing your efficiency and reducing your energy bills. We can also help you find the most practical and budget-friendly solution to your HVAC repair or replacement needs. All of our works come with a guarantee. Book an appointment with Tower Energy and call us today for a free, in-home estimate.

Contact us now or call us at (860) 677-7347 to find out more.

image of a homeowner replacing an hvac air filter to improve indoor air quality

Indoor air might look like it’s fresh and clean, but, if you look closely, it may have tiny particles mixed in with it. You might’ve noticed this in direct sunlight. These particulates are only micrometers in size, so they can go inside narrow entrances easily. We breathe these particles without noticing, and they go deep into our lungs. Unfortunately, these pollutants can cause your health to deteriorate.

The HVAC air filters in your heating and air conditioning system can help improve your indoor air quality. These air filters block the particulate matter from entering your home and the air that you breathe. However, they might not work as they should. This article will discuss the different reasons your HVAC filter is not improving your indoor air quality.

7 Reasons Your Filter Isn’t Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

Your home’s HVAC filter might be underperforming due to the following:

1. No HVAC Filter

image of an hvac air filter

Did you recently move? If so, the HVAC system is most likely in tiptop shape, and all the parts are accounted for. However, you might also have noted that there are excess dust and other particulates in the air. Check if the filters are in place in the HVAC unit. The previous homeowner might have forgotten to put the filter in. Without a filter, the contaminants pass through easily. This will lead to a lot of dust and dirt accumulation in your system’s coils, ducts, blowers, and home.

2. Incorrect HVAC Filter Installation

Having an HVAC filter alone is not enough to improve your indoor air quality if it is not installed correctly. Consequently, your high-quality air filter will not work as effectively. A small opening is enough for the particulates to go around the air filter. Therefore, despite having an air filter in place, the indoor air quality will still suffer. You can replace it as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. However, your home’s air quality will not improve unless you do something about installing the air filter properly. Contact your trusted HVAC technician to help you fix this issue.

3. Insufficient HVAC Unit Runtime

image of a gas furnace

Filters are static installations. Therefore, air needs to flow from one side to the other for it to work as it should. The HVAC system needs to have enough runtime to force an adequate amount of air through the filters.

An HVAC system that is too large can short cycle. This means that it reaches the set temperature quicker, so the system switches off immediately. The HVAC system does not run long enough for the filter to do its job correctly. Ensure that a professional HVAC technician installs the correct HVAC size for your home. Check the fan settings of your thermostat as well. Make sure that it is “ON” instead of “AUTO” so that it runs longer. If you are not satisfied with this, try a standalone air filter. Discuss your issues with an expert so you can further improve your indoor air quality.

4. Insufficient HVAC Airflow

Sometimes, your HVAC runs sufficiently, but there isn’t enough airflow. As a result, the filtration volume decreases. This issue is usually caused by undersized return ducts and dirty air filters. The latter happens when homeowners do not subscribe to a regular HVAC filter replacement schedule. Air cannot pass through easily if the filter is clogged. When this happens, airflow will decrease and air pressure will increase. System efficiency will also be affected negatively. Make sure to change the filters frequently so that it can do its job properly.

5. Low MERV Rating

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, is the filter’s ability to capture particles. The higher the rating, the better it can trap certain types of particles. Therefore, you must pay attention to what MERV rating your filter has. Those with low ratings might be cheaper, but it also means that they are not as effective as those with higher MERV ratings. Consider this the next time you are buying filters. It is worth investing in filters with high ratings if it means you and your family breathe cleaner air when indoors.

6. Failure To Filter Outdoor Air For Mechanical Ventilation

HVAC systems will only work at its best if they are installed correctly. It won’t matter if you have a good HVAC brand if the installers make an installation mistake. For instance, the outdoor air duct might have been connected to the system’s return side. This bypasses the air filter. This mistake does not happen often, but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you. A highly trained and experienced technician can fix this problem immediately.

7. Incorrect Filter Placement

It is essential to know how your HVAC unit works and how the air flows. This way, you can determine the correct place to put your air filter. Incorrect or sub-optimal filter placement will lead to poor performance. This might seem like a little thing, but even the best HVAC make and model can underperform when it is in the wrong location.


The air filter is essential in achieving high indoor air quality. If you notice frequent respiratory issues like coughs and sneezes in your family, you might want to look into the air filter of your HVAC unit. It might have one or more of the problems listed above. Prevent any issues by hiring a reliable HVAC contractor to assist you. Make sure that your system receives regular checks and maintenance as well so that you breathe in clean indoor air at all times.

Contact Tower Energy For Your Heating & Cooling Needs

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Tower Energy provides excellent HVAC services throughout Hartford County, Connecticut. We hire professionally certified and highly trained technicians who provide superior heating and cooling services, including repairs, tune-ups, installations, and replacements. All our techs are equipped with the proper skills, tools, experience, and knowledge to conduct accurate and prompt HVAC services.

Our company guarantees affordable cooling and heating service prices in the area. Our maintenance services will help increase your home’s comfort and energy-efficiency, as well as reduce your monthly cooling bills. If you need to replace or repair your current system, we can help you find the best make and model that will best fit your home and budget. All our services are backed with a guarantee. Your satisfaction is our priority. Schedule a service appointment and call Tower Energy today. We offer free, in-home consultations.

Contact us now or call us at (860) 677-7347 to find out more.

pets at home

The survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association states that about 85 million families in the United States own a pet. Pets are known to help manage stress and keep people company. Numerous studies confirm how pets boost both mental and physical health.

Pets are oftentimes treated as part of the family, roaming wherever they want throughout the house. Unfortunately, fur and dander also spread around the house this way. This can result in poor indoor air quality, which can trigger allergies, colds, and other respiratory problems. A simple solution to this issue is to find the right HVAC air filter for homes with pets.

What Does An HVAC Air Filter Do?

homeowner changing out his hvac air filter

An air filter blocks airborne particles, such as pollen, dirt, fur, and dust before they can enter through your HVAC system. Air passes through easily, and only the contaminants are left behind. This way, the system remains clean and longer and will have a longer lifespan as well. Reducing air pollutants also means that indoor air quality improves. It is suggested that the air filters be replaced at least once a month so that the unit will remain operating at a high-efficiency level.

What Is MERV Rating?

The minimum efficiency rating value or MERV is used to gauge an air filter’s ability to block contaminants. The higher the MERV rating is, the better the filter. However, increased performance also means that it is more expensive.

MERV ratings 1-4 filters can block fibers, pollen, and dust mites at best. These are at the lowest level and has the lowest amount of protection. On the other hand, MERV 5-8 filters can also block dust and mold spores, making them more useful. There is also the MERV 9-12

At the lowest level as MERV 1-4 filters provide the lowest amount of protection. They can block dust mites, fibers, and pollen, but not much else. MERV 5-8 filters can catch all these while also stopping dust and mold spores, so they are much more useful. Whereas, MERV 9-12 can capture smaller allergens like pet dander. This will help people suffering from mild allergies to breathe better. The highest rating is MERV 13-16. These air filters can capture bacteria and viruses. Therefore, they are best to use for people who have severe respiratory issues.

Excess Fur and Hair Means Replacing The Air Filter More Frequently

All homes tackle their own indoor pollution problems. However, households that have pets have more problems in their hands. The more pets there are, the more it affects the home’s indoor air quality. Pet parents should vacuum as much of the fur as possible – off the sofas, beds, and other surfaces.

They should also replace the air filters more often than what the manufacturer recommends. The high number of contaminants in the air means that the filter will get dirty faster. This is especially the case if you have long-haired dogs at home as these breeds tend to shed more.

Kinds Of HVAC Filters

pollutants on hvac air filter

It is also vital to understand the various types of air filters used for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Being able to distinguish their strengths and weaknesses will help you know which ones will work best for pet owners. This way, you can improve your indoor air quality as well as ensure your system’s longevity.

1. Disposable Air Filters

If you have no other choice but to buy the cheapest filter in the market, then disposable ones are the way to go. However, this kind usually has low MERV ratings. This means that they aren’t as effective at capturing airborne contaminants. It might not be the best, but if you have no choice but to make do, just keep in mind that you need to replace disposable filters at a more frequent rate than usual to ensure its effectivity. Thus, the high maintenance cost negates the initial low cost of disposable air filters.

2. HEPA Filters

woman experiencing allergies at home

High-efficiency particulate air filters, abbreviated as HEPA filters, have passed through a strict process to ensure quality standards. These can block up to 99.7 percent of debris that’s the size of 0.3 microns in width or larger. This means that pet hair and other common pollutants can be blocked easily. If someone in your household has respiratory problems, it is a good idea to use HEPA filters. Make sure to replace it regularly to prevent any blockages.

3. Electronic Air Filters

If you are looking for something that offers more protection than HEPA filters, look into electronic air filters. This kind can capture particles that are 0/1 microns or larger. However, these filters can create low-level noise when pet hair gets entangled in them. They are also more expensive compared to HEPA filters, so be prepared to spend more to get your hands on these.


Pet parents need to take care of themselves. This way, they can also effectively take care of their beloved pets. Any issues arising from pet fur or dander might lead to sickness that might get in the way of taking care of others, much more their pets. You can prevent these from happening by using the right air filters on your HVAC unit. Ensure that you use ones that can capture most airborne contaminants. It is best to avoid using disposable filters unless you have a limited budget. Also, make sure that the filters you buy have high MERV ratings to provide you with more protection from contaminants.

Call Tower Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

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For high-quality heating and cooling services in Hartford County, Connecticut, look no further than Tower Energy. Our company has qualified and certified technicians who offer superior HVAC services, including maintenance, installations, and repairs. Rest assured that all our technicians are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and tools to correctly and quickly service your HVAC unit.

Tower Energy provides the most competitive heating and cooling service prices in the area. Our tune-up services help increase your home’s comfort level as well as your unit’s energy efficiency. We can also help you find a replacement system that is within your budget. All our work is guaranteed to ensure your satisfaction. Book an appointment by calling Tower Client today. We provide free, in-home estimates.

Contact us now or call us at (860) 677-7347 to find out more.

man in gas mask depicting indoor air pollution

Despite how clean you manage to keep your home, there are always ways to make it even cleaner and safer. Indoor air quality may not be something you have ever thought about. However, now might be a good time to focus more on it. Various household products that you use may be causing more problems than not. You might be surprised to know that many of the products you have trusted for years are actually not as safe as you think they are. It is important to learn how some commonly used household products can produce indoor air pollution and what alternative options you have.

Indoor Air Quality

Also referred to as IAQ, indoor air quality is the condition of the air within or surrounding a structure. This includes a commercial building or a home. IAQ is associated with the health and comfort of the people in that structure. When indoor air quality is good, the air inside is safer and easier to breathe.

Indoor air quality is particularly important for a home, especially when there are young children present, elderly residents, or people who have compromised immune systems. If there are high levels of pollutants and/or moisture in the indoor air, it could cause increased risks of health problems including respiratory issues and allergies. This is why both homes and commercial buildings need to adhere to IAQ standards.

If you want to eliminate issues with indoor air quality, it is important to understand how pollutants enter the air inside your house. You could actually be using household products that are bringing down the cleanliness levels of your indoor air.

Household Products That Affect Indoor Air Quality

Household Cleaning Products

cleaning products and indoor air quality

Many cleaning products on the market are made with chemicals that can negatively affect both your health and the environment. Cleaning products that contain anything from ammonia, bleach, powerful synthetic fragrances, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) lower the indoor air quality in a residential space. These chemicals can result in a strong reaction, especially if you mix them with other chemicals.

Solution: By choosing household cleaning products that are made with eco-friendly ingredients and avoiding those that are formulated with harmful chemicals, you can naturally improve your indoor air quality. If possible, research more about how to clean with natural ingredients like baking soda or vinegar.


paint and VOCs

The fact that you can smell fresh paint means that you are probably breathing in something that is bad for your health. Many of the varieties of paint that are still in use contain VOCs. These contaminants are full of carbon compounds, which can easily transform into vapors. When these intermingle with the air, the reaction with other elements creates ozone. This can amplify air pollution. As the paint dries, it continues to release VOCs into the air, and this is the pollution that you breathe in.

Solution: Choose paint that contains low or zero VOCs to keep your indoor air clean. Your lungs will thank you for it.

Products In Aerosol Spray Form

Aerosol Sprays

You can purchase many products that are designed as aerosol sprays. These include hairspray and other hair treatments, shaving cream, deodorant, and fragrances. Even aerosol cooking oil spray is suspicious because of chemicals that are added. This includes artificial flavors, propellants like butane, isobutane, and propane, and a variety of foam-preventing silicone.

The problem with aerosol sprays is that they are formulated to send out tiny liquid droplets into the air. Sometimes, this liquid consists of harmful ingredients that are not safe to use. About 30 years ago, people exposed aerosol sprays as polluting substances that were also harmful to the environment.

Solution: If possible, avoid using aerosol sprays, or limit their use to avoid sending irritants into the air. You can find many products in other forms that are safer to use and have little to no effects on your home’s IAQ.

Household Air Fresheners

We have all reached for a can of air freshener to eliminate a bad odor, but did you know that air freshener also contains ingredients that are harmful? Certain air fresheners can release over 100 various chemicals. Many of those chemicals can be harmful to health or even toxic. These chemicals can also have reactions with other substances in your indoor air and that can result in more dangerous compounds being produced. Consequently, some people may cough or sneeze after inhaling even a small amount of air freshener. If the spray touches the skin, it could also cause irritation, redness, and itchiness.

It might seem counter-intuitive that a product that is designed to make the air ‘fresher’ can actually cause problems with indoor air quality. However, it is not shocking. Air fresheners are actually made with fragrances, propellants, and various kinds of additives that all lend a hand in reducing IAQ.

Solution: Use natural ingredients to get rid of bad odors and improve indoor air quality.

Candles In The Home

paraffin wax candles

Many people think that candles are innocent, but they can also be harmful to your health. Fortunately, not all candles are harmful — only those that contain paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is a by-product of coal oil, shale, or petroleum. By themselves, they are most likely harmless. However,  when they are lit they begin to disperse carcinogenic compounds into the air. A particular study showed that the fumes emitted by paraffin wax candles were connected to lung cancer and asthma.

Solution: Do not use paraffin wax candles often. If you use candles on a regular basis, try to find ones made with natural ingredients like beeswax.

Dry Cleaning Clothes

image of dry cleaning

Dry cleaning uses an organic solvent to remove dirt, bad odors, and stains. The solutions used in dry cleaning can pose risks, especially for those who have pre-existing medical conditions that involve the heart, lungs, liver, or kidneys. PERC (perchloroethylene) is the most alarming type of ingredient used in dry cleaning. This is a variant of VOC and it can be particularly problematic if exposure to the chemical occurs for a prolonged period.

Solution: If you must have your clothes dry cleaned, be sure to unwrap them outdoors. Let them sit outside for some time so that the dangerous chemicals can disperse. Furthermore, Choose a trusted dry cleaning company and don’t be afraid to say something if you notice that your dry-cleaned clothes have a strong smell.


To manage indoor air quality properly, it is important to be actively aware of the various products that could result in IAQ issues. Keeping your indoor air safe is good for your personal safety and health. It is also necessary to properly maintain the environment. Little steps can produce big differences. Being actively involved will make sure that your home and the people who live in it are kept safe and comfortable.

Call Tower Energy To Learn How To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

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Tower Energy provides outstanding cooling and heating services in Hartford County, Connecticut, and the surrounding areas. Our team consists of the best NATE certified specialists who can offer you exceptional HVAC installations, repairs, replacements, and tune-ups. Each team member has years of experience and superior knowledge to service your HVAC properly.

Tower Energy guarantees heating and cooling costs that are the most competitive in the area. Our services can elevate your comfort levels, improve your indoor air quality, and improve your energy efficiency, all while bringing down your cooling and heating costs.

If you are in need of HVAC repairs or a replacement HVAC system, we can recommend the perfect choice for you that also fits with your budget. Our work is backed with a satisfaction guarantee. For a free in-home estimate or to schedule an appointment, give Tower Energy a call today.

Contact us now or call us at (860) 677-7347 to find out more.

image of a cat and dog on couch with dander and indoor air quality

Having a pet can help improve your life quality. Canine and feline friends give socialization and comfort to many people around the world. There is no doubt that caring for a pet can be a therapeutic and rewarding endeavor. However, the indoor air quality in your home can suffer when you have furry animals in your home.

In this article, we share some simple tips you can do to improve indoor air quality. These tips will also help you prevent the air quality issues that come with owning a pet. This way, you can ensure that your living environment becomes a comfortable and safe space that everyone in your household can enjoy.

Why You Should Think About Your IAQ When You Have A Pet

A building’s indoor air quality is affected by many different things. For example, you might have an enclosed space that utilizes a central AC. Using a lot of spray cleaners to clean around this close area will severely affect the air you breathe in. Having pets at home works with the same principle. Instead of harmful chemicals, airborne particles like fur and animal dander will be circulated throughout your home. Unfortunately, these can block your HVAC system and affect its overall efficiency and effectiveness. It is, therefore, vital that pet parents work harder than those who do not have pets to achieve clean and breathable indoor air.

Some of the adverse effects that airborne particulates from your pets can have include aggravating any existing respiratory illnesses or pet allergies. Excess animal dander in the air can further damage the lungs of an individual who is suffering from asthma or COPD. When you work hard to keep the air clean, you not only protect your family. You safeguard your guests as well.

The First Step To High Indoor Air Quality Is Superior HVAC Filtration

homeowner changing out his hvac air filter

One of the best ways pet owners can do to enhance their home’s air quality is to make sure that your HVAC system is equipped with excellent air filtration. Air filters trap small particles that would otherwise be circulated and inhaled by the occupants of your home. It is vital that you routinely check, clean, or replace the air filters. A dirty air filter means that the accumulated debris is re-circulated throughout your home. It won’t be able to work as effectively as well.

A clogged air filter can also lead to your HVAC system not working as it should. Even worse, it can lead to a breakdown. If you have one or more pets at home, your HVAC air filter likely needs to be replaced at least once every 30 to 45 days. It is recommended that you conduct frequent checks and assessments to determine when you need to replace your HVAC air filter.

Make Sure Your Pet Receives Regular Grooming

pet grooming for better indoor air quality

It is vital that your pet receive regular grooming. Brush your dog or cat’s fur to lessen shedding. It would help if you also cleaned out kennels, litter boxes, and other areas that your animal uses. This way, your lungs do not need to fight off as many particulates as there are less visible pet messes. It is also recommended that you use a high-power vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. Even if you don’t have carpets, you can utilize the vacuum on surfaces like drapes, rugs, and couches. These areas are notorious for collecting hairs, pet dander, and other allergens.

Use UV Lights And Dehumidifiers For Optimum Indoor Air Quality

image of a woman enjoying clean indoor air at home

You can also use UV lighting to purify and cleanse the air inside your home. Our pets can carry germs that can be transmitted to the surfaces around our house. Even a quick walk outside can result in your pet’s paw being covered in potentially harmful microorganisms. These can them transfer to everything your pet walks on, multiply, and be airborne.

UV lights can help kill bacteria, mold spores, and other contaminants before they spread around your house. An HVAC technician can install them into your ducts or near your unit’s evaporator coil. Since they are placed outside of your living space, rest assured that UV lights will not directly affect all human or animal residents in your house.

High humidity in your home should also be addressed immediately. Keep in mind that the excess moisture in the air creates the perfect breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria to grow. A few signs that your home is suffering from high humidity include water stains on your walls and ceilings and fogged up windows. A whole-house dehumidifier will work in tandem with your HVAC system to better control the moisture in your home. You should also consult with your local, trusted HVAC contractor about installing a whole-house air purifier in your home.

Why Regular HVAC Ductwork Inspections Are Essential

You must also be proactive in having your ductwork regularly inspected. The network of ducts inside your home is also notorious for being a breeding ground for mold. It is also where a lot of the dust, dander, and other pollutants congregate. When parts of the duct are damaged, it can significantly hamper the overall efficiency and operations of your HVAC unit. It can lead to a myriad of problems, such as high levels of humidity. Making sure that your ductwork is routinely inspected will not only improve your IAQ. It will also safeguard your health and well-being.

HVAC System Maintenance To Ensure High Efficiency

Along with ductwork inspections, ensure that your HVAC system receives proper and regular maintenance as well. These thorough checks and tune-up services can help extend the lifespan of your HVAC equipment, so make sure they are done at least once a year. HVAC maintenance can also make sure that you get the most out of your system. It will also help keep the temperature and humidity control at optimum functionality. When you have a well-maintained HVAC unit and an excellent filtration system, you can be sure that your home will have high indoor air quality even as you share your home with your beloved pets.

Call Tower Energy To Explore More Indoor Air Quality Solutions

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When you need high-quality heating and cooling services in Hartford County, Connecticut, do not hesitate to call Tower Energy. Rest assured that our NATE certified technicians can conduct HVAC services correctly and quickly, without leaving any mess behind. Our excellent services include boiler repairs, AC tune-ups, mini-split installations, furnace replacements, among others.

Tower Energy guarantees affordable HVAC service prices in the area. Our check and maintenance services can help enhance your home comfort, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality. All of these can be achieved while also reducing your energy costs. We will make sure to provide you with the most viable solutions for your specific home comfort needs. Your satisfaction is important to us, and that’s why we back all our work with a warranty. Book an appointment with Tower Energy today. We offer free, no-obligation, in-home consultations.

Contact us now or call us at (860) 677-7347 to find out more.