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Santa Barbara Indoor Air Quality

McCormack Heating & Air Conditioning

What is Indoor Air Quality?

Air pollution surrounds us daily. exhaust, smog, indoor air. Indoor air? Yes, indoor air quality is important to your health, and in today's homes, the air can be up to 70% more polluted than the outside air. The American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90% of their time indoors. So clean, healthy indoor air is important.

What causes of Indoor Air Pollution?

Many everyday, unsuspected household items contribute to poor indoor air quality. Chemical compounds found in common building and decorating items such as glue, plywood and carpet constantly "off-gas," or emit fumes. The components used to make household items can reach harmful levels if indoor air quality is not maintained.

Newer, more energy-efficient homes do not "breathe" like older homes. Things like weather-stripping and storm doors keep indoor air in, and outdoor air out. This provides energy savings, but the limited exchange of outdoor and indoor air can mean a build-up of contaminants inside your home.

Health Benefits Of Clean Air

Allergies and asthma are two health problems that can be helped with clean indoor air. When airborne irritants are removed, allergy and asthma sufferers often find relief from their symptoms. Even healthy people who have never suffered from allergies can benefit from clean air. Dust, smoke and other particles float around in the air for limited times, then they fall out of the air. This is why drapes and furniture gather dust, and wallpaper begins to look dingy. Removing airborne dust particles reduces the amount of exposure your respiratory system is subjected to, allowing it to remain in a more healthy, strong condition.

How Can I Improve Indoor Air?

One way to clean indoor air and keep the indoor air quality at a high level is with an air cleaner. An air cleaner can remove dust, smoke and other particles that settle in your house and age your furnishings. If you remove these pollutants, you also remove major cause of dirt in your home. Even though all comfort systems have an air filter, this only protects your equipment from dust and large particles. It is not designed to clean indoor air.

Air cleaners are designed to take harmful particles out of the air and improve indoor air quality and come in a variety of types and styles.

Media filters remove many airborne pollutants, including dust and pollen.

Media filters are effective in removing these larger particles, but they must be replaced periodically.

Electronic air cleaners, on the other hand, remove smaller and many more airborne particles than media filters. Electronic air cleaners can even remove mold spores and most smoke. These air cleaners do not have to be replaced; they can simply be cleaned and returned to the filter case.

Evaluating Air Cleaners

Selecting an air cleaner can become confusing because of the wide range of air cleaners available today. Many claims are misleading or just advertising hype. The only official measure of an air cleaner's efficiency is the Dust Spot Test Rating. This measure is endorsed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Other tests and efficiencies are simply not an "apples to apples" comparison.

Look for a Dust Spot Test Rating of 25% or higher when considering an air filter. The Department of Health, Education and Welfare recommends this as the minimal level for an air cleaner to be truly effective.

Other Ways To Improve Indoor Air

Contaminants can collect on your heating and cooling equipment and continue to recirculate throughout the house every time the equipment runs. Cleaning your comfort equipment at the beginning of both the heating and cooling seasons can also help indoor air quality. Your serviceman can clean all comfort equipment when he comes for a routine service call.

Improving the air we breathe indoors is important. Considering ways to clean indoor air becomes increasingly important as homes are made more and more airtight.

Meaningless Terminology?

Ignore the following terms when considering an air cleaner, unless it is Dust Spot Test Rated. These non-technical, general product descriptions are meaningless without an official Dust Spot Test Rating.

  • Removes smoke, dust and pollen
  • Eliminates up to 100% of irritants from indoor air
  • Removes particles as small as one micron
  • Effective on cigarette smoke and mold spores
  • Up to 99% effective
  • Recommended by allergists

Be sure to read all available information and weigh all the factors before purchasing an air cleaner. Consider an air cleaner when you purchase your new comfort system, or ask your representative about adding one to your current system. Either way, the benefits you'll feel and see are worth it!


Electronic Air Cleaners - Purify the air and provide respiratory relief by removing dust, dirt, and pollen.

Air Filters - Provide significantly cleaner air with its high density pleated air filtration system.

Humidifiers - Add moisture to soften harsh dry air. Proper humidity levels help you stay comfortable at lower thermostat levels.

Electronic Thermostats - Provide comfort, convenience and time-saving fingertip programming. Lennox's Electronic, Thermostats have earned the ENERGYSTAR label which means it can significantly reduce your energy costs.

Dirty air duct systems provide breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, Legionnaires' organisms, parasites and moulds which represent a risk to health. From the point of view of fire protection, dirty air duct systems also represent a potential hazard. Last but not least, flow resistance caused by dirt in these systems increases energy costs.

McCormack Heating & Air Conditioning Air uses the designed and patented specifically for air duct cleaning the Rotobrush®, the only method that power-brushes and vacuums at the same time. Considered the most effective method for cleaning air ducts, this method also improves system capacity, lessening run time for your furnace or air conditioner and saving you money!

Performance-driven and convenient for one-man handling, the Rotobrush®, has HEPA filtration, interchangeable 1-1/2? and 2? hoses, 12? diameter rear wheels and a built-in collapsible handle for better handling up and down stairs.

Following are facts that have been determined by recognized authorities in the fields of health and air quality:

FACT: Most people spend 60% to 90% of their time indoors. (American Lung Association)

FACT: 50% of all illnesses are either caused by, or aggravated by, polluted indoor air. (American College of Allergists)

FACT: The levels of some hazardous pollutants in indoor air has been found to be up to 70 times greater than in outdoor air. (USEPA)

FACT: Studies have shown that two out of three indoor air quality problems involve the HVAC System.

FACT: More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies.

FACT: One out of six people who suffer from allergies do so because of the direct relationship to fungi and bacteria in air duct systems. (Total Health and Better Health Magazines)

FACT: 10-12 million Americans suffer from Asthma. (American College of Allergists)

FACT: Children and the elderly are especially affected by polluted indoor air. (Department of Consumer Affairs)

FACT: Most commercially available fiberglass furnace filters are less than 7% efficient. (ASHRAE)

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