A-1 Mechanical Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Indoor Air Quality’

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Wednesday, May 10th, 2023

Be sure to bookmark the A-1 Mechanical blog to start learning the ins and outs of HVAC.

We’ll regularly post energy saving tips, how-to’s on troubleshooting your systems, and breakdowns on even the most complex industry related terms and concepts.

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What’s the Best Air Purifier for Allergies and Asthma?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022
Indoor Air Quality

In the modern internet era, there seems to be an endless amount of products to solve an endless amount of issues. This makes it almost impossible as a consumer to truly get exactly what you want. When it comes to things as important as your health, though, you do not want to go with second best.

Allergies and asthma affect millions of people every year, leading them to find some relief through medicine or an air purifying device. At A-1 Mechanical, we only work with the best brands of air purifiers available to ensure customers are receiving the very best.

Why Install an Indoor Air Purifier?

A home without an indoor air purifier is less comfortable and safe to be in, especially for those who are suffering from health issues like allergies or asthma. Indoor air purifiers work by capturing and killing contaminants such as pollen, bacteria and dust mites to remove from the air supply inside of your home for cleaner and healthier air.

Unlike portable air purifiers which service just one room or small area of the home, whole house air cleaners are installed directly to your HVAC system and begin working right away, making them efficient at getting your entire home’s air clean, as fast as possible.

Which Air Purifier Is Best for Allergies and Asthma?

Once you have decided that making the upgrade to an air purifier for your home is a worthwhile investment, it is decision time. Knowing which air purifier to go with can be a tough choice when you are not familiar with the systems. We recommend working with an experienced company to help you choose one.

At A-1 Mechanical, we have spent years serving the community and providing homeowners here with the highest standard of service and care. Through those years, we have garnered the experience needed to help homeowners make qualified decisions about what is best for them and their home. If you are looking for an air purifier to help combat the symptoms of allergies and asthma, then we recommend the INFINITY® AIR PURIFIER – DGAPA.


The INFINITY® AIR PURIFIER – DGAPA helps to purify your air by capturing and killing air contaminants that are commonly found in homes. It helps prevent things like pollen, animal dander, and general bacteria from making their way back into the home’s air supply. It is able to block up to 95% of airborne particles, and has even been determined by independent testing to block the common cold surrogate.

Why Work With A-1 Mechanical?

If you are looking for the best air purifier on the market, then you need to work with the right team to back it up. Improper installation could lead to your air purifier underperforming and not working as optimally as it should.

Have complete trust in both your system and the team behind it with A-1 Mechanical. We have been committed to serving the Lansing and Grand Rapids communities for years and are eager to continue to do so.

If you are ready to take your home’s health and safety to the next level with the best air purifier for allergies and asthma, contact A-1 Mechanical. Schedule an appointment with us today to get started. We can improve your home’s indoor air quality for a healthier and happier home.

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What Are the Different Types of Air Filters for HVAC Systems?

Monday, November 22nd, 2021
HVAC Filters

As a homeowner, you should already know that replacing your HVAC system’s air filter on a regular basis is important to the longevity of your equipment, system energy efficiency, and indoor air quality. When shopping for a replacement air filter, you may feel overwhelmed with the many different types of HVAC filters available for use with your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump. A-1 Mechanical introduces you to the different types of air filters and explains which one might be best for your home.

Efficiency Ratings of Air Filters

Before we get into the different air filters you can purchase, let’s talk about filter efficiency. All types of air filters use MERV ratings to measure their performance efficiency. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, and this number tells you how effective a particular filter is at removing airborne particles of a certain size. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter’s performance when removing small pollutant particles.

For air filters that are suitable for use in residential heating and cooling systems, MERV ratings range from 1 to about 13. Though the MERV scale goes all the way up to 20, at a certain point the efficiency of a filter can begin to restrict airflow in an HVAC system which can cause more harm than good. MERV 17 to 20 filters should only be used in commercial buildings and specific environments, while MERV 14 to 16 filters may be used in a residential air cleaner that works alongside the home’s HVAC system.

Typically, new forced air HVAC equipment will come with a standard 1-inch disposable filter that has a MERV rating between 1 to 4. These are the least efficient types of air filters available. Upgrading to a higher MERV filter can provide better protection for your heating and cooling system as well as better contaminant control for improved indoor air quality.

Types of Air Filters for HVAC Systems

There are several different air filter types you can use in your home’s heating or air conditioning system. Each type has its own pros and cons, so familiarize yourself with the options before you shop for replacement filters.

  • Fiberglass filters: Fiberglass filters use fiberglass material to filter out airborne particles passing through the HVAC system. These air filters are the most budget-friendly option, but their performance is often found lacking by some homeowners. Fiberglass filters have low MERV ratings and are not very effective for removing small particulate matter from the indoor air supply. Also, they need to be replaced more frequently than other types of air filters.
  • Pleated filters: Pleated filters use a cotton or polyester fiber material for filtration. The material is folded into pleats, providing more surface area to trap contaminant particles. This choice is typically a bit more expensive than fiberglass filters, but they are more efficient for removing finer particles from the air as their MERV ratings tend to run in the middle of the road for residential HVAC filters, giving users a longer filter life compared to lower quality options.
  • Washable filters: If you’re concerned about waste, you may opt to use a washable filter for your HVAC system. These types of air filters can be reused over and over again – instead of throwing the used filter away and installing a new one, just wash and dry this filter and use it again! These types of air filters are better for the environment because their use reduces waste, which also allows users to save money on purchasing disposable replacement filters. They do have lower MERV ratings than some disposable filters and aren’t extremely effective at filtering out smaller particles. Because of their low MERV rating, homeowners often need to wash these filters several times each year. If you want low-maintenance air filters, disposables may be your preferred choice.

If you have some type of air cleaner or air purification system that uses a filter installed with your HVAC system, there are different types of air filters available for use in this equipment.

  • Pleated filters designed for use in a media air cleaner filter cabinet can be thicker than ones used in the standard HVAC system, offering higher MERV ratings and longer filter life.
  • Electrostatic filters offer media filtration and use an electrostatic charge to help capture small particles. They sometimes have difficulty effectively trapping larger contaminants though, like mold spores and large dust particles. Depending on the model, these types of air filters can be disposable or washable.
  • HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters are extremely efficient, removing as much as 99.97 percent of airborne contaminants including dust, pollen, bacteria, and viruses. Because of their extreme efficiency, HEPA air filters cannot be used in all equipment due to potential airflow restriction.

Find the Right Types of Air Filters for Use in Your HVAC System

Curious as to which types of filters are suitable for use with your HVAC equipment? Contact A-1 Mechanical today to speak with a professional and learn more about your air filter options.

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How to Choose the Right Air Purifier for Your Home

Friday, June 4th, 2021
Air Purifier

Isn’t it awful when one member of your family has a cold, and then the next thing you know, everyone in your house is sick? Improving the indoor air quality in your home with a whole home air purifier can make a big difference in your family’s health. But how do you choose an air purifier that’s right for you? Luckily, the heating and cooling experts at A-1 Mechanical offer two fantastic whole-house air cleaning solutions, and we’ll help you find out which one will be the most effective in your home.

Why Do I Need a Whole House Air Purifier?

The best way to fill your house with clean air is to open the windows and allow the outdoor air to enter and cycle around your house. This may be difficult to do in colder months, though, or if anyone in your family has seasonal outdoor allergies. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend almost 90% of their time indoors, which exposes them to 2-5 times the pollutants than they would be exposed to outdoors.

Air cleaners, air purifiers, and air filtration systems all essentially do the same thing; they filter out the contaminants in the air. A lot of these contaminants are living in your vents and HVAC system. When air passes through your HVAC system, it will pass through your new air cleaner’s filter, which strips the air of certain contaminants before it comes out of the registers and into your living areas.

How to Choose an Air Purifier

A-1 Mechanical offers two excellent options to purify the air in your home. You might notice that one is called an “air purifier” and one is an “air filter.” You may be wondering what the difference is between the two types.

The main difference is the type of filter they offer. Air cleaners use fiberglass and activated carbon to filter the air, while air purifiers use a more intense filter with negative ions to sanitize the air. The strength of the filters determines what kind of germs can be caught in them. A filter’s strength is measured in Maximum Efficiency Reporting Values, or MERV rating. This rating is between 1-20. The higher the MERV rating, the better it is.

Infinity Air Purifier

The infinity air purifier is a top-of-the-line product for superior indoor air quality. It has been proven effective against human influenza, common cold germs, and streptococcus pyogenes.

These filters have a 15 MERV rating and can remove common household pollutants from the air such as smoke, odors, dust, and pet dander. They are compatible with most home’s HVAC systems and come with a one-year parts warranty.

Comfort EZ Flex Cabinet Air Filter

The Comfort EZ Flex Cabinet Air Filter is what some might call an “air cleaner.” Although effective in removing very small particles, air cleaners fall short at sanitizing the air. They remove allergens and dust from circulating in your HVAC system but are not great at removing bacteria, viruses, and pathogens that make us sick.

If members of your family suffer from asthma or intense allergies, this is a great choice for you. With a MERV rating of 10, this filter removes up to 65% of airborne particles.

Which Air Purifier Should I Choose?

Choosing an air purifier can seem like a difficult task. You need to ask yourself: which particles bother you and your family the most? If your family seems constantly sick, or someone in your home has COVID-19, the Infinity Air Purifier is probably the best choice for you to stop the spread of germs. This might also be a good choice if you have pets.

If your family suffers from seasonal allergies or asthma but is otherwise healthy, the Comfort EZ Flex Cabinet Air Filter would be a great match for your family.

Call A-1 Mechanical to Start Breathing Easy

If you’re buying an air purifier, the best way to be sure you choose the best model for your home is to talk to one of A-1 Mechanical’s indoor air quality experts. They’ll assess your needs and help you solidify your choice of air cleaning solutions. Call us today to learn more.

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How Do Air Purifiers Improve Health?

Friday, May 21st, 2021
Air Purifier

While you can’t see bacteria and viruses that lead to sickness traveling in your air, those contaminants are very likely still present. However, there are ways that you can fight back and improve your home’s indoor air quality.

We all want to protect our families in any way possible. Air purifiers can help your family stay safe and healthy from bacteria, viruses, and other indoor air pollution that might be traveling in your indoor air supply. Keep reading to learn more about how air purifiers work, as well as how they can be used to improve your family’s health and reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

You’re probably familiar with how air filters work. Air filters work by removing any harmful indoor particles from the air. Air purifiers, on the other hand, go a step beyond. They remove air pollutants and harmful particles in the air and then sanitize the air supply to add an extra layer of protection.

Because air purifiers actually sanitize the air that your family breathes, most homes find them to be far more effective than air filtration systems.

How Air Purifiers Can Improve Your Health

Many common airborne diseases are contracted through small pathogens that might be traveling through your air. That’s why common colds and flus are able to spread so quickly between family members.

An air purification system catches and removes these pathogens and volatile organic compounds and then sanitizes the air to completely eliminate any traces of dangerous pathogens and particles.

These systems are a great way to improve the overall health of those within your home, but it’s important to note that they won’t completely eliminate all particles. Dangerous particles that can cause sickness can still live on surfaces such as tables, walls, and carpeting.

How Air Purifiers Reduce Allergy and Asthma Symptoms

Common irritants and allergens such as dust, mold, and bacteria can wreak havoc on anybody who suffers from common allergies or asthma. Breathing in particles from these pollutants can make anyone feel miserable throughout the day.

However, air purifiers and air cleaners can help by eliminating these allergens and decreasing mold growth. Save yourself and your family from the constant sneezing and coughing caused by allergy symptoms with the installation of an air purification system.

Get in touch with us today for more information about how air purifiers can provide health benefits by reducing and even eliminating allergy and asthma symptoms.

Can Air Purifiers Improve Sleep?

Thanks to the elimination of irritating and potentially harmful indoor air pollutants by an air purifier, you’ll feel better and get sick less. You’ll be breathing easier, allowing you and your family to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

With better sleep from your air purifier comes benefits such as a better immune system and improved cognitive abilities. An air purification system can help your family stay safe, healthy, and happy.

Contact A-1 Mechanical for Air Purifier Services

The experts at A-1 Mechanical want to help your family stay safe, healthy, and comfortable all year long. If anybody within your house is dealing with allergies or asthma symptoms, or you’ve had more illnesses than normal running through your family, get in contact with us today to schedule an appointment for air purifier installation or other indoor air quality services. We’ll help you breathe healthier, more comfortable air than ever before.

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What Are the Benefits of a Whole Home Humidifier?

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020
Whole Home Humidifier

Dry air can cause many health and comfort issues among Grand Rapids area residents during the winter. Because the air is naturally dry during the holiday season, homeowners struggle to keep relative humidity levels inside the home balanced. A whole house humidifier helps you manage indoor humidity and avoid the negative consequences of prolonged dry air exposure. Contact the indoor air quality experts at A-1 Mechanical today for installation of a whole house humidifier.

How Do Whole House Humidifiers Work?

A whole home humidifier is different from portable units many have in their homes. Instead of treating just a small area, a whole house humidifier is capable of treating dry air across the entire home. It works with your heating and cooling system to add moisture to the air as it cycles through your ductwork and heating system. Properly humidified and heated air is then delivered back to your living areas.

In addition to humidification for the entire home, a whole house humidifier is energy efficient and easy to care for. You don’t have to continuously refill the reservoir like you do with portable units, as the humidifier has a dedicated plumbing supply line to provide water. There’s no need to sanitize and clean it several times throughout the season, either. Simple maintenance and a new water panel in the fall is typically all that’s needed!

The Benefits of Installing a Whole Home Humidifier

Using a whole house humidifier benefits your family in many ways. With your humidifier running this winter during lower temperatures, you can keep your household healthier and more comfortable!

Prevent Viral Transmission & Illnesses

Did you know that viruses linger longer in low humidity? When the air in your home doesn’t have enough humidity, these particles remain in the air where they are able to circulate throughout the house and potentially spread among family members. Properly humidified air causes these particles to fall out of suspension, which helps prevent transmission. Use a whole house humidifier to keep the level of humidity in the 25 to 45 percent range this winter.

Another reason to keep indoor air properly moisturized during the winter is to keep nasal passages damp. When the tissue inside your nostrils dries out due to dry air exposure, you are more likely to catch a cold or other virus. When moist, this membrane provides a natural barrier against viruses and bacteria.

Avoid Dry Air Irritations

In addition to dry nasal passages, exposure to dry air and low humidity levels hurt the body in other ways, such as:

  • Chapped or cracked lips
  • Dry skin
  • Dry throats
  • Sore throats
  • Bloody noses
  • Increased allergy symptoms

When there is enough humidity in the air, your body is exposed to the moisture it needs to prevent such issues.

Maintain Warmth

Relative humidity levels don’t just impact moisture levels, they also affect how warm your home feels. When the air is dry, you feel colder because your skin’s moisture evaporates at a faster rate. When air is humidified, evaporation occurs more slowly – moisture stays on the skin, helping your body hold in its warmth. Thus, you feel warmer.

Homeowners who use whole house humidifiers often find they’re able to turn their thermostats down a couple of degrees and still stay comfortable. By reducing heating system use, a whole house humidifier is able to help your household conserve energy and save money throughout the winter.

Contact A-1 Mechanical to Learn More about Installing a Whole House Humidifier

Are you ready to have a whole home humidifier installed in your Lansing or Grand Rapids area residence? The professionals at A-1 Mechanical are here to help you keep your home properly humidified this winter and protect your family’s health. Contact us today to request an estimate for installing a whole house humidifier.

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What Are the Different Types of Air Cleaners?

Thursday, October 15th, 2020
Air Purifier

There are several air cleaners for whole home use available to homeowners across the Lansing and Grand Rapids areas. Air cleaners address indoor pollution issues to improve the health and comfort of a home’s occupants.

In this blog, the HVAC technicians at A-1 Mechanical share the types of air cleaners that are used to generate better indoor air quality for Michigan households. Schedule a consultation with our team today to learn more about your options and how to select the best solution to address your needs.

Types of Air Cleaners

For treatment of airborne pollutants and allergens throughout the entire home, your best choice is a whole home air purification system. Common types of air cleaners include portable models, but these units are only helpful for treating the air in a small room or area. They simply do not have the capacity nor are they meant to treat the home’s entire air supply.

A whole home air cleaner is strategically installed as part of your home’s central HVAC system. This allows these types of air cleaners to provide treatment to the home’s entire air volume as it circulates through the ducts for heating and cooling. A portable air cleaner is only exposed to a small volume of the home’s air.

The most popular types of air purifiers for whole home use include media air cleaners and air purifiers.

Media Air Cleaners

These types of air purifiers offer advanced filtration of airborne pollutants beyond what your standard furnace filter is capable of providing. Media air cleaners use filters that are thick and dense to trap more and finer particles – they can be up to five inches thick, whereas the standard furnace filter is only one inch thick. Media filter types of air purifiers are effective at trapping many kinds of contaminants, from common allergens like dust mites and pet dander to biological matter such as mold spores.

Installed on the return duct, media air cleaners filter air before it moves into the furnace or air handler. It traps contaminants, removing them from the air supply to prevent recirculation into living areas and protecting sensitive HVAC system components from exposure.

The advanced filters used in media air cleaners have MERV ratings at the higher end of what is suitable for home use, typically from MERV 6 up to MERV 15. These higher MERV filters have a longer useful life and require less frequent changes than most standard disposable furnace filters – a change is required about every nine months to one year. Some filters use activated charcoal or carbon to treat odors as well as particulate matter.

Some units are available with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters that are MERV 16 to 20. However, these filters are typically used in specialized environments like hospitals and clean rooms. Their density can create problems when used with a residential HVAC system due to added resistance, which makes it difficult for the unit’s blower motor to circulate air through the filter.

Air Purifiers

There are many types of air purifiers available today. Some use UV light, while others use electrostatic means to attract the contaminants into the filters and kill them. UV light air purifiers use ultraviolet energy to treat airborne pollutants. These types of air purifiers do not remove particulate matter from the air supply, but instead render contaminants ineffective and unable to reproduce. Mold, viruses, bacteria, and germs are treated by UV light air purifiers.

Installed within the HVAC system’s ducts or within heating and cooling equipment, UV light air purifiers treat air as it passes through the home’s comfort system. The UV light neutralizes particles so they cannot cause allergy symptoms among household members or grow in areas of the home or HVAC system.

UV light air purifiers use minimal electricity to operate. Maintenance is very easy, as bulbs only require replacement every one to three years, depending on the type.

A-1 Mechanical Helps Homeowners Achieve Better Indoor Air Quality

These types of air purifiers are highly effective for treatment of air pollution inside the home and are recommended for households with allergy sufferers, those with respiratory conditions, and more. Air purifiers deliver cleaner air while protecting your home and your loved ones from harmful contaminant exposure and growth. Contact A-1 Mechanical today to find the air purification solution that offers the protection you want and need!

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How Often Should I Change My HVAC Air Filter?

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

Do you know how often to change your HVAC system’s air filter? There is no one set answer for all Grand Rapids area homes, as many different variables come into play affecting the service life of a furnace filter.

How often you change your home’s HVAC air filter depends on how long your filter is expected to last and the different qualities of your home that impact the filter. When in doubt, call A-1 Mechanical for expert advice and indoor air quality services for your Michigan home.

How Long Do Air Filters Generally Last?

As mentioned above, there is no set service life for an air filter – it requires an evaluation of many different aspects. Air filter manufacturers include a recommendation for how often to change air filters. You can find this information on the product insert that comes with a new filter. Furnace filters are expected to last anywhere from one month to one year.

  • 1-inch and 2-inch air filters should be replaced about every one to three months
  • 3-inch and 4-inch filters require replacement after six to nine months
  • 5-inch and 6-inch air filters need a change after nine months to one year

Factors Affecting How Often to Change HVAC Air Filters

The manufacturer’s recommendation isn’t the final answer on how frequently you should change your furnace filter. The biggest factors affecting filter service life are detailed below.

Pets in the Home

Indoor pets shed hair and dander that easily become airborne in your home. These materials clog air filters faster. Homes with one pet should generally replace filters after two months; those with more than one pet may need to replace the filter monthly.

Heating & Air Conditioning System Use

How frequently your heating or air conditioning system is in use impacts filter service life as well. During periods of the year when HVAC equipment runs often, air is circulated more times through the home compared to times when the HVAC system is used sparingly. More cycles mean more passes through the filter and opportunities to trap contaminants, so filters typically fill up faster during high-use periods.

At the peak of summer and winter, air filters need to be changed more frequently than required during the spring, fall and the milder months.

Allergy & Asthma Sufferers

If there are allergy or asthma sufferers in your household, clean air is critical to their health and comfort indoors. You’ll need to change your HVAC filter more frequently when allergy and asthma sufferers are present. Changing the filter on a more frequent basis ensures the filter has the available surface area needed to filter out the contaminants that trigger symptoms among your loved ones.

Have Questions? A-1 Mechanical Is Here to Help!

Estimating how often to change an air filter can be tricky because of so many different variables at play. If you’re unsure how often your furnace filter requires replacement, call A-1 Mechanical! Our knowledgeable team of NATE-certified HVAC system technicians is always available to assess the indoor air quality needs of your home and help you create a plan for cleaner air indoors, from an accurate filter replacement schedule to installing advanced filtration solutions.

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What Are the Benefits of an Air Purifier?

Monday, April 6th, 2020
Air Purifier

Most people love springtime because of warmer weather, increased daylight, blooming flowers and animal life. But for millions of Americans, spring also triggers the start of dreadful allergy season.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to escape these pesky allergens even from the comforts of your home. Allergens are just one of many contaminants that can wreak havoc on your home’s air quality – and your family’s health.

One of the best methods of improving your home’s air quality is through a whole house air cleaner. If you’re interested in eliminating allergens, pollutants and contaminants in your home for good, give the experts at A-1 Mechanical Heating & Cooling a call today to discuss indoor air quality solutions.

What Is a Whole Home Air Cleaner?

Whole house air purifiers work to eliminate contaminants before they get into the ductwork and into living areas. Many homeowners who suffer from asthma, allergies or other respiratory issues can benefit from having one. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, younger people, older adults and people with cardiovascular or respiratory disease spend more time indoors and could see health improvements from having an air purifier installed.

Air purifiers are sold as either stand-up units that can service a room or two, or larger, whole house units that can be affixed right into the HVAC system, mounted between the air handler and the return ductwork. These types of purifiers can service an entire home.

Common Pollutants Found in a Home

Whole home air purifiers improve indoor air quality by removing up to 99 percent of allergens and contaminants, including:

  • Pollen
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Dust Mites
  • Pet dander
  • Mold spores
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Combustion byproducts, such as carbon monoxide
  • Lead
  • Asbestos

Benefits of a Whole Home Air Cleaner

Lansing and Grand Rapids area homes with allergy and asthma sufferers greatly benefit from the installation of whole home air purifiers. These systems use superior air filters to remove airborne contaminants as air flows through your HVAC system.

According to the EPA, it’s estimated that people spend about 90% of the time indoors, where air quality can be two to five worse than that outdoors.

Some of the benefits of a whole home air cleaner include:

Longer-Lasting HVAC System

Just like a typical furnace air filter, a whole home air purifier helps your HVAC system run more efficiently – thus extending its lifespan – by filtering out contaminants that cause it to work harder. Increased stress on the system leads to breakdowns and need for repairs.

Healthier Air

Obviously, the biggest benefit of an air purifier is cleaner, healthier air. Reducing germs, allergens and dust in your home will reduce health issues, including allergies and respiratory illness.

Contact A-1 Mechanical for Your Indoor Air Quality Needs

A-1 Mechanical Heating & Cooling is your trusted source for indoor air quality. A-1 Mechanical’s NATE-certified technicians pair you with the right whole home air purifier to address your specific concerns.

We have solutions for all of your indoor air quality needs, whether it be humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air cleaners or zoned systems to eliminate hot and cold spots around your home. For more information about our air purification solutions, please contact us today.

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Why Is My House So Humid?

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019
Air Conditioning

Michiganders understand high humidity is just one of the tradeoffs of living near the Great Lakes, but you may still ask “why is my house so humid?” Unfortunately, proximity to a water source like the Great Lakes increases the amount of moisture in the air and makes the air feel warmer, especially in the mornings.

Humidity tells you the moisture content, or how much water vapor is present in the air. When humidity is high, it feels muggy or “sticky” because sweat doesn’t evaporate easily.

Conversely, when humidity is low, your skin is drier and it’s easier to become dehydrated. Think of winter, when we’re indoors, the air is dry (and colder). We tend to have more issues with dry skin in the winter because more moisture evaporates from our bodies.

In this blog, we’ll review the difference between relative humidity and dew point, what is an achievable and recommended humidity level indoors and how your HVAC system works to control moisture.


Relative Humidity

The relative humidity is measured as a percentage. It defines if the air is saturated. If the relative humidity registers as 100 percent, for example, the air is saturated. If the percentage is 50, it means the air contains half of the water vapor required to be saturated.

As the amount of water vapor in the air increases, the relative humidity increases too. Now, if the temperature drops but the water vapor stays constant, the relative humidity goes up. If the temperature rises while the water vapor is the same, the relative humidity goes down.

Why? Because colder air needs less moisture to achieve saturation than warmer air. For example, in the morning, when the dew is still fresh on the grass, the relative humidity is higher. The morning air is cooler and closer to saturation.

Finally, cold air is denser than warm air, which leaves more room for water vapor in the warm air of summer.

Dew Point

Although you’ve probably heard someone say, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity,” dew point is actually a better marker of humidity because it’s not dependent on temperature.

The dew point is the temperature in which the air must cool in order to be saturated. Below the dew point, water condenses from the air to surfaces, like the morning grass. Because it’s not related to temperature, the dew point doesn’t change as much during the day. So, in short, the answer to why is my house so humid is simply the air is nearly or fully saturated.


When the humidity is high indoors, your home runs into certain risks including poor air quality. High indoor humidity often causes:

  • Mold and mildew growth
  • The right environment for dust mites to multiply
  • Insects and rodents seeking moisture. They leave behind droppings, nesting material and other particulates in your ventilation.
  • Cupping in hardwood floors and warping of wooden doors, door frames, and more
  • Uncomfortable living conditions for those with certain respiratory or cardiac conditions.

Humidity increases breathing difficulties for people with asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure and other conditions. Excess humidity increases allergy and asthma triggers like dust mites and mold and mildew spores.


Too much moisture in the air traps heat and makes it feel hotter than the actual temperature. Therefore, it’s important to invest in an air conditioner or heat pump to both cool and dehumidify your home. Michigan weather might be great for growing blueberries, but if it’s humid inside, it may be hard to be comfortable and sleep well.

Humans cool their bodies by sweating. However, if there’s a lot of water vapor in the air, sweat can’t easily evaporate off our skin. At 100 percent relative humidity, for example, sweat won’t evaporate at all because the air is already completely saturated with water vapor.

Many people have ceiling fans to cool their homes, however, it is important to understand that fans do nothing to cool the air. They, in fact, provide a breeze to help your perspiration evaporate easier. They don’t cool the air, they help you feel cooler.


Your air conditioning unit does more than just blow cold air into your home. It extracts heat and water vapor from the air to meet the temperature set by the thermostat. Inside your air conditioning unit are coils filled with refrigerant.

Refrigerant is a substance which moves back and forth between liquid and gas states to absorb and release heat. As the hot humid air from inside your home passes over these coils, the liquid refrigerant absorbs the heat and turns it into a gas.

To keep your home at a cool temperature, the air conditioner compresses the air inside the coils until it returns to liquid. The extra heat generated by compressing this gas releases outside the home via condenser coils and a second fan.


High humidity makes the inside of your home feel clammy. Fortunately, an air conditioning unit extracts moisture with an evaporator coil. As humid air passes over the evaporator coil, it condenses and drains into a condensate pan.

To avoid water damage, keep an eye on your condensate pan. If you find water around your indoor air handler or suspect a clog in the line, call A-1 Mechanical for assistance. A small amount of water can easily create thousands of dollars of damage.


If the high indoor humidity is too uncomfortable or compromising the health of a family member, call our team in Lansing or Grand Rapids for help. We’re proud to offer a range of heating and cooling services to our communities including air conditioner installation and AC service and repair. You won’t need to ask “why is my house so humid” again!

We also have a selection of indoor air quality products such as whole house dehumidifiers designed to work with your central heating and air. For a free estimate on new HVAC equipment or to book AC repair or service, call A-1 Mechanical at 517-348-0302.

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