This year, lifestyle changes caused by the Coronavirus pandemic have already dramatically raised interest in residential IAQ products. Homes have now taken on a variety of new roles including office, gym, and school, to name a few. With Winter approaching and soon even more time to be spent indoors, homeowners want to make sure they are doing what they can to mitigate the spread of illness in the environments where they now live, work, and play.
As an HVAC contractor, this creates a huge opportunity to sell residential IAQ this Fall.
Quality IAQ products can be somewhat pricey because of the powerful technology they utilize to clean the air. Selling requires 1) the contractor to fully understand the capabilities of the product through proper training and 2) an ability to educate the homeowner on what it will (and will not) do. Even worse than dropping a big quote without an appropriate explanation is overpromising about the capabilities of the product. Homeowners already tend to be skeptical towards HVAC contractors; we don't want to give another reason to hurt consumer trust. Instead, show them that you care about their health and well-being by offering appropriate IAQ products that are sold, not simply quoted.
Managing the humidity level inside the home (ideally between 30 and 50% in Virginia) improves both indoor air quality and personal comfort. However, maintaining the perfect home humidity level may prove to be a balancing act this Fall/Winter.
As temperatures cool, the outdoor air becomes drier and humidity drops. Nevertheless, each person or pet in the home adds humidity and COVID-19 has created a new normal for more people to remain at home for longer periods of time. Too much humidity can create problems with bio growth; too little humidity can cause dry air, especially as you switch the heat on. Fortunately, there are a variety of options that contractors can suggest to help with IAQ from whole home humidifiers to UV germicidal lights.
Today's homes are built so airtight that many do not have the necessary air exchanges to ensure proper ventilation. If enough fresh air isn't being brought in, the home recirculates the same air. The pandemic has caused an elevated level of cleaning in general. If fresh air is not being brought in, the air that is recirculated may contain all sorts of contaminants, odors, and airborne particles. Mechanical ventilation (ERVs or HRVs) and PCO (Photocatalytic oxidation) air purifiers can help address these types of indoor air quality issues.
We expect new building codes to put increased emphasis on IAQ, but even without any regulation, consumers will drive the market. The importance of health has forever changed and so has the demand for products that create healthier living spaces!