What the Pandemic Taught Us About Air Quality in Custom Homes

May 26, 2023

During the pandemic, concerns about indoor air quality became top-of-mind for homeowners across the country. From opening windows to installing new HVAC systems, it became common to do all you could to improve the air in your home. While there was a learning curve for everyone, custom homes faced unique indoor air quality challenges.

Join the air-quality experts from the Unico team as we break down some of the biggest lessons the pandemic taught us about indoor air quality in custom homes and how you can address them.

How Ventilation Impacts Air Quality in Custom Homes

If you’re looking to improve indoor air quality of a custom home, getting proper ventilation is a must. Since many newer homes are built to low load home (LLH) standards, there’s a tighter seal on airflow. During the pandemic, this fact made the housing industry realize that mechanical ventilation was important to improve indoor air quality in custom homes. Mechanical ventilation improves air quality by diluting the indoor air with “fresh” air from the outside.

Covid-19 and other viruses have a harder time surviving outside due to the sheer volume of clean air they are exposed to. That’s why diluting and filtering indoor air helps minimize the risk of aerosolized viruses being transmitted inside of a home. While the idea makes sense on paper, some custom home ventilation systems only operate at one speed.

The Unico System has a variable speed blower that includes unique control features to ventilate custom homes effectively and efficiently throughout the day. Plus, the system can be easily programmed to meet any unique needs, such as bringing in more outdoor air if indoor air quality drops to an uncomfortable level.

Why Air Filtration in Custom Homes Became More Important

During the pandemic, people spent more time indoors, which led to our immune systems being weaker than normal. Dust, pollen, and bacteria now pose more of a threat to cause illness than in the past. This is part of the reason why the air-filter industry saw such a huge boom during the pandemic. Let’s break down why that was the case.

Ventilation is great at helping prevent viruses because of how it dilutes the air. However, larger particles are harder to remove using only this process. This is where air filtration comes into play. While there is a wide variety of air filters, many traditional HVAC systems come standard with filters that are only designed to help keep the system clean. Plus, the blowers in those systems can’t deal with the restrictions that are present in higher MERV-grade filters used to keep pollutants out of the home.

Learn more about MERV-grade filters and the benefits they provide with The Unico System HERE

The good news is that small-duct high velocity (SDHV) systems like The Unico System are designed to deal with high-pressure drops and use higher-grade filters. The Unico System uses MERV 7 filters, which capture a variety of contaminants, like mold spores, pet dander, and bacteria in custom homes.

Using UV Light for Air Disinfection in Custom Homes

For a long time, hospitals have been using UV light to disinfect surfaces and clean the air. The pandemic made homeowners realize that they could use this technology to help make their custom homes safer. It became popular to integrate UV light into standalone room filter systems for localized disinfection of air in a home through the HVAC system. These systems pull the air in a room into the device and expose it to UV light to improve indoor air quality.  This type of solution works great for a single room, but quickly becomes expensive if you want to integrate it into an entire custom home.

If you’re looking for a solution that can reliably provide whole-home air disinfection, it’s best to install the UV light directly into the duct system. The Unico System is an SDHV system that uses smaller ducts with higher air flow. Not only does this offer more installation flexibility for custom homes, but it also makes it easier to include UV light. Unico even offers cabinets with a pre-installed UV light system to give custom homes added peace of mind.

Custom Homes Are Safer with The Unico System

If you’re looking for the best all-around heating and cooling system for a custom home, choosing The Unico System is a smart choice. By improving indoor air quality with UV-light disinfection and having the installation flexibility of being an SDHV system, Unico is a great option for custom homes with unique design challenges.

Contact our Design Service team for a free consultation to learn more about how The Unico System can add cleaner air to your home.

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