Published on September 6th, 2017
We do things like fixing drafty doors and leaky windows to keep energy costs down. Such efficiency also seals in irritating pollutants, and indoor air pollution is an environmental health risk. If you suffer from asthma or allergy symptoms, you don’t need that kind of “help.” You need the help of an air filtration system. Keep those energy costs down but minimize those pesky pollutants while you’re at it. Breath easy at home with the installation of an air filtration system
Before You Buy an Air Filtration System
Before you buy an air filtration system, there are some simple things you can do to reduce indoor air pollution.
- Vacuum with HEPA filtration and vacuum often
- Don’t smoke indoors
- Schedule regular maintenance of your HVAC system
- Change air filters regularly
- Avoid burning candles and wood fires
- Turn on exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room
- Store chemicals, solvents, glues, and pesticides away from the house
- Keep windows closed when the pollen count is high and run your air conditioner. (And run it with a clean air filter)
The Best Way to Address the Health Risk of Indoor Air Pollution
To reduce indoor air pollution and the health risk it poses, you must do two things:
- Control or eliminate the sources of pollutants
- Ventilate a home with clean outdoor air
But weather conditions or irritants and contaminants outside can prevent you from ventilating your home with outside air.
Improving indoor air quality starts with minimizing the sources of pollutants in your home. But if your efforts to improve indoor air quality are insufficient, install an air filtration system.
Types of Air Filtration Systems
Air-cleaning devices are designed to remove or destroy either particulate pollutants or gaseous pollutants.
To Remove Pollutants
There are three types of air filtration systems that remove particles from the air:
- Mechanical air filters – Remove larger airborne particles such as dust, pollen, some mold spores, animal dander, and dust mite and cockroach allergens. However these particles settle quickly, so these filters do not completely remove these particles from indoor areas.
- Electronic air cleaners – Remove or trap particles with electrostatic attraction. Ionizers disperse charged ions into the air and attach to airborne particles. The charged particles attach to nearby surfaces or to each other and settle faster.
- Gas-phased filters – Remove gases and odors with a sorbent, such as activated carbon. Gas-phase air filters aren’t as common as particle air filters because their filters get overloaded quickly and need to be replaced often.
Some air filtration systems are installed in the ductwork of your home’s central heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. These clean the air in the entire house.
Portable room air cleaners clean the air in a single room or in a specific area, not the whole house.
But the best air filtration system quietly and effectively cleans dust, smoke, and pollen out of the air at its highest and lowest speeds. Read how well, or not so well, air purifiers rated with Consumer Reports here: Air Purifier Ratings by Consumer Reports.
To Destroy Pollutants
There are three types of air filtration systems designed to destroy (or deactivate) indoor air pollutants:
- Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) cleaners – Destroy viruses, bacteria, and molds that are air-borne or growing on your HVAC surfaces with ultraviolet radiation from UV lamps.
- Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) cleaners – Destroy gaseous pollutants by changing them into harmless products with UV lamps and a catalyst that reacts with the light.
- Ozone generators sold as air cleaners
And Keep These Things in Mind When Shopping
Ionizers attract particles with static electricity. If a unit has an ionizer, make sure it doesn’t produce ozone. Ozone is a possible lung irritant.
Some portable air filters claim to filter volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from adhesives, paints, and cleaning products, and other types of gaseous pollutants. However, the Environmental Protection Agency warns that these portable air filters are specific to certain gaseous pollutants, not for others. The EPA also states that no air purifier is expected to remove all gaseous pollutants found in the typical home. And portable units that claim to filter VOCs, use carbon filters. These filters must be replaced every 3 to 6 months, or they stop working.
Consumer Reports judges a clean-air delivery rate (CADR) above 350 to be excellent and below 100 to be poor. They also recommend choosing a model designed for an area larger than yours for better cleaning at a lower, quieter speed.
Whatever You Decide, Keep It Clean and Quiet
Any type of air filtration system won’t work well if it’s dirty. In fact, if the filter is clogged and dusty, it could stop working entirely. So whatever you decide, keep the filter clean.
If your air filtration system doesn’t do its job quietly, sleeping or working well may not happen. A larger unit run at a lower speed is more efficient and quiet than running a smaller unit at a higher speed. We think you’ll agree: a larger unit is best for your home.
Do you have questions about the right air filtration system for your home? Call Blue Frost Heating & Cooling at (630) 761-9007 for answers and installation and receive 10% off any indoor air quality product.
For maintenance or service of your HVAC system, call (630) 761-9007 before September 30, 2017, and be entered to win a $25 and/or $125 Gift Card from Blue Frost Heating & Cooling.