If you’re like most Americans, you spend 90 percent of your time indoors. Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that the air in most homes is two to five times more polluted than the outdoors, meaning you’re being exposed to pollutant levels in the safety of your own home. Depending on the airtightness of your home and the amount of pollutants you generate indoors, you may need to look into an air cleaner to improve air quality.
Types of Air Cleaners
The type of air cleaner you should choose depends on the types of pollutants concerning you. Following is a rundown on air cleaners and some of the particles they target:
- Gas-phase charcoal activated – This type of air cleaner can get rid of tobacco smoke and off-gassing from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in pressed wood, dry cleaning and common household chemicals such as pesticides, varnish, paint and others.
- High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters – HEPA filters offer dense filtration that’s not typically installed in residential HVAC systems without considerable modification to the system so as not to reduce airflow. HEPA filtration is, however, widely used in portable air cleaners.
- Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) lights – These lights are installed in the HVAC system’s ductwork and near the coil. They minimize mold spores, fungus and bacteria by destroying DNA in the cells.
- Media filtration – Homeowners can improve indoor air quality significantly by upgrading the air filter in the HVAC system to a good quality, pleated filter with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 8 to 12. These filters can trap most of the particles that are drawn into the HVAC system, including dust, pollen, dander, skin flakes and insect particles. Check the air filter monthly and replace it when dirt begins accumulating.
- Electronic – Electronic air cleaners use a static charge to attract particles on a collection plate. The plates must be cleaned periodically.
Want to learn more about air cleaners? Contact the HVAC pros at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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