When colder weather invades the Indianapolis area, the air quality in your home can take a dive with the temperature. Fumes from heating oil, gas from household appliances, dust, smoke, and cleaning chemicals are just a few of the contaminants that can circulate through a snug living space. Now is the perfect time to investigate air cleaners to help prevent respiratory problems, allergic reactions or skin sensitivities in your home. When you’re shopping, consider the following factors:
- CADR rating. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers began testing and rating air purifiers in the 1980s. Their clean air delivery rate (CADR) tells you how quickly a machine can remove dust, tobacco smoke and pollen while running at its highest setting in a particular sized area. The higher the rating, the faster the filtration. However, the testing doesn’t factor in a machine’s effectiveness based on particle size, or whether it removes gasses such as VOC emissions.
- HEPA filtration. High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can clear the air of particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter. The federal EPA rates this as the most effective type of filter for removing pollutants such as dust, pet dander, smoke, pollen and bacteria. True HEPA filters that meet the industry standard of 99.7 percent effectiveness tend to be expensive, though, and they only remove particles, not gasses. A HEPA filter is not interchangeable with your regular furnace filter, and will require system modifications to work in a forced-air HVAC system. They do come in stand-alone air cleaners, however.
- Asthma and Allergy Friendly. This certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America shows that an air cleaner was tested and has met their strict standards as an allergen-avoidance product. To be certified, a machine must be able to remove a specific amount of allergens and irritants from the air. The testing takes place in a setting that duplicates the level of allergens in a typical home.
In your search, you’re bound to come across electrostatic air cleaners that produce ozone. Since your goal is to improve your home’s air quality, it’s important to know that this gas can cause breathing difficulties and respiratory tract irritation.
For expert advice about air cleaners and improving your indoor air quality, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve been helping Indianapolis area residents with their home comfort needs since 1970.
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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