Cold and flu season may be winding down, but allergy season is just warming up. Fortunately, air cleaners are great solutions for improving indoor air quality (IAQ) during any season. Explore the strengths and deficiencies of available air-cleaning systems, and the types of contaminants they handle, to help you select the best system for your household’s needs.
Common airborne contaminants are categorized below to help you identify which need to be removed from your household to alleviate the respiratory issues of occupants.
- Organic particulates: pollen, pet dander and dust mite parts
- Inorganic particulates: insecticide dust, milled flour, hair spray, carpet fibers, insulation fibers and more
- Microorganisms: viruses, bacteria and mold spores
- Gases/odors: tobacco smoke, auto emissions, solvents, building chemicals, radon, cooking odors and more
Air cleaning solutions
Popular ducted air cleaners include air filters (media and gas-phase), electronic systems and UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation) systems.
- HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are top-of-the-line media filters that capture 100 percent of organic and inorganic particulates, and microorganisms down to 0.3 microns. HEPA filters do not capture or neutralize gases and odors.
- Electronic air cleaners charge particulates (organic, inorganic and microorganisms), and use metal plates with an opposite charge to capture the charged particulates. Gases and odors are not captured or neutralized. Electronic cleaners do not capture particulates as efficiently as HEPA filtration systems, and the metal plates must be cleaned often.
- UVGI systems deactivate or destroy microorganisms. UVGI systems do not capture any inorganic particulates, and do not capture or neutralize gases and odors. UVGI systems are effective for protecting HVAC equipment from mold and bacterial accumulation and growth. These systems are best paired with a mid- or high-efficiency media filter, and perhaps a gas-phase filter.
- Gas-phase filters are the only air cleaners that address gases and odors (other than a combination system). These systems typically use carbon to absorb and remove gases and odors from the air. Gas-phase filters do not capture organic, inorganic or microorganisms.
For more information about air cleaners and improving IAQ, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, serving the Greater Indianapolis area with pride.
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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