Indoor air quality can be two to five times worse than outdoor air quality. Air filters, air purifiers and air cleaners are three options for improving the air quality in your home. Learn more about their differences so you can decide which suits your needs in Arcadia, AZ.
Air Filters: Essential for HVAC Systems
Air filters purify the air flowing through your HVAC unit. They collect particles that otherwise spread through your home and cause asthma, allergies and irritation such as pollen, dust and pet dander.
Air filters also do double duty in that they help keep your HVAC system running efficiently. When you’re cooling your home, the hot air goes into a condenser coil to chill, then it moves through the air filter. Different types of air filters include:
- Flat filters simply keep your HVAC system clean using thin fiberglass.
- Extended media filters need professional installation and are mid-level MERV-rated, thicker flat filters.
- Electronic air filters collect pollutants in an aluminum tray using electrostatic precipitation.
Without an air filter, airborne particles clog its internal components. It’s not only important to have the right air filter for your HVAC unit but to change it regularly. While basic fiberglass filters need replacement once a month, high-end pleated filters can last up to six months, depending on the type and size of the filter as well as assuming average use.
HVAC air filters have performance ratings known as MERV ratings, which have a range of one to 20. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values and measures a filter’s ability to capture particles, depending on how small they are, ranging from large particles at least 10 microns in size (MERV 1-4) to particles as small as 1 micron in size (MERV 11) and even 0.3 microns in size (MERV 13).
Choosing a suitable air filter for your HVAC system in Arcadia, AZ, involves more than just getting the highest MERV-rated filter. You need to consider where you’re at, how much you use your HVAC system, your budget, any pets or smokers that live with you and whether anyone in your home has allergies, asthma or respiratory problems. Most homes have air filters with MERV ratings of six to 13.
Air Purifiers: Another Level of Air Quality
Air filters aren’t enough for improving air quality in every household. Some older HVAC systems cannot handle higher MERV ratings. Also, HVAC filters with higher MERV ratings can reduce airflow in extreme circumstances, such as MERV ratings of 13 or higher.
That’s where air purifiers come in. Air pollution and poor air quality trigger asthma and cause health issues. The main demographic of people who need air purifiers in Arcadia, AZ, are those who have allergies, asthma or respiratory conditions or those who experience pollutants in their home that their HVAC system cannot filter.
You can choose to have a professional install an air purifier to your HVAC unit, or you can purchase one as a standalone unit. Each type of air purifier has a different filter:
- HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters capture up to 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size using pleated, dense fiberglass.
- ULPA (Ultra-Low Penetration Air) filters capture up to 99.99% of particles 0.1 microns in size.
- Activated carbon filters absorb VOCs, odors and gases, and they are often a pre-filter or secondary filter for HEPA air purifiers.
Air Cleaners: Targets Certain Contaminants
Air cleaners sanitize the air from airborne pathogens and microorganisms. Sometimes, air cleaners are also called UV air sanitizers. Each type has a different mechanism for doing so:
- Negative ionization or ionic technology works by making particles heavy so that they fall out of the air and are then filtered out.
- UV (ultra-violet) light technology uses UV-C for the incoming air and the filter to collect the particles.
It’s not uncommon to see air cleaners and air purifiers that combine filtration and sanitation features. What is most important is whether you want to simply filter the air in your home, sanitize it or both so you can then choose a type of filter or technology.
REEis Air Conditioning offers expert, thorough air quality services in Arcadia, AZ. Contact us today for an air quality evaluation of your home.
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