Pollution, allergens, and other factors have severely deteriorated the air quality across the US, including in Irving, Texas. Poor indoor air quality negatively affects the lives of millions. This has caused many to consider purchasing an air purifier for their home. There are several factors to consider when choosing an air purifier. Some people opt for portable air purifiers that are intended to clean the air in a single room. However, whole-home air purification is more effective and can be integrated into your existing HVAC system. Some things you want to consider are the filter type and the cost. If you choose the right features, your device will clean the air you breathe, improving overall health.
Understanding the Types of Air Filtration
Understanding the filters that can be used in air purifiers is the first step to deciding what type of system will benefit you the most.
The US Department of Health approves HEPA filters. They remove at least 99.97% of pollutants, allergens, and airborne irritants. A HEPA filter can remove mold spores and dust as small as 0.3 microns. HEPA filters have a MERV rating of close to 16, providing the best protection for your home. They can even remove minuscule airborne particles like bacteria, making them especially beneficial for individuals with allergies or respiratory issues.
One benefit of HEPA filters in air purifiers is that they can capture large pollutants like pollen and dander as well as smaller contaminants. In addition, air purifiers with HEPA filters are relatively cost-effective, and the filter only needs to be changed a few times a year.
UV filters utilize ultraviolet light to eliminate bacteria and viruses. When air passes through the filter, UV lamps disinfect using germicidal radiation. UV filters effectively eliminate microorganisms that can be health hazards, including mold spores. While they excel at getting rid of bacteria and viruses, they are less effective against dust and pollutants.
An electrostatic filter is made up of paper and cotton fibers. These filters create static that acts like a magnet, attracting dust and other airborne particles. The magnetism created by the static is so strong that it prevents these particles from spreading throughout the house. This makes electrostatic filters an excellent choice for purifying the air in a home where someone has asthma or allergies. Electrostatic filters do an excellent job of capturing smaller pollutants but are not as effective against mold spores, dust, or larger particles like pollen and pet dandruff.
Understanding Stages in Air Purifiers
When seeking the right air purifier, familiarize yourself with the common types or stages of air purifiers available on the market. This knowledge will aid in understanding their features and making an informed decision to clean your indoor air. As previously discussed, HEPA filters excel at capturing almost all particulates in the air. However, they do not capture fumes, cigarette smoke, or chemical gas. Hence, it’s crucial for a HEPA filter to be used in conjunction with other filters in a multistage process.
Most air purifiers have pre-filters as the first line of defense. Pre-filters capture large visible pollutants, including fur, pollen, dust, and hair. They can even capture small insects. A pre-filter prevents these larger pollutants from clogging the more expensive HEPA filters. Since pre-filters are the initial stage in the filtration process, they become dirtier quickly and need frequent changes. A dirty pre-filter impacts your air purifier’s airflow, making the filtration less efficient.
Activated Carbon Stage
Some multistage air purifiers include activated carbon. Activated carbon eliminates chemicals, odors, gases, smoke, and fumes from the air. The filter has tiny molecular pores that chemically interact with pollutants as they pass through, fusing pollutants with the carbon and trapping them. This process is called absorption. An air purifier with activated carbon is especially beneficial for individuals with multiple chemical sensitivities. Activated carbon can absorb formaldehyde from carpet, furniture, or wood paneling. The downside of activated carbon is that it is not highly effective against airborne particles. However, it can produce remarkable results when combined with a HEPA filter.
Some filters include a UV stage to destroy potentially harmful bacteria, pathogens, or viruses. The UV stage targets airborne microorganisms that find their way into the filter. Ultraviolet light consists of three subbands: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC, in particular, destroys pathogens by attacking their core DNA, making it impossible for these microorganisms to multiply. The effectiveness of a UV stage in an air purifier depends on the wattage of light used and the exposure time to the light. UV purifiers on their own do very little to remove dust, allergens, or gases from the air. However, they can provide a comprehensive air quality solution when part of a multistage unit that includes HEPA and activated carbon filters.
While Humidifiers do not clean the air, they can make a big difference in indoor air quality. This is because maintaining the proper balance of humidity in the air can be beneficial for those who suffer from allergies or asthma. Because they add moisture to the air, they can help with dryness in your throat or lungs and reduce the symptoms of respiratory issues. Like air purifiers, whole-home humidifiers can be integrated into your current heating and cooling system.
Modern air purifiers are designed to operate quietly but are not completely silent. Different air purifiers have varying noise levels, depending on the type you are interested in installing. It’s essential to pay attention to this, especially if you’re sensitive to noise or seeking a quiet device. Most air purifiers produce noise ranging from 24 to 36 dB. For reference, the sound a modern refrigerator makes is around 40 dB, and a vacuum cleaner runs between 60 and 70 dB. When working with a professional to integrate an air purifier into your HVAC system, make sure you let them know you want the quietest system possible and if a quieter system will add to installation costs.
Some air purifiers have smart features. They come with the same air cleaning benefits as non-connected models but add the convenience of an app and smart home integration. Other features may include air quality indicators and filter change reminders. When selecting an air purifier, you’ll need to determine if these extra add-ons are worth the expense.
Working With an Irving, Texas, Top Heating and Air Conditioning Company
At Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating, we have provided expert HVAC services for families in Irving, TX for three generations. We are an Angie 100 company, have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and are a humanitarian award winner. In addition to providing stellar service, giving back to our community is important to us.
Our services include HVAC maintenance, repair, and installation. We also offer whole-home air purification and humidification sytems. Contact Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating today if you have questions about what whole-home air purification can do for you or to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians.