An air cleaner is one of the best ways to improve the air quality in your home. It will help you breathe easier and feel more comfortable. Before you choose an air cleaner, however, it’s important that you consider these four factors:
- The pollutants it will remove. There are many harmful substances in the air; different air purifiers target different substances. Air cleaners equipped with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, for example, can capture a high percentage of the smallest contaminants including pollen, dust mites and pet dander. Systems that use ultraviolet lights are effective at targeting microorganisms in your home’s air, including bacteria, mold and viruses..
- The level of performance. To compare air cleaners that employ media filtration technology, you can look at the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of the filters employed in the system. A higher number, on a scale from 1 to 20, indicates more complete removal of contaminants. Consult with an HVAC professional to find out the ideal level for your home, as most mid-range MERV filters perform almost as well as top-of-the-line options, without running the risk of impeding airflow in your forced-air system.
- Will it improve your health. Air cleaners can’t remove all of the contaminants in the air. They do their best with larger particles that don’t settle out of the air quickly. This means that certain particles, often allergens, aren’t removed to a degree that significantly improves allergy symptoms or asthma with some air cleaners. Find out if a cleaner can remove the type of particles you need eliminated to improve your health.
- Miscellaneous factors. There are other factors not related to performance that you should consider. You’ll want to know where you have to install the air cleaner, for example, if it’s designed to go in-duct or if it works as a stand-alone system. Also find out the expected lifetime cost of the device, including purchase price, expected maintenance and any energy costs. Finally, some cleaners can make a bit of noise, something you’ll want to consider before purchasing.
If you need a professional opinion on the best air cleaner for your Greater Kansas City home, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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