Finding an air cleaner that truly improves your indoor air quality is worth the time it takes to choose the right one. That’s especially true where pollen, pet dander, common household dust, dirt and even pollution is a concern. By learning a little about how different types of air cleaners work, you’ll be better able to find the design that’s right for you.Mechanical filters – These air cleaners pull in air using a fan and trap contaminant particles in a fibrous material. They’re effective against dust, pollen, mold spores, smoke particles and some bacteria. MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) indicates an air filter’s efficiency. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, which have MERVs above 16, are the most efficient. Experts from the federal Environmental Protection Agency note, however, that filters with MERVs between 7 and 13 are equally effective for improving indoor air quality.
Electronic air cleaners – These devises use an electronic field charge to trap contaminants that pass over metal collector plates. Most of these cleaners produce small amounts of ozone, a powerful lung irritant. If you have asthma, allergies or other respiratory issues, you may be better off finding an air cleaner that doesn’t produce ozone.
UV air cleaners – Also known as germicidal air cleaners, these devices target bacteria, viruses, mold spores and other biological contaminants. They emit a ultraviolet (UV) light, the same light as in sunshine, on micro-organisms that pass through the emitted light. The light renders the microorganisms incapable of reproducing.
Ozone generators – These cleaners are used to purify heavily contaminated air often used in the restoration industry, a effective means to eliminate smoke damage where fire was the cause. Because of the harmful levels of ozone they produce, they aren’t appropriate for everyday home use.
Stand-alone versus whole-house – Stand-alone air cleaners are usually more expensive than whole-house models, and their effectiveness is limited to one or two rooms at a time. Whole-house air cleaners fit in your forced-air HVAC system and clean the air throughout your home.
For expert guidance on finding an air cleaner and other ways to improve your home’s air quality, please contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. Since 1983, we’ve been providing cost-effective HVAC services to homeowners in the greater Kansas City area.
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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