Many homeowners forget about indoor air quality, instead focusing their attention on heating and cooling. Unfortunately, air quality can be a major issue if anyone in your home suffers from respiratory sensitivities, asthma or allergies. The air in your home likely contains dust, bacteria, viruses, pet dander, and volatile organic compounds and other toxic chemicals from paints and cleaning supplies. The idea of improving your indoor air quality may seem overwhelming, but it’s definitely doable.
Purchasing a small, stand-alone air purifier is an option, but these units are generally meant for small spaces, and can’t efficiently filter particles from all of the air in the home. A whole-house air filtration system is the best option for many homes. These can be installed as part of an HVAC system, or as separate systems, and are the most effective way to improve your home’s air quality. There are four main varieties of whole-house air cleaner/filtration available:
Flat-panel filters are the most common type of whole-house air cleaner/filtration, because they are standard in forced-air heating and cooling systems. Inspect and replace the air filter regularly, and choose a filter with a high MERV rating. Extended-media filters are similar to flat-panel filters, but consist of a much thicker block of filtration material to trap particles. Extended-media filters require a special installation, as they are far too wide to fit in the filter compartments of most furnaces and air handlers. If you’re lucky, your equipment has already been retrofitted for these filters.
Ultraviolet and electromagnetic filtration systems, sometimes referred to as “air cleaners” or “purifiers” are also effective options for getting rid of pollutants. Usually installed in your ductwork, UV germicidal filtration systems use UV light to destroy harmful organic matter such as bacteria, viruses and mold. Electrostatic filters use an electric charge to remove pollutants and allergens from the air. Though these two options are great for family members with allergies and breathing sensitivities, they work best when paired with another filtration system.
For expert advice on whole-house air cleaner/filtration systems, or more information on improving indoor air quality, please contact us at Wolff Mechanical. We’re proud to serve the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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