During the holiday season, we often have close friends and family come and visit us. It’s also the perfect time of year to give consideration to your air purification and cleaning system.
We may think of allergies as being worse in other seasons, but just as many contaminants and pollutants build up in the fall and winter months inside our home.
In fact, indoor air quality is an issue we should be aware of throughout the year.
Indoor Air Quality: Not Just for Those With Allergies
One of the biggest myths about indoor air quality is that only those people with severe allergies have to be worried about pollution inside the home. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In winter, as people turn on their heating systems and as people utilize their fireplaces, we can see an uptick in indoor allergens.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks we have today—and that’s consistent throughout the year. Also according to the EPA, some of the indoor air pollutants we have can include:
• dust mites
What’s more is that the source of these pollutants can vary greatly. We see pollutants enter the air from adhesives, paint, varnishes, products we use on the body, cleaning products, pesticides and building materials. Pollutants are broken down into two categories: particulate matter (like dust, smoke, pollen, dander, tobacco) and gaseous pollutants (like gas cooking stoves, paints or vehicle exhaust.)
Air cleaning systems can clean out particles and gaseous pollutants. Still other air cleaners actually destroy (or convert) pollutants via UV light technology. Increasing ventilation in the home also support removal of pollutants in our air.
Air Cleaning Technologies: What to Know
You may wonder: what are some of the questions you should be asking when it comes to selecting your air cleaning technology? Here are a few of the questions to consider:
• Does this air filter remove large particles, and if not, what can be used in combination with it to ensure large particles in the air can be removed and/or destroyed?
• Does this filtration system apply to gases in the home?
• Will this be effective in dealing with bacterial and/or mold in the air?
• Can you verify that none of these systems produce any lung irritants?
• How do you describe the performance of this air cleaner—and why is this superior to other solutions?
• Do these cleaning systems/devices handle odors in the air as well?
Your HVAC expert can help you find air cleaning technologies that, when combined, can work effectively and be a solution that has longevity.
What Kind of Air Cleaners or Purifiers Should My Home Have?
Mechanical filters use a media filter made of carbon, fiberglass or another porous material to capture particles as air passes through them. The highest rated media filters (HEPA) can capture up to 99.9% of all contaminants 0.3 microns or larger. Many mechanical air filters can be measured in terms of MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting value. On a scale of 1 to 20, this allows people to compare the efficacy of air filters across brands. Ask us for more specific information or about specific filters you have. In general, there will be three factors we will take into consideration:
• Size of Pollutants: Air testing is highly recommended to determine which allergens and pollutants pose the greatest risk in your home. Common allergens like dust and pollen can be captured by many filters, but smaller particles like mold spores or smoke particles cannot.
• Whole House Options: This option means your whole house is effectively working to remove and destroy contaminants, making sure that allergens and pollutants do not circulate back into your home’s air supply. For homes without air handlers, there are standalone options or single–room options available.
• Multi–Stage Air Cleaning: Air cleaners and purifiers come in many forms, so it is best to decide if you want to have a single device or multiple devices that can clean air effectively.
When it comes to installation, your experienced and professional HVAC will guide you so you meet install requirements and so you know what kind of maintenance your system requires. Give us a call today at 859-491-4915 to learn your options on how you can find allergy relief and more pure air through air cleaners in your home.