Using an air cleaner in your home can help to remove particulates, mold and other contaminants that aggravate breathing ailments. The key to choosing the right air cleaner lies in identifying problematic pollutants, testing your home’s air and then selecting a system that targets the right pollutants.
Types of pollutants
Contaminants are grouped into three classes:
- Particulates, such as pollen, dust mite, and dust.
- Bioaerosols, such as mold, viruses and bacteria,
- Volatile organic compounds, such as chemical vapors and odors.
Types of air cleaners
Before you choose an air cleaner, it’s helpful to know which contaminants cause problems for you or members of your family. You can conduct a test of your home’s air with a DIY kit or enlist the help of an indoor air-quality professional. The latter option generally offers better results. With this information in hand, you can select from available air cleaners. Options include:
- Whole-house air purification — When you or your family members are sensitive to all three classes, consider a system that targets all three: a whole-house air-purification system. Many manufacturers offer this type of system, which will generally employ multiple technologies, each designed to attack a specific class of contaminants. For instance, the Lennox PureAir employs a high-efficiency filter to trap particles, ultraviolet lights to attack bioaerosols and a catalyst to target VOCs. Efficiency doesn’t decline with age because the filter is changed annually.
- Ultraviolet lights – Consider UV lights when breathing ailments are related to sensitivity to bioaerosols alone.
- High Efficiency Particulate Air devices – HEPA devices employ the highest-efficiency air-filtration system possible to permanently trap airborne particles, at a rate of almost 100 percent, and they capture some bioaerosols too. Some manufacturers offer an add-on feature to control odors.
- Electronic air cleaners – This type of system charges particulates, causing them to stick to collector plates. Some EACs charge particles in the air and cause them to remain there. The downsides to an EAC’s, most produce ozone which can be harmful and the efficiency declines with age.
For help choosing an air cleaner or to schedule an air-quality test, contact Blanton’s Heating & A/C. We serve homeowners in the greater Fayetteville area.