In the past several posts we have been talking about improving the quality of the air in your home – both the need for doing so, and how to do it. We have already discussed source control and ventilation, now we’re going to discuss the third aspect of improving air quality in your home, namely air purification.
Why do I need an Air Purifier?
As we discussed in an earlier post, source control is the most important, first step, in improving indoor air quality. However, an air purification system can be a tremendous help, especially in newer, air-tight homes. Most homeowners don’t give these systems much thought, assuming that the filters on their HVAC system are protecting them from airborne pollutants. What they don’t realize is that these panel filters are designed to provide air filtration to protect the equipment, not to protect the people inside the home. And if you have older duct work in your house, it may actually be decreasing your indoor air quality by providing a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. For these reasons, more and more homeowners are choosing to add some type of indoor air purification system in their home.
What types of Air Purifiers are available?
Due to an increased interest in indoor purification systems, there are now a variety of options available to the homeowner. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is best to consult with an expert on this matter. A professional can provide accurate testing of your current indoor air quality and then recommend the most appropriate air purification system, or combination of systems, for your specific needs.
However, to get you started, we will discuss below some of the most common types of air purification options available.
HEPA (HIGH Efficiency Particular Air) Filters – these filters are quite powerful, able to eliminate 99.7% of airborne allergens and most types of bacteria. However, they cannot remove gases or fumes, such as those produced by cigarette smoke, stoves and many household cleaners.
Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) Lamps – these lamps are able to kill micro-organisms which can cause disease. They were first used in laboratories and hospitals, but now homeowners can take advantage of this technology as well. The lights are usually placed inside the HVAC system or ducts and so are not visible to the home’s occupants. Although UVGI lamps can improve the indoor air quality, they do not remove particles or gases from the air and are less effective against mold and bacteria.
Ionizer Purifiers – these units help improve the air quality inside your home by using electricity to create charged ions which then attach themselves to airborne pollutants. These are then drawn into a charged collection plate that can be periodically cleaned. Ionizer Purifiers are available as portable units or can be permanently mounted (in which case they are called electrostatic precipitators). However, some of their disadvantages include the production of trace amounts of ozone and, in some units, a popping noise from the electrostatic charge.
Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers – it is essential to maintain the proper level of humidity within your home for a healthy air quality. Too much moisture in the air can mold and harmful bacteria to grow, whereas too little moistures allows particles to remain airborne and which can lead to a variety of illness. Again by consulting with a professional, you will obtain an accurate measurement of your home’s humidity level and receive recommendations for the right system to regulate it.
So there you have it: an in depth discussion of improving the air quality in your home. The professional staff here at GAMA Air are ready to help you understand what your options are for improving your indoor air quality. Just give us a call at (310) 651-6936, or use our online form to schedule a free visit where we can review with you what options will be particularly suited to the unique situation in your home.
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