Clean is the key to health these days – clean eating, clean energy, and clean air. Clean air in the home is especially important if you or other family members are among the one in five Canadians bothered by allergic rhinitis (nasal allergies).
Allergic reactions tend to be triggered by allergens in the air — such as pollen from trees and flowers — even inside the house. Fortunately, there are excellent practical solutions to improve your indoor air quality, namely, removing the source of contaminants, improving ventilation (which can also be done with HRV and ERV systems), and home air filtration systems.
Here we’ll take a closer look at home air filtration.
What is Air Filtration?
Air filtration systems are a method used to improve indoor air quality. The air you breathe when you’re inside is often more polluted than what’s found outside, because it has been confined to, and recycled though, ductwork or vents.
Air filters or air purifiers will prevent those contaminants from getting into your spaces by capturing particles before they can make their way through the air ducts.
Most air purifiers will be installed with a series of high-efficiency particulate air filters (called HEPA filters) designed to remove dust, pollen, and bacteria from the air before it can be send around your home.
How Does Air Filtration Work?
Air filtration is an important process which traps airborne particles and prevents them from circulating in your home. The filtration works by screening out contaminants via a mesh or sieve-like device.
Home air filtration comprises the filters in your HVAC system and in portable air cleaning devices. For optimal functioning, air filters must be changed or cleaned according to manufacturer’s directions, every 1-3 months, as they become clogged with dirt and debris. If your filter system takes single-use filters, always keep a few spares on hand.
Different Types Of Air Filters
There are three main types of air filter which are commonly sold for home use, as described below.
1. Fiberglass. These popular, inexpensive disposable filters are composed of multi-layer fiberglass filters, supported by a metal grate.
2. Pleated. This kind of filter, which is made up of polyester or cotton, is more resistant to airflow and more effective at dust removal.
3. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air). HEPA filters are the highest efficiency type, recommended for allergy and asthma sufferers. Studies show that HEPA filters block 55 percent of fine particles and 23 percent of outdoor particulate pollution from entering the inside air.
In addition to these categories, you should also look at MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) ratings, which measure how effectively air filters trap particles. MERV ratings ranging between 7 and 13 are the ones most commonly used in home filtration systems, with the larger numbers indicating greater efficiency.
While filters with MERV ratings of 14 and higher are available, they are utilized mainly in health care and food service establishments.
Benefits of an Air Filtration System
There are plenty of good reasons to invest in having cleaner air in your home, free of large particles and allergens.
Reduce illness: Airborne viruses and bacteria, such as the COVID-19 virus, can hang around in the air for much longer than you might think.
Better sleep: If you have difficulty getting a good night’s rest, cleaner air might help. Take care of your health by improving the air quality in your home.
Relieve allergies: The presence of pet dander, dust mites, and other fine particles can trigger an allergic reaction. Integrating an air purification system will help improve your indoor air quality and relieve your allergies.
Extend the life of your HVAC equipment: Your ductwork doesn’t like getting clogged with dust and other large particles any more than your airways do! Pollutants will reduce the lifespan of your equipment and cost you money in repairs and higher usage bills.
How Much Does an Air Filtration System Cost?
The cost of your air purifier will depend on the size and type that you get.
A portable, or single-room, home air purifier, will cost you between $100 to $1000. These are standalone units that are best for homes with no HVAC system (such as an apartment or older home), and require no installation.
A whole-home air purifier can cost anywhere between $400 to $4000, depending on the type of filtration system, how efficient it is, and the included labour for installation. HEPA air purifiers will cost more, at around $1000 to $4000.
How to Size an Air Filtration System
Properly sizing your air purifier is important to ensure that the unit can work effectively and provide clean air for whatever space you have.
Getting an air purifier that’s too small will mean that it’s underpowered, and your apparently clean air might actually full of airborne particles.
- Small air purifier: up to 200 square feet
- Medium air purifier: rooms between 200-400 square feet
- Large air purifier: rooms between 400-1500 square feet
You can also get a whole-home air purifier, which will be good for every room in your home. If you go with this option, you won’t need to worry about sizing as much, because these air purifiers run through your home’s HVAC system.
What are the Best Air Filtration Systems?
Pristine Air Filtration Systems
Dr. HVAC is a certified installer of Pristine Air solutions, and we offer several products to suit your needs.
Pristine Air has air filters that fit directly into your 1″ furnace filter rack. They have polarized media air cleaners, UVC germicidal units to disinfect your air naturally (without chemicals), and a HEPA filter bypass system.
GeneralAire Air Purifiers
Dr. HVAC carries a variety of GeneralAire products to help improve your indoor air quality. The best air purifiers are designed to remove more particles and VOCs than a standard filter can.
GeneralAire has a range of options to improve your home’s air quality, including extended media filters, HEPA filters (with available activated carbon), as well as heat recovery ventilation (HRV). HRV is a technology that is designed to get rid of stale air from your home, and bring in fresh air, while keeping the maximum amount of heat in the winter, or coolness in the summer.
Call the Clean Air Experts
When you’re ready to install a home air filtration system (like Pristine Air Filtration), our team of HVAC professionals is ready to help.
Do you still have questions about the best ways to improve indoor air quality and create a healthy home? We’ll take the time you need to answer each of your concerns in detail.