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.
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 Air Filtration
- Reduces levels of airborne contaminants and allergens in the home, including dust and dust mites, pet dander, plant pollen, and soot
- Mitigates household air pollution to improve indoor air quality for better health
- Eases symptoms such as sneezing, sniffling, wheezing, coughing, itchy eyes, fatigue, and headaches
- Protects high-risk individual such as heart patients, infants, and the elderly
- Acts as dust protection for delicate components of your heating and cooling system
Difference Between Air Filtration & Air Purification
Air filtration mechanically removes particulate contaminants from the air, by means of a screen. Air purification sanitizes indoor air, extracting gases, VOCs, and smoke, with the help of processes that include UV rays, activated carbon, and ionic or electrostatic attraction.
Air filtration and air purification are often used in tandem when a high-level quality of indoor air is desired.
Call the Clean Air Experts
When you’re ready to install a home air filtration system, 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.