Did you know that indoor air is often significantly more polluted than the air outside? Unfortunately, poor indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental health risks in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When you consider that most people spend 90 percent of their time inside, the need for a quality air purification system becomes clear.
Pollution can originate both outside and inside your house, where it can get “bottled up,” especially if your home is sealed against energy leaks. Common indoor contaminants include:
- Dust mites
- Spores and mold
- Allergens, such as pollen
- Microorganisms, such as airborne bacteria and viruses
- Household cleaning fumes
- Household air-freshener fumes
- Off-gassing from building materials, adhesives and carpets
It can be hard to stay on top of them, but a quality air purification system can help remove these and other hazards from your indoor environment.
High-efficiency air purifiers come in small, portable systems that can address trouble spots and be moved from place to place. Some of the most powerful purifiers, though, are whole-house systems that work in conjunction with your HVAC system. By making use of existing ductwork, they clean indoor air on a regular basis. Whole-house air purification systems are usually lower maintenance than portable units and typically have longer life spans.
MERV (the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) is a scale that rates the efficiency of residential air filters from 1 to 16, with 16 offering the strongest filtration. Quality indoor air purification systems employ pleated filters rated at MERV 16. They can capture about 95 percent of particles that are 0.03 microns small, and about 90 percent of 0.01-micron particles.
Particles this small include microorganisms and bioaerosols that can contribute to health problems such as respiratory issues, skin irritations, fatigue and asthma. For this reason high-efficiency air purifiers are used in hospitals and other medical settings.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air purification and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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