Indoor air quality is a concern for everyone, but it impacts people with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems the most. Since the air inside your home is often two to five times more polluted than the air outside, taking steps to clean up your indoor air is important to breathe easy.
The first step the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends is eliminating pollutants at the source. This includes things like not allowing people to smoke in your home, avoiding harsh household chemicals, and keeping pets out of your bedroom. Next, the EPA suggests bringing in fresh air with ventilation methods. This includes running the kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when cooking and showering, opening windows when the weather allows, and installing a whole-house ventilation system.
For those pollutants that slip past your prevention and ventilation efforts, there’s air purification. Air purifiers come in many shapes and sizes, but the goal is always the same—to remove airborne pollutants and improve indoor air quality. The most effective method is to install a whole-house air purifier, which addresses polluted air in the entire house rather than room by room. Learn more about whole-house air purifiers and how to select the right type for your needs.
How Do Whole-House Air Purifiers Work?
When you think of an air purifier, you might picture a tabletop unit that cleans the air in a single room. This is a portable air purifier. There are also whole-house air purifiers that integrate with your home’s heating and cooling system. This allows you to control the indoor temperature and air quality using the same thermostat.
With an air purifier installed, your air is automatically cleaned every time the HVAC system kicks on. Very little maintenance is required. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean or replace the necessary air purifier components within the recommended timeframe.
Types of Whole-House Air Purifiers
Several options are available to purify your indoor air. Each one targets different types of pollutants, and some can be used in combination. Take a look:
- Electrostatic filters are a type of flat filter with charged fibers that attract pollen, pet dander, and other allergens. They are the best type of flat filter and can fit within any budget. Electrostatic filters remain effective for two to three months and should be replaced before they become overly clogged.
- Extended media filters improve upon the traditional flat filters most often used in HVAC systems. These boxy units measure about 8 inches thick and contain pleated filtration media woven more tightly than standard filters. Plan to replace these heavy-duty filters about once a year.
- Ionizing electronic filters are high-tech units that electrically charge particles as they pass through using a process called ionization. An oppositely charged collector plate then attracts the particles like a magnet. Electronic filters are especially effective against smoke and odor particles, which are too small to be trapped in a media filter. The collector plate must be cleaned every few months to remain effective. Just be aware that the ionization process produces trace amounts of ozone, a known lung irritant. If anyone in your household is sensitive to ozone, you may want to avoid electronic filters.
- UV germicidal filters destroy airborne bacteria and viruses with a powerful ultraviolet lamp. They are so effective that hospitals use them to help prevent the spread of disease. Since UV lights don’t trap particles, these air purifiers are often sold as add-ons to extended media filters. Expect to replace the UV lamp about once a year.
Advantages of a Whole-House Air Purifier
Here are the top reasons to consider installing a whole-house air purifier:
- Filter out a range of irritants: Depending on the type of purifier you install, it may be effective at removing dust, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, viruses, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), smoke, odors, and more. The best air purifiers for allergies remove up to 99.98 percent of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns. This performance is 100 times better than a standard 1-inch fiberglass filter.
- Enjoy cleaner indoor air: With fewer pollutants floating around, your home smells fresher and cleaner. More importantly, people with sensitive respiratory systems are less likely to have aggravated symptoms, making home a haven from outdoor pollutants.
- Improve air quality without individual portable units: Portable air purifiers are effective devices in their own right, but they have limitations. For instance, they can only clean the air in one room at a time and take up space in the living area. Portable units also make noise while operating and detract from the interior design. A whole-house unit, on the other hand, is built into the HVAC system. So every time the furnace or air conditioner turns on, it silently and invisibly filters the air circulating throughout the entire house.
- Protect the HVAC system: The original purpose for using filtration devices in the HVAC system was to prevent dust particles from settling on and potentially damaging delicate components. A whole-house air purifier goes above and beyond by preventing particles much smaller than dust from entering the system. This keeps the furnace, air conditioner, ductwork, and air registers clean and functioning smoothly.
Contact Triple T for Indoor Air Quality Services
You probably spend 90 percent or more of your time indoors, so ensuring good air quality is essential for your health. That’s where Triple T Heating, Cooling & Plumbing comes in. We can help you select the best air filter or purifier for your home based on your needs. Our experience dates back to 1974, so you can trust our licensed, bonded, and insured company to exceed your expectations in every way.
For more information about choosing a whole-house air cleaner or to request an installation estimate, please contact us at 801-798-7711 if you live in Utah County or 435-275-4011 if you’re a Washington County resident. You can also contact us online to schedule HVAC services.