Sometimes breathing inside of your own home can feel like a struggle. From pollen and other allergens causing irritation to possible bacteria in the air, there are many reasons why someone would worry about their indoor air quality and possible pollutants.
With all of these hazards, it is beneficial to add air filtration to your home, especially for those with health problems or strong seasonal allergies. One great solution to this problem is particulate reduction, a strong air filtration method that can get rid of indoor air pollutants.
How Does Air Filtration Work?
Particulate reduction passes your home’s air through filters that trap particles. These air cleaners are the “heart”, or most important part, of these devices. Options range from small, stand-alone filtration systems for just one room, such as a home office or a bedroom, or larger whole-house systems that are integrated into your home HVAC system.
These particulate reduction systems are very effective at reducing airborne pollutants and are rated on what is called a MERV scale. This helps users determine what level of filtration they need for their home.
What Is a MERV Scale?
The MERV scale, or minimum efficiency reporting value scale, is a way to measure how much a filter will take out of the air based on particle size. Depending on where a filter ranks on the MERV scale, it could filter large particles like dust mites, the whole way to airborne viruses.
In other words, a filter that is a 3 on the MERV scale will take large particles out of the air, like pet hair. A filter that is a 16, however, will filter out much more, including smaller indoor air pollutants.
Image courtesy of nafahq.org.
Examples of Air Filters
Some examples of filters that clean the air are as follows:
- Standard Filters: These can come in a variety of types, such as pleated, washable, etc.. These usually have a MERV scale of 1-4, so they get rid of bigger, more basic pollutants like pollen and dander. These are a great option for someone who has seasonal allergies.
Insider’s Tip: Standard filters that are pleated have a higher MERV rating, so if you want more filtration from a filter in this group, this is a great option.
- Media Filters: These types of filters have a MERV scale of 8-11. By using different types of media inside of them, they can remove mold spores, chemicals like hair spray, and auto emissions. If you are worried about the air in your environment affecting your lungs, these can help.
Insider’s Tip: Media filters are easily fitted into existing HVAC systems. So if you’re looking for a step up from a normal filter.
- Electronic Filters: These air filters have a MERV scale of 13-15. This air purification filter electrically charges the particles in the air in order to filter out indoor air pollutants such as pet dander, bacteria, and virus particles.
Insider’s Tip: This type of system does need regular maintenance in order to function well.
Examples of Air Purification Systems
Other types of highly efficient air-purifying systems include:
- Perfect 16 – This system is ideal for those who have severe allergies and/or asthma and is used with an IQAir perfect 16 filter. This has a MERV rating of 16 and this filter captures even sneeze particle droplets.
- HEPA Air Purifier Filter – The HEPA filter typically ties into the HVAC system via separate ducting to by-pass a portion of the home’s airflow through the highly restrictive filters. The units typically have their own blower system to help reduce stress on the home’s main HVAC system. These are a 16-20 on the MERV scale and can filter out bacteria, viruses, and many other types of airborne particles. These systems are especially effective for those who suffer from lung problems or have compromised immune systems.
Air Purification and COVID-19
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, many homeowners are more conscious than ever about what exterior pollutants enter their living space. Poor indoor air quality can expose you to unwanted germs and bacteria. Certain air purification systems can help limit your family’s contact with these germs and may reduce the chances of infection.
How Much Does an Air Filtration System Cost?
This depends upon the desired level of filtration, HVAC system, ducting, access to mount the required housing, and necessary wiring. Pricing will vary from two hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
For those looking for indoor air quality service, RSC Heating & Air Conditioning would be more than happy to provide a free estimate, or you can call us for more information on how to improve home comfort.