With more information available on the importance of indoor air quality, many families have turned to air purification systems. Air purifiers excel at removing indoor particulates that may impact your health and indoor comfort. You may be wondering how air purifiers work and if they’re more effective than your traditional HVAC filters. Keep reading to learn more about how an air purification system may help your household this season.
How They Work
Air purifiers strive to sanitize and protect your indoor air from airborne allergens, pollutants, toxins, and debris. These purifiers work the opposite way of humidifiers or oil diffusers, which add more particulates into circulation. The most popular purifiers are built with filters that can both remove and sanitize the particulates rather than continue to let them duplicate
This distinction makes air purification systems more effective than just using HVAC filters. Disposable pleated or fiberglass air filters pull contaminants and keep them in place. They can’t neutralize them, which is why you must switch out the air filter regularly. Many air purifiers also use washable or replaceable filters to trap particulates before neutralizing them.
In most situations, it’s best to use your air purifier as a complementary system to your high-quality HVAC filter. Whole-home systems work best to clean all your home’s breathing air. Individual units can only take care of a small area like a bedroom or office.
What They Remove
Depending on the model, your air purifier may be able to remove fungal spores from the air. Prolonged mold exposure can become dangerous to those with chronic respiratory conditions like asthma. Mold spores tend to duplicate rapidly and spread in high-moisture areas. If you’re struggling with mold, you may also be at a higher risk for stained walls and ceilings, rust and corrosion, and persistent condensation.
Purifiers with filters are also efficient at removing smoke caused by cooking and tobacco use. They’re not able to neutralize the smell entirely, but they can prevent excessive volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from sitting in the air. Without enough ventilation, smoking indoors can stain your floors and walls and discolor your furniture and fabrics.
Your living space is likely home to a variety of other pollutants and allergens like dust mites, pollen, pet hair, dander, and carbon dioxide. Choosing the right air purifier for your household’s needs and safety will limit the impact of these contaminants on your health.
Dangers of Poor Air Quality
Living in a home with poor indoor air quality can put you at risk for frequent headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. You and your loved ones may struggle to breathe easily, which can affect your concentration and ability to sleep. Family members with existing respiratory conditions like pet allergies or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will experience worsened symptoms over time. For some households, it may feel like you’re all perpetually suffering from an unexplained cold.
In addition to the many health consequences, your household will have a higher chance of being frequently dirty. Dust, dirt, and hair will accumulate faster on your tables, shelves, blinds, and counters. There will also be an increase in the number of airborne debris you can see. Fluctuating humidity levels can warp your wooden furniture, make your fresh goods go bad faster, and impact your electrical devices. Even your HVAC system may experience a drop in efficiency that skyrockets your maintenance and utility costs.
Different Types of Air Purifiers
A variety of air purifiers are available and designed to eliminate different pollutants, bacteria, and germs. It’s best to consult with an industry professional to determine the best purifying option based on your budget, HVAC system, and family health needs.
A High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) purifier can trap upwards of 99% of your indoor contaminants like mold, dust, pollen, and more. This type of system has a built-in fan that pushes air into its fiberglass filter. The many fibers capture debris before allowing that clean air to be pumped back into the home. Over time, the number of particulates in your home will steadily drop.
HEPA filters don’t use or produce any byproducts and can be easily utilized with other air purification systems. They’re great at getting rid of airborne solids without letting them back into the home. Some of the potential cons of these systems are that the filter inside will need regularly replaced if you live in a high-pollution area. These purifiers also can’t remove unpleasant odors, fumes, viruses, or smoke.
Ultraviolet (UV) light air purifiers neutralize bacteria and viruses by targeting their DNA. The lamp used in the system kills microorganisms before they can duplicate and infest your home. Germicidal purifiers work by exposing your breathing air to UV-C light, which kills fungi and other living organisms and deactivates viruses. These systems were initially used in secure medical systems before being outfitted to work in residences.
Unlike other types of purification systems, UV germicidal lights cannot take care of pollen, mites, dust, chemicals, and other solids. It’s best to use them along with an HVAC filter with a high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) rating.
Activated Carbon Purifier
Purifiers that use activated carbon are oriented toward eliminating unpleasant odors and fumes. The filters in these systems have absorbent pores that react to various chemicals and gases. The smoke and chemicals will bond to the carbon compounds and stay trapped within the purifier rather than continuing to circulate.
One of the potential downsides of activated carbon filters is that they’re not able to eliminate dust and other microorganisms. The filter also needs to be replaced frequently as it becomes saturated.
Negative Ion Purifier
Negative ion purifiers are much different from the other models because they function by changing the weight of airborne particles. These purifiers release negative ions that then attach to nearby floating debris. Once the pollutants become too heavy to circulate, they’ll fall to the floor. This process works because many of the objects in your home have a positive charge, which attracts the negative ions.
Negative ion purifiers don’t remove any pollen or dust from your home. They tend to work quietly and can disinfect common bacteria and viruses. However, all the settled debris must be swept up and physically removed. Ozone is also often released as a natural byproduct of the process.
People-Focused HVAC Care
Trust the professionals at Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating to outfit you with state-of-the-art air purifiers in San Antonio, TX. Our certified team is highly trained and has more than 40 years of collective experience. We’re the largest and most reliable indoor comfort company in the area. Our family-owned business is dedicated to delivering quality work, fair treatment, and exceptional customer service. Learn more about how we can repair, maintain, and replace your furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, or ductless HVAC system. Our experienced technicians will also clean and seal your air ducts, offer sheet metal services and work to improve your air quality. Call Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating to schedule your next convenient HVAC service appointment in San Antonio.