Guide to Air Cleaners in Your Home

Published on: April 5, 2013

Choosing the right air cleaner for your home can be confusing. It is an important consideration, however, if you live in a dusty environment or if members of your household suffer from allergies or asthma. Some air purifiers on the market today can actually pollute your home with harmful levels of ozone that can irritate your lungs. Although dehumidifiers help prevent the growth of mold in your environment, these machines only remove excess moisture from the air and do nothing about reducing the level of airborne contaminants. To help you select the unit that is right for your needs, here is a brief guide to air cleaners in your home.

HEPA Filters

The most effective air cleaners use HEPA (High Energy Particulate Arresting) filters. These air filters trap 99.97 percent of all airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns, which is the width of one human hair. HEPA technology was developed originally in the 1950s by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to remove radioactive particles from the air. Air purifiers using these filters are the best choice for allergy sufferers because they are effective at removing a variety of contaminants from the environment.

Although your standard HVAC system filters will trap larger particles above 1.0 microns, an air cleaning system will remove more from the environment. Among the substances that HEPA filters remove include dust mites, mold, pollen, organic and microbiological particulates, chemicals, gas particles, cigarette smoke and other pollutants. Use of one of these HEPA-based systems can ease allergy symptoms.

Determine Your Needs

Before choosing an air cleaning system for your home or business, it is important to determine your needs. Will your unit need to rid the air of dust and pollen, cigarette smoke, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pet dander or other specified contaminants? Consider the size of your house or the size of the rooms in which the unit will work. Make sure that you select a system that can handle the square footage of the area to be cleaned.

Additional products that work in tandem with air cleaning equipment include humidifiers or dehumidifiers (depending on your climate conditions), and ventilators that quietly provide fresh air circulation. Ultra violet lamps are an option that actually kill the organisms that can grow on the indoor coil of your HVAC system, specifically mold and bacteria.

When your indoor air quality is improved, the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment also improves. This is great news for energy conservation and for your wallet.