Types Of Indoor Air Cleaners
Are you trying to figure out what type of indoor air cleaner is right for you? When looking around at all the options,you’ll see a score of products to choose from. Then to make it even more difficult, you’ll find different rating systems at some of the well-known home improvement stores.
Should you get an air purifier, an air filtration system, a HEPA filter, a UV light, or an activated carbon filter? Should you choose a portable or a whole house air cleaner? Decisions, decisions.
Any type of air cleaner is an investment, so you want to be sure you do your homework before choosing one. At Design Air Heating & Cooling, we regularly help customers find the right equipment for healthier indoor air. As professionals, we know how many options are out there and understand how confusing it can get to weed through them all.
We’d like to go through a few of the different types of air cleaners here. Hopefully, this information will help you gain some understanding about the differences between them.
- Electrostatic Precipitators
- Whole House Air Cleaners
- HEPA Air Filters
- Charged Media Filters
- Air Purifiers
- Ion & Ozone Generators
- Anti-Microbial UV Lights
- HVAC Filters (Pre-Filters)
- Activated Carbon Filters
Whole House Air Cleaners
A whole home air cleaner is connected to your HVAC system by a technician. The air is cleaned before it is sent through the air ducts in your home. They operate automatically, at all times, and clean the air in every room.
There are many different makes, models, and types of whole home air cleaners to choose from. See the list above. Some are combo systems that utilize several methods to purify the air. The equipment may cost more up front than a portable unit, but it is much more effective and the filters don’t have to be replaced near as often.
Portable Air Cleaners
There are many types of portable air cleaners from a tabletop unit to a large unit that promises to clean a lot of square footage. Keep in mind that the square footage indicated is not for a house with walls but for one large room. While the equipment may be able to handle the stated square footage, it will not be able to clean the same way when there are walls, headers, hallways, and separated rooms in the space.
If you must stick with a portable, you’re better off choosing the equipment for the largest room in the house and moving it around. It’s a waste otherwise because you’ll still be moving the large unit from room to room.
Portable air cleaners can only clean one room at a time. When the HVAC system turns on, it will recirculate the dirty air in the other rooms throughout the home again. Though they are certainly helpful, you won’t get the same results as you would with an installed whole house air cleaner.
HEPA Air Cleaners
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance. HEPA air filters are at minimum 99.97% efficient in trapping particles of 0.3 microns in size. Even the best HVAC air filters will only trap particles the size of 1 micron. The problem with relying on just your HVAC filter is that it’s actually there to keep larger particles from getting into your heating and air conditioning equipment.
It is best to consider the HVAC filter as a pre-filter because this is what it is made for. They are not made to clean the indoor air in your house. This is why so many people choose to use a HEPA air cleaner as well.
UV Air Purification
Allergens are not the only contaminate that pollutes your indoor air. Airborne and surface bacteria are also a problem in any home. Unfortunately, surface bacteria and viruses can grow near the HVAC condensation pan and other areas. Airborne organisms are blown throughout homes with a forced air system. UV lights can be installed to greatly reduce this problem. They can be installed in the air handler and duct system to kill microorganisms.
UV light rays are radiation. When UV light makes direct contact with a microorganism, it will kill it. This works by infiltrating the organism and then causing the molecular bonds to fail which mutilates the cellular structure. There is no surer way to sterilize your indoor air.