If you want to know more about air purifiers, it’s best to start by researching information about indoor air quality, or IAQ. Understanding more about what is measured, and what can be gained from a proper air purifier, can help you determine which type of air purifier is right for your space.
What is Indoor Air Quality?
As probably assumed, IAQ refers to the quality of air that is circulating inside any building, home or other indoor space. This is something important to the EPA, and can have effects on your overall health.
Of course, there are big concerns we all know about with indoor air quality, like second hand smoke, for example. But beyond heavy hitters like this that we know and avoid, there can be other lesser-known particles that can still be health concerns if you are frequently around them.
Avoiding air pollutants can help short term and long term health problems. Some irritants can cause immediate issues, like asthma or allergies, but things like dust can also be a problem for some people.
How to Avoid Indoor Air Pollutants
As noted on the EPA’s website, indoor air pollutants can be caused by a number of factors including appliances, building materials (both newly installed and deteriorating), cleaning supplies, HVAC systems, excess moisture, or chemicals & pesticides coming in from the outdoors.
One of the best ways to keep your indoor air free of these pollutants is to have an air purifier system that can adequately maintain the entire occupied building space.
The Pros & Cons of High-Rated MERV Filters
For many homeowners, the first thing they turn to is the simple filters on their HVAC system, so let’s talk about those first.
It follows logic that a filter is there to stop bad particles from entering our air space, but the quality of the filter can make a difference. Air filters have a quality rating known as MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This tells you how effective your filter is, with the higher numbers meaning more effective.
While it may seem useful to just choose the highest rated MERV filter, there are cons to doing so. Simply put, the higher the MERV rating the more it’s blocking not only pollutants, but also your air flow.
This can be a problem because restricting air flow to your HVAC system can not only damage the whole system, but also increase your energy bills on an ongoing basis. This problem makes it a delicate balance on which MERV rating will give you the clean air you desire, but not cause unnecessary inefficiencies or problems with your HVAC. It is best practice to use a more moderate MERV rating, and make sure to replace your filter often so that it continues to work at peak performance.
Ionized Air Purifiers
Unlike traditional filters, air purifiers that use ionized technology work to purify air more like nature. Systems like the REME HALO® work by completely purifying the air in your ducts, which allows it to clean every part of the air that flows around your home or building.
A pro to this technology is that it can filter more than just the particles of a normal filter, it stops all types of pollutants, including microbial and gasses too. This means it can be helpful for stopping many of the things that cause health issues:
- Common allergens like mold, pollen, dander and dust
- Surface bacteria & viruses such as e-coli and MRSA
- Upsetting odors like cooking, pets, musty rooms, etc.
A con to an option like this versus a simple filter usually comes down to initial cost. But this is one of those cases where paying a little more upfront can really save you money in the long run, especially if you had to factor in something like an HVAC replacement from using improper filters that cause poor air circulation.
As always, it’s best to think about your situation to figure out which type of purifier is right for you. If you’d like to know more about filter options, or how either traditional filters or ionized ones would work in your space, contact us to find out more.