Whole House Purifying Systems
Improvements in building materials and methods have resulted in homes doing a fabulous job of keeping the weather out compared to older materials and practices. However, that also means they are keeping in more contaminants that pollute the air in our homes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality is four to five times worse than outdoor air quality.
Whole house purifiers connect directly into the HVAC system and run in conjunction with your furnace and air conditioner. They clarify the air throughout your home using one of several types of filters to remove mold, pet dander, smoke particles and other contaminants. Whole house purifying systems are much more affective than regular air filters in regards to reducing allergens and other bothersome particulates.
ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER
Air Change Rate
This refers to how many times a system will clean the air in your home each hour. It is important that the rate is compatible with the size of your home.
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
This tells how many cubic feet of air per minute can be cleaned; the higher the rating the better. Most systems have three different ratings for smoke, pollen, and dust.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)
Created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to describe how well a system cleans the air, uses a range from 1 to 16. The higher the rating, the greater the percentage of particles captured.
Mechanical: physically trap particulates; require regular replacement.
Electromagnetic: cause particles to gain a positive charge that allows them to be collected, magnetically, by a negatively charged plate; work well on smoke particles; don’t require regular replacement but should be washed every few months.
Ionizing: similar to electromagnetic but give a negative change to particles which are then collected by a positively charged collector; requires periodic cleaning with a damp sponge and deep cleaning occasionally which can be done with soap and water.
Ultraviolet: use ultraviolet light to break down the cellular structure of mold, bacteria and viruses; best used in conjunction with other filters.
Thermodynamic: incinerate particles with extremely high heat then cool the air before it is pumped back into the house; filter-less.
One example of a whole-house air purifying system that is creating a large amount of buzz is the Perfect 16 from IQAir. This product sports high-performance, high-quality filters and provides excellent coverage. It has the highest efficiency for filtering contaminants from the air being circulated in your home. A Swiss-based company, IQAir provides actual, not theoretical, claims for their products. The company and its authorized dealers scientifically validate the performance of each installed unit.
The Perfect 16 is named for its perfect MERV rating of 16. It removes airborne contaminants such as bacteria, dust, pollen, and other allergens. It doesn’t require additional energy to run as it is retrofitted into existing HVAC systems. It also utilizes existing ductwork. IQAir’s superior filters require less regular replacement than other filters and the Perfect 16 has such low air restriction that it doesn’t impede your HVAC system’s functionality like some other whole-house purifiers do. It actually improves efficiency in comparison to conventional air cleaners. And, unlike electronic and UV purifiers, the Perfect 16 does not produce ozone as a byproduct of its functioning.
Some might ask whether portable air purifiers will do the trick. To some extent, they do provide cleaner air and are certainly an option for homes without central heating and air conditioning. However, they take up space in the room they are being used and the fans in these units can be quite noisy. Portable ion units are quieter as they operate without a fan, however, these units do produce trace amounts of ozone that is pushed out into the air in your home. It would also require a number of portable units to compare to the capacity of a whole-home system.
Whole-home air purification systems address air quality throughout your home, are available in a number of sizes and price ranges and can be incorporated into most HVAC systems. The functionality of a whole-house purifier is impacted by the limitations of your existing HVAC system so it is important to have your HVAC professional help you understand your best options. Contact GV’s Heating and Cooling today to learn more about air purification and IQAir’s Perfect 16.