Tips to Help You Pick the Best Air Purifier for Your Home
Smog, pollution, dust, and allergens all affect air quality in Seattle, Washington. When allergy season is at its worst, sufferers sneeze and cough, and respiratory issues are triggered. While it is impossible to control the air quality outside of your home, air purifiers are a great tool in helping you manage the air quality in your home.
Regardless of the season, clean indoor air means that your family’s hearts, lungs, blood circulation, and health will be better. Many are surprised to learn just how dirty the air in their home is. The EPA produced a report showing that certain pollutants are up to five times more concentrated in your home than outdoors.
These include cooking gases, mold, building materials, pollutants from cleaning materials, and pet dander. Smaller particles, which are those under 10 micrometers, are incredibly troubling. Smoke and dust can bury their way into your lungs. Breathing these fine particles for just a few hours each day can worsen asthma attacks and respiratory issues. Studies show a link between poor indoor air quality and heart conditions and premature death.
In Seattle, a significant concern for homeowners is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Formaldehyde and other toxins found in paints, cleaning products, and adhesives can nest in your home. VOCs lead to eye irritation, nausea, and headaches, affecting your kidneys, liver, and nervous system. Radon is extremely dangerous, leading to lung cancer and death. These issues underscore the importance of having air purifiers in your home.
The Benefits of Air Purifiers
To get the best indoor air quality, you have to attack pollutants at their source and ensure that clean air is circulating through your home. If your HVAC system is not equipped with an air purifier, a room air purifier will suffice.
Room air purifiers are good, but they do have their limitations. A room air purifier will filter the air in just one room. It will not affect the rest of the house. If you want a whole-home air purification system, talk to us at Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve been helping Seattle residents improve the quality of their home’s air for many years.
Most room air purifiers do an excellent job at getting rid of pollen, smoke, and dust. If you use HEPA filters, you can reduce up to 50% of particulate matter. Several studies conducted by prestigious universities and the EPA found that room air purifiers produced modest improvements in health issues, such as allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems.
As its name implies, an air purifier removes allergens floating in the air. Mold, pollen, and mites could settle on the ground so fast that air purifiers cannot capture them. The jury is out on how well air purifiers work with radon. The effect of an air purifier will vary based on the technology you use.
The Pros and Cons of Mechanical Filters
Mechanical filters have pleating in their design. A fan pushes air through dense, fine fibers that capture air particles. HEPA filters have an extremely fine mesh. These will collect particles that are 0.3 micrometers in diameter and larger. Paint pigments and smoke fall into these categories. HEPA filters will remove pollen, mold, and dust as long as it is in the air. A mechanical filter is not equipped to handle odors or gases. They can be expensive because the filter needs to be changed annually or bi-annually.
The Pros and Cons of Ozone Generators
Ozone generators create ozone, which attracts particulates and alters their chemical composition. While these types of cleaners are practical, there is some concern about their level of safety. Most devices claim to emit a safe amount of ozone. However, some tests have seen that ozone generators quickly produce ozone at a level higher than is recommended by the FDA. Ozone has been linked to conditions affecting the chest, throat, and lungs. It might make emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma worse.
The Pros and Cons of Activated Carbon Filters
Sorbent filters rely on activated carbon to capture molecules that cause an unpleasant odor. Carbon filters can purify some gases, but they don’t work well against formaldehyde or ammonia. A carbon-activated filter will not combat particles. Many filters combine pleated and carbon filters, providing the best particulate filtration and odor removal. Carbon filters can be expensive. You will need to change them every year or bi-annually for them to be effective.
Other popular filter types include electronic air purifiers, photocatalytic oxidation, and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation. Each of these promises certain benefits and may produce by-products that can affect your health.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing Air Filters
The first factor is the size of the room. Air filters with an AHAM verified seal tell you the room size the unit is designed to handle. Do your research and talk to Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning’s air purification professionals because not all air purifiers live up to their marketing.
A second factor is noise. You could have an extremely effective purifier, but it becomes counterproductive if it’s so noisy that you can’t concentrate. Since your air filter is constantly running, it should be quiet. Most air filters will have a decibel rating on them. By way of comparison, 50 decibels is more or less the sound your refrigerator makes while running.
There are certifications you want your air filter to have. For example, the Energy Star logo ensures that your unit is energy efficient. This is important since you will be running your unit all day long. The AHAM verified seal ensures that the unit will work in the right size of room. Additionally, the CADR rating tells you how many cubic feet of air per minute your filter can clean. The higher the rating, the faster and more efficient the unit is. A CADR rating of 240 and above is excellent. Anything under 60 is poor.
Ensure Your Air Filter Will Last
You should clean and replace your filter regularly. If the filter is dirty, it won’t purify anything. The placement of your filter is also critical. If you have a single room unit, place it in the room where you spend most of your time.
Control the unit’s sound by running it at a higher speed when you are not in the room and turning it down to a lower speed when you are in the room. Another option is to buy an air filter designed for a larger room than the space you are using it in. You can run it slower and benefit from running a smaller unit at a higher speed.
Expert HVAC Service in Seattle, Kirkland, and Western Washington
At Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning, we are proud to provide expert HVAC service to our customers. We work with different models, brands, and makes. We care about our customers and always put them first. Our NATE-certified technicians have decades of experience working throughout Western Washington. Our services include HVAC installation,maintenance, and repair. We offer air filtration assessment, indoor air quality checks, and the whole gamut of electrical services. Are you ready to improve the quality of the air you breathe? Contact Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning today to see why we are the HVAC team of choice in our area.