How Air Cleaners Can Help Control Particles That Make You Sicker
Although the State of California has made great strides in improving the air quality in Southern California over the last decade, people still use air cleaners for irritating and unhealthful airborne particulates. Pollen, dust, mold, pet dander and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are not only irritating, they can also contribute to respiratory problems, like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), allergies and even sinus infections.
Fortunately, a number of options exist to improve the indoor air quality using HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters, germicidal systems, electronic and gas phase filters. Each addresses specific air quality problems.
- HEPA filtration. These remove 90 percent of the particles in your air that are larger than .3 microns. Widely used in industrial and healthcare settings, they are among the best mechanical filters available.
- Germicidal systems. Ultraviolet lights (UV) kill bacteria, mold spores, viruses and germs. They are often used in combination with air filters in HVAC systems, with fans pulling the air past the lights and the filter, thus lowering the concentration of infectious airborne contaminants.
- Electronic filtration. These air cleaners use electric charges to trap particles and may create ozone, a known respiratory irritant. Keeping these filters clean helps reduce the amount of ozone they create. Some kinds of filtration systems can’t be sold in California because of the health hazards associated with ozone production.
- Gas phase air filters. If you live in a new home or have recently remodeled, gas phase air filters may help you breathe better. They use filters embedded with carbon to remove VOCs from the air.
If you or a family member has significant respiratory problems, a whole-house approach using a combination of these filtration systems can improve comfort and health. These systems work with forced-air conditioning equipment and use high-efficiency filters to improve indoor air quality throughout your home, instead of just the area where the air cleaner runs. These systems may also use UV lights to improve indoor air quality.
If you would like to learn more about filtration and air cleaners, contact Air-Tro, Inc. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Los Angeles area since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Pasadena, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air cleaners and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock