Understanding Home Air Purification
August 26, 2014
The air inside your home is easily contaminated by a wide range of particles and pollutants. Particulate matter like dust, pollen, smoke, animal hair, and particles from cooking are all common contaminates in the house. Gaseous pollutants are also common and things like gas from stoves, vehicle exhaust, smoke, and fumes from products like paints, varnishes, and cleaning products are big contributors to indoor home air contamination. Removing these pollutants with an air purification system will give you the benefit of a better, healthier indoor air. There are a range of different air cleaning devices–some that can be installed in the ductwork of your home’s central HVAC system for purification of the entire house–others are portable room air cleaners for individual rooms. Here is a look at some of the different home air cleaners.
Electronic Air Cleaners
These devices clean the air through a process of electrostatic attention to attract and trap particles. Air is drawn through an ionization component where particles become electrically charged. These particles then accumulate on an oppositely charged plate where the ion generator disperses charges ions into the air–attaching to the particles and causing them to settle faster. These air cleaners can be effective at removing small particles but not as effective with larger particles. These cleaners can also produce ozone–a lung irritant–but the amount varies by product.
Mechanical Air Filters
These air cleaners work by removing particles through a traditional filtering system. These air cleaners are better at capturing larger particles such as dust, pollen, hair, and other allergens. The filter method is a reliable way to clean pollutants from the air in conjunction with your home HVAC system. Check your home HVAC system to make sure there is enough fan capacity to accommodate efficient air filters.
Portable Air Cleaners
Portable air cleaners use a fan to circulate the air to help remove particles and pollutants. These cleaners can be moved from room to room to clean the air in individual areas. The effectiveness of these devices is measured by their clean air delivery rate. This measures the cubic feet per minute of contaminant free air from the portable air cleaner. Not all portable air cleaners will have the same rate of effectiveness for cleaning the air of contaminants, but this measurement allows comparison across brands. Many room sized portable air cleaners may not be able to remove large contaminants, so consider a more thorough home air purification system installed and run through your home’s ventilation system.