People tend to think of air pollution as an outdoor problem. However, quite often the air inside our homes is more polluted than the air outside (according to the EPA, substantially more polluted). Allergy, asthma and immunology experts have estimated that half of all illnesses are aggravated by, or even caused by, indoor air pollution, and the terms “sick building syndrome” and “building related illness” have come into use to describe instances where people become sick from simply being indoors.
Still, most of us spend 90 percent of our time indoors, and it is not like we can just hold our breath. Instead, electronic air cleaners can be used to clear the air and improve your family’s health.
There are multiple electronic air cleaner options. Probably the most obvious type of air cleaner is the air filter, which strains pollutants from the air. Air filters vary widely in quality, though. Some do very little, blocking less than 5 percent of the particles in the air; others can remove well over 99 percent of all particles. To compare filters, you can look at their MERV rating. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20; the higher the rating, the better the filter.
Some electronic air cleaners utilize ultraviolet (UV) light. Also known as germicidal lights, the UV rays are deadly to mold, bacteria and other germs, and have long been used in hospitals and other buildings to prevent the spread of disease.
Another type of electronic air cleaner is the ionizing purifier. It works by creating an electrical charge in the air particles, which causes them to stick to metal collecting plates. It is important not to confuse ionizers with ozone generators, though. Ozone generators are sometimes marketed as air cleaners, but they produce ozone, which is an undesirable lung irritant.
The most effective electronic air cleaners utilize a combination of these technologies to remove the most pollutants possible. To learn what options are available and which would work best for your home, contact the experts at T.F. O’Brien. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Our goal is to educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. Learn more about electronic air cleaners and other HVAC topics by downloading our free Home Comfort Resource Guide.
T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating services Long Island and surrounding areas. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about your cooling system and energy efficiency.