Air pollution in the home is a major problem that can lead to health concerns, especially for allergy sufferers. Air-purification systems can help address these concerns. There are several different types of air purifiers, and each uses different methods for improving indoor air quality. The major purification-system technologies include: particle removal, gaseous pollutant removal, and pollutant destruction. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses; however, you can select a system that utilizes multiple methods, if one type doesn’t meet your needs.
Particle Removal Air Purification
Particle-removal systems capture airborne pollutants as they circulate within the air. Mechanical systems use a filter to capture particles, while electronic air purifiers give the particles a static charge, so that they will stick to a surface inside the air cleaner. The effectiveness of filter systems will vary, depending on the efficiency of the filter they use; efficiency is rated by their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value(MERV), where a higher rating means higher efficiency.
The downside to these types of systems is that living pollutants, such as bacteria and mold, stay alive within the filter and may be recirculated into your home’s air.
Gaseous Pollutant Removal Air Purification
These systems work similarly to filter-based applications. They use a material, called a sorbent, that absorbs gasses, similar to the way that a filter captures solid particles; however, they are generally effective in removing only the gasses that they’re designed to address, and may not be able to handle high concentrations of gas.
These types of air cleaners use technology that kills living pollutants, like ozone or Ultraviolet (UV) lights. For instance, in a UV-light system, the cleaner circulates the air so that it passes underneath UV light, exposing living contaminants to UV radiation strong enough to kill them. This solves the problem with filtering systems and living matter, but dead bacteria and mold can still be circulated in the air and reduce your home’s air quality.
Air purification can help to reduce problems with indoor air quality. If you have questions, contact the experts at T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. We’re happy to help you with your home’s air quality.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.