AIR QUALITY UPGRADES
Do you or a family member suffer from seasonal allergies or have a family member with breathing issues? What about pets that may leave the house smelling not so fresh? If so, there are easy, affordable steps you can take to improve the air quality in your home, by reducing allergens, pet dander, and bacteria/viruses in the air!
With so many options how do I know which one is right for me?
The first and easiest step to improve air quality is by choosing a good quality filter. Many people choose to buy cheap, standard quality filters that only catch larger particles of dust and other contaminants when there are plenty of higher MERV options available that do a much better job. What is MERV?At its most basic, MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) is a measure of efficiency. The MERV value takes information on the efficiency of the filter against a range of particles from coarse (such as pollens) to fine (such as smoke), then condenses into one easy-to-understand number.
MERV 1 to 4 - Minimal equipment protection, "Zero" air treatment level, this would be your 1-inch "spun fiberglass" cardboard frame throwaway type filter.
MERV 5 to 8 - Basic equipment protection and basic air treatment level, this would be your 1-inch "pleated" cardboard frame throwaway type filter.
MERV 9 to 12 - Better equipment protection and improved air treatment level, this would be your 2 to 4-inch "pleated" cardboard frame throwaway type filter media.
MERV 13 to 16 (Hospital Grade) - Best equipment protection and superior air treatment level, this would be your special types 4-inch "pleated" media's and the electronic types.
By having a larger filter housing installed you are able to filter much smaller particles resulting in a cleaner, healthier house. Another benefit is that you are protecting your HVAC investment by keeping the interior squeaky clean and running efficiently.
One of the most common air quality improvement measures people take is installing an Ultraviolet Light. It works by emitting UV-C rays that kink the DNA in cells while also destroying the life-sustaining proteins of that cell. This 1-2 punch does two things: stops the organism from reproducing while also killing it off. The result is total eradication of the organism.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding UV lighting. First, the lights do not draw objects to them; UV lights are stationary, so for an organism to be affected, it must pass under the lights. Second, UV lights do not capture or contain any kind of non biological contaminants. As such, they are ineffective against particles like dust and dirt.
UV lights also, like any other lightbulb, burn out and need changed occasionally and can be pricey.
Ionizers are another simple step that to take to improve air quality, since they can be easily installed in most central HVAC systems. They work by using high voltage to give an electrical charge (usually negative) to either particles that move through the ionizer, or to molecules in the air. These charged molecules are called ions, and the ions will then stick to particles. In either case, the end result is particles with an electrical charge. Charged particles are attracted to particles or surfaces with the opposite charge. This causes the particles to clump together, forming larger, heavier particles that are to heavy to float causing them to cling onto nearby surfaces, so that they never actually end up in your home.
One issue with ionizers that became clear after their popularity years back was that some models can produce ozone, which is harmful to the lungs and should be avoided. That said, the models we carry produce no ozone whatsoever and are proven to be safe indoors and highly effective at removing irritants and allergens from the air, as well as drastically reducing mold, viruses, bacteria, and even odors from pets and smoking. These devices even clean themselves and are maintenance free!
As discussed above, ozone has been proven to be damaging to the lungs, causing breathing problems and chest pain. THESE DEVICES SHOULD BE AVOIDED COMPLETELY.