Is My IAQ Cleaner Really Working?

If you are considering installing an IAQ cleaner or have already invested in one you’re probably wondering how you can make sure that your system is doing its job to keep your air clean. The key to knowing your air is sufficiently being cleaned is to install the appropriate system, with the best ratings for your needs.

Big Mountain Heating & Air Conditioning knows there are many options for filtering and purifying your air, so we want to make sure you know what kind of IAQ cleaner is best for you.

Efficiency Rating

Most effective air cleaners are measured using the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). Ranging from 1 to 20, the MERV scale indicates which systems are capable of cleaning different sized particles out of the air. If the MERV rating is not readily available then you can look it up or ask the manufacturer to be sure that your system is filtering at the level you need it to.

Types of Air Cleaners

There are several factors that affect what kind of air cleaner will work best in your home. First you must decide if you need a central (in-duct) system or a portable system for a specific room.

  • Portable – Use a portable air cleaner in cases when in-duct purification is too costly or not possible, or when you only need a specific high-traffic room filtered. It’s best to look at the room size rating of the unit you’re thinking of buying to ensure it can recycle all the air in the room at a good speed.
  • In-duct – Filtration added to an existing HVAC system may require a more powerful fan to be installed in order to consistently move air through the system. However, if all the equipment is upgraded to work together then it can effectively filter the air in your entire home.

Another factor you should consider is the type of contaminant you are wanting to target. There are more specific systems that clean particles versus vapors from your air.

  • Mechanical Air Cleaners – These systems use filters with varying sized pores to capture particulate matter. Using medium to high efficiency filters can zero in on the size particles you want to filter out.
  • Electronic Air Cleaners – These systems use either electronically charged plates or ionizers to charge and collect particles in the air.
  • Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) Air Cleaners – UV radiation is used in combination with other substances to eliminate gaseous contaminants.
  • UV Germicidal Irradiation – Biological agents are killed by this light, which can clean your air of bacteria and mold spores.

Avoid Ozone Producers

In the process of purifying your air, some systems produce ozone. Ozone has been proven to be extremely dangerous to humans when we’re exposed to it – even in small quantities. Ozone has the capability to kill biological pathogens, but that’s why it is so dangerous for humans and pets as well.

Ozone causes respiratory irritation, inflammation and serious breathing difficulty – including asthma, lung damage and cardiovascular effects. The American Lung Association has emphasized that breathing low levels of ozone heightens the risk of an early death.

Never invest in an air cleaning system that is not regulated for ozone production.

Need Help Choosing An IAQ Cleaner?

If you’re still asking, “Is my IAQ cleaner working?” then our team at Big Mountain Air Heating & Cooling would be happy to help. We can advise you or test your air to reveal the levels of contaminants still present. As the best Sacramento indoor air quality company, we are dedicated to providing you with all your HVAC needs. Contact us today!

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