If you suffer from allergies or asthma, the air in your northwest Arkansas home may be part of the problem. According to the federal EPA, indoor air contains particles such as pollen, mold, animal dander, dust mite skins and other allergens. Though replacing your furnace’s air filter when it’s dirty will help improve the quality of your home’s air, many homeowners opt for additional air cleaning technology.
Portable air cleaners will only clean the air in one room, while a whole-house air cleaner works inside your HVAC system to clean the air in your whole house. The downside of portable air cleaners includes the noise associated with operating them and their limited reach. The downside of a whole-house air cleaner is its installation cost and higher energy bills resulting from needing to run your HVAC air handler 24/7 for optimum air cleaning. Choosing an air cleaner for your home is a matter of knowing your options. The types of portable air cleaners available on the market include:
- Mechanical air filters utilize a fan that forces air through a filter to trap particles such as pollen, mold and smoke. True HEPA filters are effective at trapping 99.97 percent of particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
- Electronic air cleaners use an electrical charge to trap particles. An ion generator sends ions into the air to charge particles, which then land on surfaces to be cleaned up by vacuum or other means. Electrostatic precipitators draw in air, charge the particles and trap them on an oppositely-charged plate that should be cleaned regularly to keep the air cleaner operating efficiently.
- Gas phase air filters contain activated charcoal granules that remove gaseous pollutants, such as fumes and cooking gases, from your air.
- Germicidal air cleaners utilize ultraviolet lights to remove micro-organisms such as mold, bacteria, dust mites and pollen.
- Ozone generators are not recommended for household use due to their production of high levels of ozone, which can cause respiratory illnesses.
For more expert advice about choosing an air cleaner, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal, proudly serving northwest Arkansas for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Choosing An Air Cleaner and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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