Are Air Purifiers Really That Important?
Most homeowners know that HVAC companies take care of their heating and cooling systems, but few recognize exactly how valuable these services are. HVAC contractors install home heating and cooling systems, maintain them, and make necessary repairs, but they also offer solutions for improving indoor air quality testing Montgomery. Read on to find out about the benefits of installing whole-home purifiers and how they work, then find out more about HVAC services in the greater Montgomery area.
What Are Indoor Air Purifiers?
Whole-home air purifiers can be installed as part of modern homes’ central heating and cooling systems. They feature state-of-the-art filters to ensure that all air that enters the home’s living areas are clean and free from dust, pollen, pet dander, and other potential allergens. Some air purifiers only work while the HVAC system is running, while others provide purification constantly, even when the system is turned off.
Are Air Purifiers Really That Important?
The short answer to this question is a resounding “yes.” However, the importance of filtering out air pollutants varies depending on who lives in the home. Those who already know they want to install new air purifiers can find more information about Montgomery indoor air quality services by contacting your local specialist now to get started and homeowners on the fence can check out the detailed information below for help with deciding if it’s a good move for their households.
Residents who have respiratory diseases or disorders like asthma and allergies often find that they are affected significantly by these air pollutants, but any Montgomery resident can wind up suffering negative health repercussions after prolonged exposure. Children are the most vulnerable, so families with kids should be even more cautious.
The Underlying Problem
Modern homes are designed to facilitate accurate climate control by preventing air transfer. They’re great at maintaining ideal temperatures, but this advantage comes at a price. Unfortunately, modern homes are also great at keeping potential allergens and toxins inside the home.
Facts and Statistics About Indoor Air Pollution
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists indoor air pollution as one of the top five public health risks. Studies performed by the EPA have also shown that indoor air quality can contain up to 100 times more pollutants than outdoor air.
The most common indoor air pollutants are mold spores, pet dander, bacteria, and pollen. The average home also collects around two pounds of dust each week, much of which winds up being circulated through central air systems.
Some air purifiers use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to remove these and other common contaminants. One recent Consumer Search report showed that air purifiers with HEPA filters can remove up to 99.9% of impurities, making them efficient at keeping the air clean and protecting residents’ health.
Types of Air Purifiers
Some homeowners assume that all air purification systems are created equal. There are four different categories of air purifiers, each of which has its own pros and cons. Installing any of these four systems is better than leaving residents without protection against indoor pollutants, but it’s still important to choose the right one.
Media Air Purifiers
These mechanical air cleaners use thicker, denser filters to trap small particles. They can be installed in HVAC return-air ducts before the furnace or air handler.
There are three types of filters commonly used in media air purifiers. The most efficient of them is the HEPA filter, which traps particles larger than 0.3 microns. Activated charcoal or carbon filters aren’t as good at trapping tiny particles, but they’re good for removing odors from the air.
Some media air purifiers use charged media filters. These specialized filtration devices come from the factory with an electrostatic charge, which allows them to attract and trap small particles. They must be changed at least once every few months to remain effective.
Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) Purifiers
Some air purifiers use what’s known as photocatalytic oxidation to convert organic contaminants like mold and bacteria into harmless carbon dioxide and water. PCO filters must be coated with titanium dioxide. When this material is exposed to UV light, it encourages the oxidation of organic compounds.
PCO purifiers cost more than most air filtration systems, but they don’t hinder airflow. This allows HVAC systems to run at maximum efficiency without placing undue strain on the system. PCO purifiers are used most commonly in health and food processing settings, but they’re also great for residential households, especially when used in combination with other purifiers.
Electronic Air Cleaners (EACs)
Also called ionic or electrostatic air cleaners, EACs use a combination of traditional pre-filters and electrostatic charge to collect and trap contaminants. Using an electrostatic charge also allows them to destroy many viruses and bacteria. These systems only trap between 95 and 97 percent of particles, though, and they only filter air when the HVAC system is in operation.
It’s also important for homeowners to note that EACs emit ozone. Ozone is composed of three oxygen molecules, one of which can easily detach and combine with organic compounds to eliminate odors. Unfortunately, these extra oxygen molecules can also combine with other organic cells.
When oxygen molecules bind with cells in the human body, they can alter them. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released warnings indicating that even low amounts of ozone can cause health complications, including chest pain, respiratory issues, and throat irritation. Most homeowners avoid EACs as a result, finding that their risks outweigh their benefits.
Combination Air Purifiers
Combination air purifiers use two or more of the technologies discussed above to provide maximum filtration. Many combine media filters’ with PCOs, offering extra protection against common household contaminants. They cost more, but they also eliminate both particles and odors.
Benefits of Whole-Home Air Purification
The primary benefit of whole-home air purifiers is, of course, that they help residents breathe easier and avoid respiratory distress. That’s not the only benefit of installing these advanced HVAC systems, though.
By trapping airborne particles, air purifiers also help to control odors. Households with one or more members who smoke cigarettes can install air purifiers to remove second-hand smoke. Those who have pets can get rid of unpleasant, wet dog smells after walks on a rainy day.
Even households with no pets whose members live healthy, smoke-free lifestyles can benefit from some odor elimination. If they cook smelly foods, the air purifier will remove any lingering scents. It will also keep odors to a minimum in bathrooms, near refrigerators, and even in messy rooms.
Dust doesn’t just exacerbate allergy symptoms and trigger asthma attacks. It also accumulates all over surfaces in the home, often within just a few days of a thorough dusting. Air purifiers trap dust in their filters, preventing it from entering the home’s living areas, to begin with.
Instead of constantly cleaning dust off their furniture, books, electronics, and other belongings, homeowners can simply change their HVAC filters and air purifier filters regularly to prevent dust build-up. This will save homeowners tons of time on cleaning and maintaining their living spaces.
Prolonged HVAC System Life
Installing a whole-home air purifier will extend the lifespan of the home’s HVAC system. The purifier will trap contaminants that could otherwise enter the system’s ducts, clog its filters, and cause the unit to work harder to heat or cool the home.
Homeowners who are responsible about changing their air purifier filters consistently, may be able to extend the lifespan of their HVAC systems by several years. They’ll also deal with fewer breakdowns, saving money on expensive repairs. Just keep in mind that both the HVAC system and the air purifier will still require routine preventative maintenance at least once a year to keep them in good operational order.
How to Choose an HVAC Service for Air Purifier Installation
Not all HVAC companies install, repair, and maintain air purifiers, so it’s important to find a company that offers comprehensive air purification services ranging from duct cleaning to ultraviolet treatment and air filtration Montgomery. Don’t just choose the first company that offers air purification services, though. Look for the following qualities, as well.
The Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors is the government entity responsible for certifying HVAC technicians. To be licensed, a contractor must submit either an apprentice certificate, proof of graduation from an approved curriculum, or proof of at least 3,000 hours of work experience under the supervision of a licensed HVAC contractor. He or she must then pass a rigorous examination, then take at least four hours of continuing education courses each subsequent year prior to renewing the license.
While it’s unnecessary for every technician who works on the system to be licensed and certified, it is important for clients to ensure that any apprentices working on their HVAC systems will do so only under the supervision of a licensed technician. That way, they’ll know that their HVAC systems are in good hands and the work will be completed as agreed upon in the contract.
Before having an air purification system installed, homeowners should expect their contractors to perform a thorough home evaluation. This is especially true if they intend to upgrade their heating and cooling systems at the same time.
A home evaluation gives contractors the chance to find out what factors they must consider when choosing the right heating, cooling, or purification system. When performing a home evaluation, contractors will take everything from the home’s square footage to the R-value of its insulation and how many windows it has into account. This will allow them to determine which option will be the best fit for their client.
Good HVAC companies will be willing to offer potential new client’s solid references. It’s on clients to follow up on them, though. When speaking with previous customers, ask the following questions:
Was the job completed on time?
Was it completed under budget?
How satisfied are you with the contractor’s performance?
Did the contractor test the system’s efficiency after installing it?
Did the contractor leave a mess behind?
Would you recommend the service to a friend?
Even if the referral offers a rave review, it’s still a good idea to do some extra research. Check the Better Business Bureau’s website to see what complaints have been filed against the company and how it has responded. Few modern companies have no customer complaints at all, but trustworthy companies will do everything they can to follow up on problems and ensure customer satisfaction.
Wide Range of Services
There’s no point in hiring a company that only installs air purification systems. Instead, find an HVAC contractor who can install, repair, and maintain all the home’s heating, cooling, and air filtration systems.
Make a point of asking about emergency services. There’s no predicting when an HVAC system will break down and no homeowner wants to be left without heat in the dead of winter, even in the comparatively warm climates of Alabama. While it’s cheaper to request services during normal business hours, the availability of emergency services is still important.
The Bottom Line
Air purification systems are an absolute necessity for households with residents who have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory diseases. They should also be considered a must-have feature for families with small children. That doesn’t mean other households shouldn’t be taking advantage of the many benefits whole-home air purification systems offer, though.
Want to learn more about whole-home purification or find a reputable, licensed contractor who can explain homeowners’ options one-on-one? AirNow Cooling and Heating is a full-service HVAC company that services the Montgomery, Prattville, Wetumpka, and Millbrook areas of Alabama. They provide straightforward pricing for all projects, install only proven, efficient, and effective systems, and use state-of-the-art technology to provide accurate diagnoses and efficient repairs.
Want to get a free quote on a new HVAC system, discuss air purification options, or schedule repairs for existing heating and cooling equipment? Call us any time at (334) 285-7065 or visit https://www.airnowhvac.com/ to learn more about our services today.River Region Ethics Award » « Four Reasons Why You Need to Ensure Your Air Conditioning is Working