We spend a great deal of time in our homes, whether relaxing with family and friends, working in our home office, or enjoying meals together. With so much time being shared indoors, more and more homeowners are recognizing the role that indoor air quality plays in the health of their families. Seeing a loved one suffer with allergies or asthma will oftentimes provide the motivation to find a means to reduce respiratory allergens and keep outdoor dust and pollen out of your home. There are two types of indoor air pollutants that can affect air quality in a home:

• Particulate matter, which includes the following: microscopic dust mites, pollen, animal dander, molds, bacteria’s, and viruses.

• Gaseous pollutants, which include the following: gas cooking stoves, tobacco smoke, building materials, furnishings, adhesives, paints, cleaning products, and pesticides.

In order to remove these pollutants from indoor air, homeowners should consider an air cleaning device for their home. There are several types of air cleaning devices, each designed to remove certain types of pollutants.

• Particle removal:Two types of air cleaning devices can remove particles from the air: mechanical air filters and electronic air cleaners.

Mechanical air filters remove particles by capturing them on filter materials. Electronic air cleaners have an opposite process by drawing air through an ionization section, where particles obtain an electrical charge. The charged particles then accumulate on a series of flat plates that is oppositely charged.

• Gaseous pollutant removal:Gas-phase air filters remove gases and odors by using a material called a sorbent, such as activated carbon, which absorbs some but not all pollutants. An AirNow technician can help you review and identify which option is best for you and your family to ensure optimal indoor air quality.