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Air Filters and Purifiers

How is your indoor air quality?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us probably did not overthink our home’s air quality. However, since the pandemic hit, most people have become very aware of how important air quality is to individual health. Air filters or whole-home air purifiers are one way to improve your home’s air quality.

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The Role of Filters

If you glance at almost any of our pages, you will see that the crew at Crew Heating & Air Conditioning believes that air filters are essential. Replacing or cleaning your air filters is one of the easiest ways to improve the efficiency of your HVAC components. Regular filter upkeep extends the life of your system and improves air quality.

Understanding MERV

MERV is the American Society of Heating and Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)’s rating system for filters. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value.

The MERV scale ranges from 1 to 16. One is the least effective, and 16 is the most effective. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter. Generally, the higher the MERV rating, the more expensive the filter.

Types of Air Filters

Choosing the right one depends on several factors, including your budget and health needs. Choosing the right one depends on several factors, including your budget and health needs.

Pleated filters

Consist of pleats or folds of cotton or polyester fabric. They have a MERV rating of 5 to 13. The more pleats, the greater their filtering ability. They can filter dust and pollutants, including molds and pet dander. They come in both reusable and disposable formats. Pleats also help suppress the noise from your HVAC system. While pleated filters are good at filtering out particles, the pleats can make it more difficult for your HVAC unit to get air into the unit. That can result in a loss of system efficiency. Pleated filters are one of the more expensive options but are a good value for their cost.

HEPA filters

The U.S. Department of Health recommends HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. To be labeled HEPA, a filter must remove at least 99.97% of the airborne allergens and pollutants in the air. HEPA filters have MERV ratings in the 15 to 16 range. They are great for people with allergies. However, HEPA filters do not block odors or gasses. They also need to be inspected regularly because some pollutants may settle on the filter.

UV filters

Use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses. They are great at reducing the germ count in your air, but they do not block things from passing into your HVAC system. That is why they are not used alone. Instead, you would combine a UV filter with another type of filtration system. However, when combined with a different kind of filtration system, UV filters give you excellent indoor air quality and reduce the spread of disease.

Electrostatic filters

Use cotton and paper fibers to create dust-attracting static. They trap airborne particles before they can enter your ducts. You can get them in disposable or reusable versions, find them at most large stores, and change them yourself. They are one of the most affordable options available, though the higher the MERV rating, the more you will spend. If you buy reusable filters, the upfront costs are higher, but they quickly pay for themselves. However, these filters are not usually effective against dust and mold spores, so they are not the best choice for people with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues.

Washable filters

Refer to any air filter that you can wash and reuse. They come in electrostatic and pleated varieties. The great thing about a washable filter is that you do not have to buy a new filter when it gets dirty; you just clean it and replace it in your HVAC system. However, you need to follow the specific maintenance instructions for your filter type. You also have to make sure the filters are dry before reinstalling, or you risk getting mold and mildew in your air. Washable filters usually have lower MERV ratings, which means that they are suitable for general use but not great for people with allergies or other breathing issues.

Media filters

Use multiple materials and several layers to filter the air. They provide the same level of filtration as other filters that may have higher MERV ratings. That means they can increase filtration without impacting system efficiency. That is because of their surface area. Media filters are sturdy and only have to be changed once or twice a year. However, they need to be installed by an HVAC professional or someone with some handyman experience.

In-Duct Air Purifiers

An in dust air purifier works with your existing HVAC ductwork. In duct air purifiers are also known as in-line or whole-home purifiers. When installed correctly, these purifiers can reduce more than 99% of the viruses, 98% of the bacteria, 99% of the odor, and 78% of the mold from your entire home. That makes them much more effective than single-room air purifiers. Stand-alone air purifiers need to be positioned correctly to get their promised results. They can only filter the air that reaches them, so airflow is critical. For in-line air purifiers, all of the air in the house will pass through the ductwork. That means that all of the air will get purified. That means you get the same results as the best portable air purifiers, but extended over your entire home.

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are appliances designed to clean the air in your home. Depending on the type of air purifier, they can remove dust, dander, pollen, smoke, and odors. You can buy stand-alone air purifiers or add air purifiers to the ducts in your HVAC system. They all work similarly. They draw in air and use filters to clean the air. Once clean, the air is pushed back into the room.

Some air purifiers use more than filters to clean the air. They may combine UV light and ionization technology to help remove more contaminants from the air. Air purifiers come in a wide range of sizes and types

Fiberglass filters

Most people are familiar with fiberglass filters. Most filters you find in big box stores fall into this category. They are inexpensive and easy to find. However, are they effective? It depends on why you want a filter. They do keep dirt and debris from getting into your HVAC system. However, they do little to improve your air quality

UV Purifiers

As their name suggests, UV purifiers use ultraviolet light to neutralize particles. UV purifiers are great at neutralizing odors and killing germs.

Improve Your Air Quality

If you are ready for better air quality, contact Crew Heating & Air Conditioning today. We can go over your options for in-line air purification systems and your existing filtration system. Our goal is to help our customers find affordable air purification options that work with their current HVAC systems.

Ionization Purifiers

Ionization purifiers electrically charge the air to bind molecules to positively charged particles. They become heavy and fall out of the air.