Indoor air quality has been an industry buzz word for years. Indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside. In addition, indoor air quality covers a variety of areas, which are addressed in different ways. Indoor air quality products address filtration level, sanitation, humidity control, ventilation and odor removal. While we’ll focus on filters and cleaners in this post, we’ll address solutions for each of these areas in future blogs.
Keeping filters clean on your furnace or air conditioner is the first line of defense and can make a considerable difference in indoor air quality. Opening your windows periodically to let in fresh air also helps keep your air quality in balance. While natural is usually better, your filters and cleaners can help improve your indoor air quality. To be more efficient and avoid confusion, ask your HVAC professional for some recommendations.
Consider increasing the level of efficiency of your HVAC filters. They are rated using MERVs, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. On a scale of 1-16, filters are rated based on the number of dust particles that can pass through it. Most residential filters have MERV ratings of 7-12, while 13-16 is found in a hospital setting.
Air cleaners are used to remove particles from the air, and they are ranked based on their ability to collect pollutants. They can be table-top models for just a small room or they can be part of a whole-house system. Some air cleaners use filtration technology to capture tiny particles, but are ineffective for larger particles. Ultra-violet germicidal infiltration (UVGI) air cleaners are designed to kill biologicals like bacteria and mold spores, by offering more light or longer exposure, which is more likely to kill these biologicals. Ozone air cleaners are used to address gaseous pollutants, but are not always safe or effective.
Know your air quality issues, and it will be easier to solve them using the variety of products on the market.