Although some people use “air purifier” and “air filter” interchangeably, both refer to specific technologies. At Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical, we want our clients to have the system that best fits their needs. In this article, we’ll explain how home air purifiers and air filtration systems clean your home’s air. We’ll also cover the differences between the two, and explain which type of system you might need in Charlotte, NC.
Cleaning Your Homes Air
HVAC systems circulate air through ducts in your ceilings or floors, ensuring even coverage throughout your home. Most systems also include some kind of air filtration system to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants. The result in both cases is healthier breathable air and a more comfortable environment.
Common Air Filtration Systems
The filters that slot into a furnace or blower unit are the most common type of filtration used in HVAC systems. These filters work by blocking the debris that your HVAC system blows through them. For this reason, they are placed inside your ductwork to catch the most debris possible.
HVAC filters are great at catching and removing the following from your home’s air:
- Pet dander
For best results, HVAC filters need to be changed every one to three months. Discuss with a professional to determine the best replacement schedule.
Understanding MERV Ratings
HVAC filters are rated using the MERV system. MERV, which stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value,” measures the size of particles that a filter can block. It’s also a sign of how efficient that filter is overall. You should always select HVAC filters that have a MERV value of at least eight. If you have allergies or asthma, or if you have pets or smokers in your home, you should look at filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher.
If you’re not sure which MERV rating is best for your Charlotte home your Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical technician can provide a more detailed explanation and help you select the appropriate type of HVAC filter.
Other Types of Air Filtration System
HVAC filters aren’t the only way to filter the air in your home. Any unit that passively blocks debris while air flows through it is technically an air filtration system.
If your HVAC filter isn’t keeping your air clean enough, or if you don’t have an HVAC system, check with a professional to see if one of the following might help:
<li>Freestanding HEPA filter</li>
Home Air Purifiers
Unlike filtration systems, home air purifiers are devices that actively remove contaminants from your air. By using UV light, activated carbon, and other technologies, air purifiers can often neutralize elements that a typical HVAC filtration system cant catch.
For example, UV light purifiers sterilize certain microorganisms, rendering them harmless. Ionic air purifiers, on the other hand, generate an electrical field that clings to dirt and debris, removing them from the air more effectively than filtration alone.
Portable Air Purifiers
Portable air filters are freestanding units that combine filtration with a fan and, in some cases, UV light or another type of purifier. Portable models work like an HVAC system but cover a smaller area. They suck in air, filter out dirt and debris, and then purify the air of other contaminants before blowing it back into the room.
Although portable purifiers are common, they aren’t always effective. That’s because purifiers rely on airflow to function, just like filters. If you do purchase a portable purifier, make sure you place it somewhere with good airflow. If you’re trying to clean the air in a large room, you may need multiple portable units to do the job.
Adding an Air Purifier to Your HVAC
If a portable air purifier isn’t improving your air quality, you can also add an air purifier to your existing HVAC system. This type of purifier works the same as the portable model but benefits from the higher airflow inside your ductwork.
Because air purifiers are complex systems, you can’t install one on your own. You’ll need to work with an HVAC professional in Charlotte to ensure that everything is set up correctly without damaging your air ducts or other parts of your HVAC system. The technicians at Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical can help you determine the best approach.
Types of Air Purifier
The type of air purifier you need will depend on the reason you want cleaner air. If you’re concerned about bacteria, viruses, or other kinds of microorganisms, you may want an ultraviolet air purifier, which uses UV light to remove bacteria and viruses from the air.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to filter smoke from the air, you should consider a purifier that uses activated charcoal or activated carbon. These materials are highly absorbent and extremely effective at removing smoke particles and other odors from the air in your home.
If you’ve just noticed that your HVAC’s air filtration system isn’t getting rid of enough dust and dirt, you might want to look into ionic air purifiers. These bond to particles electrically to purify your air and can be a great supplementary measure to improve your indoor air quality.
Do You Need an Air Purifier?
If you are just looking to make sure your air is a little cleaner, a standard HVAC air filter might be all you need. However, investing in a more heavy-duty air filtration system can make a significant difference if you suffer from allergies or asthma.
Air purifiers are typically more efficient at removing certain types of contaminants from the air, but the type you need will vary based on your needs. An activated carbon purifier won’t help if you’re trying to remove bacteria from the air, for example.
Basic HVAC filters are usually cheaper than purifiers, as well, making them a good choice for budget-conscious clients. Of course, there are more expensive filtration systems available for those who need one. Air purifiers can also be a little costly, especially if you need to purchase portable models for multiple rooms in your home.
Remember that both air purifiers and filters need airflow to clean the air. If you have existing ductwork, ask a professional about adding a filtration system or purifier inside your HVAC system. This is likely to be much more effective than using a portable model.
Why You Might Need a Filter and a Purifier
Do you have allergies, asthma, or other reasons to be concerned about the air quality in your area? If so, you should consider using an air filtration system in conjunction with an air purifier.
Professional HVAC Services in Charlotte
Thinking about adding an air purifier or air filtration system to your home? Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical offers HVAC and electrical services in Charlotte and the surrounding area. Our knowledgeable technicians can install a new HVAC or improve the efficiency of an existing system with maintenance and repairs. Don’t suffer through low-quality air in your home. Contact Acosta Heating, Cooling & Electrical today and start breathing more easily.