Your Health & Indoor Air Purifiers

Your Health & Indoor Air Purifiers

The following is provided by TemperaturePro of Cedarburg, WI to help keep you & your family safe & healthy…A full service HVAC company.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), noncommunicable diseases attributed to exposure to indoor air pollution kill over 4 million people worldwide every year. Examples of such diseases include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, lung cancer and heart diseases. The chronically ill, elderly and young are at a greater risk of developing these diseases because they spend most their time indoors. Common indoor air pollutants include pet dander, pollen, fungi, mold, viruses and bacteria, aerosol sprays and cleaning products as well as smoke from cooking, tobacco and fireplaces.Indoor air purifier hepa TemperaturePro Cedarburg

Poor indoor air quality is a problem even in developed countries. In America, for instance, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that household air pollution is among the top five environmental risks to public health and safety. Moreover, the American Lung Association 2017 “State of the Air” report shows that four out of every 10 Americans live in communities with poor air quality, which could be responsible for rising asthma rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 4.3 million new cases of asthma in America from 2001 to 2009.

It is worth noting that a 2001 survey by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that American spend 87% of their time indoors. Fortunately, an HEPA air purifier can eliminate up to 99.99% of indoor air contaminants larger than 0.3 microns. In fact, many medical and health organizations recommend installing such a device to prevent and protect against airborne allergens and promote respiratory health. With that in mind, here is a detailed look at air purifiers.

An Overview of Air Purifier

An air purifier is a device that filters pollutants such as pollen, mold, pet dander, VOCs, dust and smoke from the air. It is worth noting that different air filters use different techniques to achieve this goal. These techniques include ultraviolet light technology (UV), adsorption or chemisorptions, photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). Here is a detailed look at some of these technologies.

UV Air Purifiers

These devices use ultraviolet rays, specifically the ionizing UV-C “germicidal” waves, to sterilize indoor air. They do this by destroying and eliminating biological pathogens such as mold spores and bacteria from the air. However, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Environmental Health and Safety department say that these purifiers may be ineffective and likely harmful due to several reasons (TemperaturePro Cedarburg offers the finest Lennox UV Air Purifiers in the industry).

Firstly, ultraviolet radiation typically requires a substantial amount of time to destroy microbes. However, since air passes quickly through these devices, the UV light is unlikely to destroy the microbes, meaning the air quality remains more or less the same. Secondly, several studies have shown that UV air purifiers tend to generate ozone as a byproduct. This is a problem because exposure to ozone can damage the lungs. According to the aforementioned researchers, an UV air purifier that does not include a fan and a filter is essentially useless.

HEPA Air Purifiers

HEPA, an acronym that means High Efficiency Particulate Air, is synonymous with efficient air cleaners. Generally, all HEPA filters should meet the requirements set by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST). Specifically, HEPA filters should filter 99.97% of pollutants measuring 0.3 microns or larger. They are usually made of materials such as submicron glass fibers (Check out an excellent TemperaturePro option from Lennox) Being a type of extended surface filter, they contain of a complex web of fibers that trap air contaminants via diffusion, sieving, inertial impaction or interception.

Each of these methods applies to contaminants of different sizes. Sieving and inertial impaction works for large particles, whereas interception traps medium-sized particles. Diffusion eliminates small particles. It is worth noting that not all HEPA filters are created equally. This means that, while the basic technology is standard, manufacturers of air cleaners typically use variations of this technology to give their products a competitive edge. For this reason, you should read air purifier reviews before you buy a HEPA air purifier.

Mechanical Air Cleaners

To eliminate particulate matter from your indoor air, you can use either mechanical air filters or electronic air purifiers. Mechanical air filters trap particular matter on air filters. The filters can be either flat or pleated. Some of the materials used to make the filter media of flat/panel filter include coated animal hair, coarse glass fibers, foils, vegetable fibers, metallic wool, synthetic foams and synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester (this TemperatuePro out of Cedarburg product from Lennox is excellent to purify your home air)The filter media is usually coated with a viscous substance, such as oil, to increase its efficiency. Panel filters can also consist of three permanently electrostatically charged materials including “electret” fiber, plastic film and resin wool. An electrostatically sprayed polymer can be used instead of electret.

Pleated filters, on the other hand, are essentially flat filters that have been pleated in order to offer certain benefits. Firstly, it increases the surface area and reduces air velocity. Secondly, it allows for smaller fibers be used in pleated filters. Thirdly, it increases the packaging density without causing a large drop in airflow. A v-shaped cardboard or wire frame is usually inserted between the pleats to maintain their spacing. The media used in these filters includes bonded glass fibers, cellulose fibers, synthetic fibers, wool felt, fiber mats and cotton-polyester blends.

Electronic Air Purifiers

These air purifiers leverage the power of electrostatic attraction to trap air pollutants, particularly charged particles. They fall into two main categories: ion generators and electrostatic precipitators. Electrostatic precipitators consist of two main parts: the ionization section and the collection plate. These devices derive power from an external power source. To get rid of air pollutants, these devices pass air through the ionization section. As air passes through this section, the pollutants gain a charge. The collector (a series of plates) typically contains an opposite charge. This means that the charged particles stick to the collector, allowing the purifier to expel clean air. For this type of air purifier to work efficiently, the collector needs to be clean.

Ionizers work in a similar way to electrostatic precipitators, but they lack a collector. Specifically, ion generators use UV light or corona discharge to generate ions. When these ions attach to pollutants, they charge the pollutants, causing them to stick to objects and surfaces. Moreover, the charged pollutants can also combine with other pollutants and settle on surfaces. It is important to note that ionizers produce ozone as a byproduct, meaning they are a potential health hazard.

In-Duct Purifiers vs Portable Air-Cleaning Devices

In general, air purifiers are installed in an HVAC system or used in a portable air cleaner. In-duct or whole-house air filters are typically installed in the return ducts of HVAC systems, but are not necessarily intended to improve indoor air quality. For instance, the purpose of the filter that sits between the furnace and the air return duct is to filter the air flowing into the furnace, thereby protecting the components of the HVAC system including the ducts, heat exchanger and fan from soiling.
Still, you can install more air filters in your HVAC system to enable it to clean your indoor air more efficiently (An excellent choice this Lennox system offered by TemperaturePro out of Cedarburg).Besides air filters, some of the other devices you can use for this purpose include UV lamps, electrostatic precipitators and gas-phase filters for this purpose.
Portable air cleaners, on the other hand, are movable air cleaners suitable for relatively small spaces. A typical unit features a fan and an air-cleaning device such as an electrostatic precipitator, mechanical air filter or ion generator. The cleaning device may contain activated carbon to remove odors and gases. It is worth noting that some units lack a fan, meaning they are less efficient.

Factor to Consider When Buying an Air Purifier

Some of the main factors to consider when buying an air purifier include:

Efficiency — Typically expressed as a percentage, the efficiency of an air cleaner is its ability to clean air that passes through it. In other words, it is its ability to remove both particulate and gaseous pollutants from the air.

Effectiveness — This denotes the ability of an air purifier to reduce the concentrations of air pollutants, both particulates and gaseous pollutants, in a given space. The key factors that determine the effectiveness of an air-cleaning device include its efficiency, volume of air being filtered and how the air flows after leaving the device.

Installation — The installation location depends on the type of installer you want to install. For instance, ionizers and electronic air cleaners should be located close to a power source. In-duct systems, on the other hand, should be easily accessible. When installing mechanical air filters, it is vital to consider the wind direction to avoid air seepage.

Usage — Choose an air purifier that suits your needs. For instance, some air purifiers eliminate particulates only, meaning they would be useless if you need to eliminate gaseous pollutants.

Operation and Maintenance — All air purifiers require regular maintenance to continue working properly. For this reason, you should choose a device that provide detailed maintenance instructions or better yet, choose a manufacturer that offers good customer support. Reading many purifier reviews can help you find the right device/manufacturer for your needs.

Conclusion
Today, air pollution is one of the top five health hazards, according to the EPA. Fortunately, you can use an air purifier to improve the quality of your indoor air and avoid health complications such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, lung cancer and heart diseases. Most purifier reviews say that a HEPA air purifier is the safest and most efficient air purifier on the market today.

ABOUT TemperaturePro of Cedarburg

TemperaturePro is your full-service in-home heating and cooling provider. Whether you need a new unit installed or your current unit repaired and maintained, our certified HVAC technicians can do it all. An HVAC system is an important investment that will impact your life for years to come. It’s important to protect that investment, and TemperaturePro does it better than anyone in the business. We provide quality HVAC services at a great cost!

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