Home Air Purifiers – Whats The Best Air Filter For A Household?
Today’s families are more aware than ever of the link between air quality and respiratory health. Studies have shown that half of all illnesses can
be caused or aggravated by polluted indoor air. The good news is that there are simple steps that homeowners can take to have the greatest positive effect on indoor air quality.
What is the link between air quality and health?
The typical cubic foot of indoor air contains over a million particles. Most of these particles are very small, so small in fact, that they can’t be seen by the naked eye. The human eye can usually only see objects larger than 10 microns. To put this in perspective, a single human hair is about 50 microns.
It is these particles, less than 10 microns in diameter, that are the problem. Smaller particles bypass many of the respiratory system’s defense mechanisms, and are breathed more deeply into the lungs. These can impact the respiratory system and for some people may result in acute or chronic respiratory diseases.
Airborne particles include biological organisms such as pollen, plant and mold spores, bacteria, viruses and pet dander. Other particles are generated by combustion and mineral sources including many types of smoke and dust. Activities in the home such as dusting, vacuuming, cooking and smoking can increase respective particulate concentrations.
One way to trap these particles and improve indoor air quality is to use higher efficiency air filters. In addition, air quality can be improved by controlling the source and ventilation.
Every household has its own individual filtering needs, and with six main types of air filters for use with residential heating and cooling systems, a brief description of each is attached, it can be a challenge deciding which filter type to use. Asking the following questions can help determine the type of filter that best suits a household:
- Does anyone in the household have asthma, allergies, or other respiratory
- Is dusting an unpleasant and time-consuming task?
- Is there a smoker in the home?
- Do they have any pets?
- Are there more than four people living in the home?
- Do they live in a dusty area?
If the answer is "yes" to any or all of these questions, then the household could probably benefit from greater filter efficiency. They should consider filter types that remove greater percentages of respirable particles from their household air such as the pleated, permanently charged electrostatic filter, or the electronic air cleaner.
Here are some tips to help home owners get the most from their air filters:
Visually check the air filter monthly — Replace or clean the filter, depending upon its type, when it is dirty or if you are in doubt. Following manufacturers’ recommendations for changing filters is a good habit.
Check to see if there is adequate airflow — Hold a tissue near an outlet vent to detect air movement when the heating and cooling system and fan are operating. If it appears there isn’t much airflow, the filter may need to be cleaned or replaced.
Install and use a pressure drop indicator — Pressure drop is a measurement expressing the restriction of airflow through an air filter. When the filter is too dirty or clogged, the press drop measurement will increase indicating it is time to change or clean the filter.
3M Filtrete Products provide consumers with an innovative line of products that improve indoor air quality. The complete line addresses various consumer needs from reducing the amount of dust in their homes to capturing allergy-aggravating micro particles in the air they breathe. 3M is committed to raising awareness and educating people about indoor air quality issues.
For other news editorials, see; electronic air cleaner.
Nathan Coleman contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.fresh-air-purifiers.com.
Learn more about air health and purifiers, plus allergies, molds and asthma and what to do about it.