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Air Filters Work to Protect HVAC Equipment, But What About IAQ?


Indoor air quality is critical for ongoing good health, and it represents an everyday essential for allergy sufferers. The average home has an incredible amount of pollutants floating in the air, especially pollen, mold, dust mites and the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that off-gas from construction materials and common household products. If you think you’re covered just by changing the air filters, think again.

How HVAC Air Filters Work

Furnaces and air conditioners have filters to help protect the blower motors from dust and debris. They remove large bits of lint, hair and dirt, effectively reducing particles that may bother the average person. For the allergy sufferer, most are virtually useless. They just don’t trap small enough particles to make a difference on many common allergens. Filter changes may also release some particles back into the air.

High MERV Rating Filters and Home Air Cleaners

Most air filters have a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating that indicates what size particles the filter catches; and the higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at capturing small particles.

Be careful, though. A top-rated filter will remove the vast majority of particles from the air, but it may not be compatible with many HVAC systems. Highly effective HEPA air filters need pressure to operate, so they have to be in an enclosed box. HVAC systems fitted with a permanent air cleaner can take these filters, as well as portable air cleaners that can be used throughout your home. Clean filters regularly to prevent clogging and severe reductions in efficiency.

Electronic Air Purification Systems

A good air purification system isn’t cheap, but it may represent the ideal for allergy sufferers. This air cleaner captures and incinerates virtually all allergens in the home. There are no messy and potentially allergy attack-inducing filter changes to worry about; the only maintenance is a cleaning about once every year. These systems may cost several hundred dollars for a good one, but they’re recommended for dealing with severe allergies and indoor air quality issues.

For more information on air filters and which ones are right for your needs, contact us at Air Experts. We serve Wake Forest, Durham, Raleigh and the surrounding areas.

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