Indoor Air Quality FAQs
What Indoor Air Quality Systems Do I Need?
There are a number types of indoor air quality products on the market today. This can make selecting products confusing and lead you to wonder what exactly you need to effectively maintain a healthy indoor environment. The answer to this question, of course, depends largely on your home’s contaminant levels and the source of those contaminants.
The most common problems (and most likely to affect you) are dust and sediment that enter your furnace and air conditioning systems and ducts. For these types of contaminates, a standard air cleaner with a high MERV rated HEPA filter will remove almost all contaminants – everything down to 0.3 microns.
However, if you have contaminants from outside your home such as exhaust, smoke or fumes from a nearby business or highway, electronic air cleaning is a good supplement to your filter. Electronic air cleaners use ionization technology to electronically remove contaminants from your air.
Finally, there are more advanced options like UV germicidal lights that can even kill mold spores and bacteria. A combination of all three, along with a powerful ventilation system designed to retain humidity and energy levels in your home will ensure you never need to worry about any indoor air quality problems again.
What is HEPA?
Often you’ll see filters in York air cleaners referred to as HEPA. This form of filter is considered the industry standard for high quality air cleaning and filtration. It stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and HEPA filters are capable of removing contaminants as small as 0.3 microns from your air. That effectively removes almost all dirt, sediment, dust, and debris including some biological contaminants like mold spores.
These HEPA filters are made with fiberglass and vary in terms of specific dimensions and capacities, but they do all need to be replaced regularly as they can become clogged over time. The only thing HEPA filters are not good for is sub-0.3 micron contamination – which usually includes bacteria and smoke or gas based contaminants.
What Are the Signs of Air Quality Problems?
Most indoor air quality issues are so subtle that you won’t notice them at first or at all. Some gasses for example are invisible and odorless, and yet in high enough concentrations they can be deadly. This is why it’s so important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home. Have one near your furnace in case of a gas or exhaust leak and another in your living space in case of a separate leak.
Additionally, if anyone starts to show unexplained symptoms that resemble allergies, asthma or a cold or flu, an indoor air quality problem may be the cause. You should consult your doctor to be sure, but if these symptoms don’t get better it can easily be because of high levels of mold, bacteria or other debris in your indoor air.
To find out exactly what indoor air quality issues you face, you should have a dealer perform thorough air testing in your home.
How Often Should Filters Be Changed?
Every indoor air quality system is different, as is each home’s environment. However, there are usually general recommendations provided with you air cleaner or purifier for filter changes. You should always follow at least the minimal recommendations for filter replacement – usually between 90 and 180 days depending on the size and quality of your filter.
In some cases, if your home has a high number of contaminants, you may need to change your filters more often. But with some high efficiency HEPA filters, replacement can be done less often. The best way to be sure is to contact a York dealer or contractor who can check your filters at regular intervals and help you determine how long they last.