AIR PURIFICATION OPTIONS EXPLAINED
Updated: Jul 1, 2019
When I first started looking into different air purification options, I was confused about the many different types. I am here to help offer some advice and guidance as to which is best for you and your family.
The right purifier will assist your HVAC system and improve your indoor air quality (IAQ) but removing the small, often invisible particulate matter in the air. However, choosing a random IAQ technology may not address the indoor air quality issues you are tackling.
This is the most common type and likely one you have heard of. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air" or "High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance". It is commonly made from fiberglass, foam, cotton or other particulate-capturing material. These work by having the air pass through the filter media where large particles are trapped in the filter. Filters require cleaning and replacement frequently (usually annually or bi-annually depending on brand).
Activated Carbon Filters
This is usually paired with another type of filter, most commonly a HEPA filter - creating a 3 stage filtration process (ideal). The porous carbon within the filter traps odors and gasses (as opposed to HEPA that traps particles). Some carbon filters are strong enough to capture VOC's.
These are designed to use short-wave ultraviolet light (UV-C light) to inactivate airborne pathogens and microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and mold The technology is also referred to as UV germicidal irradiation, or UVGI air purifiers. It works by forcing air through the device and in doing so, it passes UV lamps, which directly attempt to disinfect the air by means of germicidal irradiation. I have never recommended this product as it does not address particulate matter and creates ozone
Ionizers and Ozone Generators
These purifiers work by sending out negatively charged ions into the air which then attach to floating particles, which then pick up the negative charge and become strongly attracted to positively charged collection plates within the filter.
BUT....I don't usually recommend these as they produce ozone, which is a pollutant and an irritant. Even small amounts are not good for us. They also don't remove dust or dander, so not a great option for those with allergies and asthma.
They do have some advantages however, as they have no fan or moving parts they are silent and a lot cheaper to run, and also require minimal maintenance, but in my opinion, these do not outweigh the cons.
I always suggest an indoor air quality test, these can be purchased online and sent to a lab for chemical results. My team and I will then analyze the results and make a suggestion for the best type and size filter for your needs, help show you the best location and walk you through set-up and any ongoing maintenance.