“The air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); installing a whole-house air purification system can help keep your indoor air cleaner.
The problem is that modern buildings are built to be airtight; that is, to keep the outside air out, and the inside air in, in order to be more energy efficient. However, this doesn’t allow for pollutants to escape the home, including:
- Pet hair and dander
- Fumes from furnaces, water heaters, and ovens.
The EPA recommends increasing ventilation and minimizing or eliminating the source of these contaminants. However, that’s simply not always feasible for most of us. We can’t open our windows wide on cold winter days to let some fresh air in, and we don’t want to get rid of our pets or appliances.
This is where the air purifier comes in. The EPA recommends using an air purifier to clean the air when ventilation isn’t possible.
Air purifiers can be either a whole-house model or a smaller, standalone model, but the standalone models will not work nearly as well, and will require constant maintenance to keep clean. In the long run, a whole-house model will be most homeowners’ best choice.
Whole-home purifiers are installed to work with your furnace and air conditioning system. They help your air filter clean the air by removing even more allergens and trapping smaller particles than even the best air filter. Some of the things an air purifier may remove include:
- Small, breathable particles such as dust, dirt, pollen and allergens
- Airborne mold spores, bacteria and viruses
- Odors and chemical vapors
When choosing the air purifier that is right for you, you should consider these things:
- Efficiency. The higher the number of particles removed, the better. A good air purifier will reduce smaller particles by up to 90%.
- Effectiveness. How much air can the purifier handle? If it can’t clean a large amount of air, it’s not as effective.
- Performance. Keep your air purifier working at top performance by ensuring all maintenance is performed in a timely manner.
- Cost. Not just up-front cost, but maintenance costs such as the amount of energy the unit will use and how much any filters will cost. Often the least expensive model will end up costing you more in the long run in these areas.
- Noise. Some models make noise when they are running. Ensure the air purifier you install is as silent as possible.
When used along with ventilation and reducing of contaminant sources, an air purifier can help improve the quality of the air in your home.