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Air Cleaners: Can They Help People With Breathing Ailments?

April 2, 2013 | Blog

If you or someone you live with suffers from allergies, asthma or COPD, your home might benefit from the use of air cleaners. These and other health conditions can be aggravated by poor air quality. There are numerous potential sources of indoor air pollution. Air cleaners work by removing airborne particles from your home. Whole-house systems are great for cleaning air throughout your home, while portable versions can be placed in close proximity to pollution sources. There are a variety of air cleaners available:

  • Mechanical filters: You likely already have these employed as part of your HVAC system. Mechanical filters capture particulates from the air as it is forced through them. The most effective variety is a HEPA filter. A high-efficiency particulate air filter will remove a high percentage of very small particles. Mechanical filters need to be replaced regularly to be effective. There are portable versions available for homes lacking a central HVAC system, though they can be noisy.
  • Gas phase air filters: Similar to mechanical filters, air is forced through these, but these absorb gaseous fumes instead of trapping particles. Placing them in front of a HEPA filter can decrease how often the HEPA filter will have to be replaced because the gas phase filter will capture some larger particulates as well. Gas phase filters may have to be replaced frequently.
  • Germicidal lights: These use ultraviolet light to critically damage biological pollutants, such as viruses and bacteria, eliminating their ability to reproduce. This type of filter such as the Lennox Pure Air can also be effective at reducing odors in the home.  UV lights, installed in-duct typically do not do much to clean the air because the particles pass by the light too fast to allow the light to be effective on them.
  • Electronic air cleaners: These work by charging particles in the air. Then, depending on the type of cleaner, the particles will be attracted to plates in the air cleaner that must be cleaned frequently.  In most cases the filters must be cleaned every 3 to 4 weeks to keep them operating efficiently.
  • Electrostatic Filters:  These washable filters are very restrictive to airflow.  Because they work based on a static charge being built up as the air passes over them our humid climate reduces their effectiveness greatly.

If you have any further questions about the air quality in your Corpus Christi area home, please contact us at CCAC, Inc. We proudly serve the Coastal Bend.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about Air Cleaners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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