In our ongoing series of discussions concerning indoor air quality I would like to take a moment to discuss some of the options available to you for air filtration. As a recap, we have cleaned the coil in the air handler and we are keeping it clean using a UV light system. We have also sealed the ductwork at this point, so we have a true closed loop system where air is sucked in via the return grilles, and then pushed out through the vents with no outside interference. That said why is an air filter such an important piece to our air distribution system?
I think you are going to be surprised at the answer, the typical one-inch air filter that you find in Publix, Walgreens, or your local home improvement store is there to merely protect the coil of your air handler. It does not truly clean the air. Air filtration and cleaning the air are two different animals. I know that sounds crazy, but let me explain.
Your word or acronym of the day is MERV, which stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. This rating scale was established in 1987 by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers) to help quantify the effectiveness of air filters and ratings range on a scale of 1 to 16. MERV 16 filters can be up to 98% effective in removing particulates down to a size of .03 microns. Any filter that has a MERV rating below 10 will help keep the coil clean, however it will not truly clean the air.
Air filters come in many forms and sizes other than what is readily available to the general public and can only be purchased through a licensed HVAC contractor. The offerings range from a 4”- 8” media filter, electronic air cleaners, all the way up to a true HEPA filter such as the IQ Air Perfect 16®. The filters themselves have a life of 6 months all the way out to three years. Many people tout the electronic air cleaners, however if you dig deeper into the research, these types of cleaners need a very high level of maintenance to remain effective at cleaning the air.
If you suffer from allergies, have respiratory issues, or are just concerned about the quality of the air you breathe in your home, as always Art Plumbing & AC has options for you and your family. Call 1-888-TELL-ART or visit www.artplumbingandac.com to schedule your indoor air quality evaluation. One of our team of Comfort Consultants will access your entire air distribution system, and offer you a range of solutions to achieve the best possible air quality in your home.