The US EPA or the United States Environment Protection Agency has time and again warned people about the ill effects of poor indoor air quality. Even then, most continue to ignore it, while some have finally accepted that more needs to be done to make the indoor space hygienic. Improving the quality of the air you breathe while indoors is not very difficult, so it is hard to understand why people continue to overlook it completely.
Today’s main aim is to address the needs of the working class, who have little time to spare and need a quick fix. For them, the answer lies in air cleaners.
What Are Air Cleaners
Simply put, a device that cleans the air is an air cleaner. Often, it is also referred to as an air purifier. So you can use both terms interchangeably. An air cleaner or air purifier cleans your indoor air by trapping harmful contaminants or pollutants along with odor particles. Once the impurities present in the air are effectively removed from circulation, what remains behind is clean air for you and the other occupants of the building to breathe.
The Way An Air Cleaner Works
A typical air cleaner or air filtration system consists of fans and air filters where both components perform a specific function.
1. Air Filter – The basic air filters are made of paper, and the more advanced ones are made of either mesh or fiberglass. As the air filter continues to trap and remove pollutants from the air, it gets dirty. If you don’t replace the air filter with a clean one, its efficiency will decline. After some time, it will become clogged entirely and stop filtering out the unwanted particles present in the air. If you still don’t change it, the chances are that the passing air will pick additional contaminants stuck to the filter surface and make the circulating air even dirtier. Therefore, it is necessary to keep a sharp eye on the cleanliness status of the air filter. One should switch a typical HVAC system air filter with a clean one every quarter, if not every month. Similarly, in an air purifier that is used constantly, the filter should be changed quarterly.
2. Fans – Fans serve the purpose of circulating air. First, they pull in air from inside the structure like your house and force it through the air filters where the dust, dirt, allergens, and pathogens get trapped. After the clean air is heated or cooled by the HVAC system, the fans push it back indoors. This cycle continues repeatedly.
Limitation Of Air Cleaners
One main limitation of air cleaners is that they can only clean the air that passes through the air filters. In any enclosed area or building, particles are not always airborne. In fact, a large percentage tend to settle on surfaces. So those particles that have settled on different surfaces like tables, chairs, floors, walls, curtains, appliances, etc., are out of the air cleaners’ scope of operation. It means that a large part of the enclosed space is still not hygienic.
Effectiveness Of Air Cleaner
Most air cleaners claim to be more than 95% effective, some even as high as 99%. Nevertheless, keep in mind the effectiveness of an air filter depends on the airflow rate, the place where it is installed, and how frequently it is used.
In the present day, the best-known air cleaners are those that use HEPA air filters. HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Absorbing filter. These are known to be 99.97% effective in trapping contaminants of size 0.3 microns.
Contaminants Removed By Air Cleaners
Lets us briefly have a peek at the different kinds of contaminants removed by air cleaners:
1. Dust, Dirt, And Dander – In every household and building, fine dust and dirt particles are present in abundance. If you have pets, you can add dander also to the mix. These may seem harmless, but their high concentrations can lead to illness and allergies.
2. Bacteria And Viruses – When someone is not well, they release their germs in the air indoors through cough and sneeze. Healthy people breathe the germs-laden air and become sick. The only effective way of removing these pathogens from circulating air is by using air cleaners.
3. Allergens – Pollen and dander is the bane of existence for those people who suffer from allergies. Indoor air can contain a high concentration of these allergens if there is no air purification system installed.
4. Smoke – The kitchen happens to be that one area where maximum smoke is generated. If you forget to switch on the electric chimney, it permeates the air and leaves behind a distinct smell throughout the house. Air cleaners can trap smoke molecules and get rid of unwelcome odors.
5. Volatile Organic Compounds – VOCs are present in all aerosols like spray paints, deodorants, etc. You can also find them in perfumes and cleaning agents. Though pleasant smelling, VOCs can also trigger allergies. Thankfully, air-cleaning systems trap its molecules to get rid of them.
6. Mold And Mold Spores – Dampness and warmth are two things readily available in the dark corners of any building. These two also happen to be the prerequisite requirement for mold colonies to come up, and where there is mold, there are mold spores. Mold is a health hazard, and its growth in any enclosed area is unacceptable. Air cleaners capture mold spores and prevent them from spreading in the air we breathe and other indoor spaces.
If you are serious about improving indoor air quality, you must consider investing in an appropriate air cleaner or air purifier. They are the surest way of guaranteeing clean air indoors. As it happens, there is a wide range for you to choose from so ask for help if necessary.
If you live in West Palm Beach, Florida, and wish to discuss the air cleaners most suited for your residential or commercial building, contact the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning. We are a one-stop-shop HVAC contractor with over three decades of experience. We will help you choose the best air cleaner and see to its installation and maintenance needs. Our office is open 24/7, so feel free to contact us at any time at your convenience. You can reach out to us at +1-888-729-8452.