Tag Archives: Air Filtration

How Do You Measure Your Air Cleaner’s Performance? A Question from Tucson

Your air cleaner is designed to keep your family comfortable and healthy, regardless of what contaminants make their way inside in your Tucson home. This is important because homes these days are sealed up tightly to minimize the loss of heating or cooling, but as a result they have poor ventilation and frequently they will suffer a buildup of excess contaminants like mold, dust, pollen and dander.

To ensure you get the best possible air cleaner for your home, there are a number of measurements available to help you in the purchasing process. Let’s take a look at a couple of those measurements and what they mean.

MERV

MERV ratings are used to measure the ability of a filter to remove dust from the air that passes through it. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter works at removing particles. The MERV rating scale goes from 1-16 with 16 being the best possible rating you can obtain from a residential (non-HEPA) grade filter. Usually, they are designed to measure things like dander, dust, smog, wood smoke, spores, bacteria and mold.

When choosing an air cleaner, it is recommended that you look for a MERV rating of at least 8, which is good enough to remove almost all common household contaminants. Higher MERV ratings (17 and up) are found in HEPA filters which are considered among the best on the market, able to remove particles as small as 0.3 microns.

CADR

This rating stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate and is a measurement of how efficiently the air cleaner delivers clean air for tobacco smoke, pollen and dust (the common measurements given for each device). This is not a measurement of the efficiency of the device, so much as the speed of it the device. So, the higher the CADR measurement for all three contaminants, the faster those particles are removed from the indoor air.

The best way to choose a device to match your needs is to look for a CADR rating of at least 2/3 of the size of the room you are cleaning. So, if you are cleaning the air of a 150 square foot bedroom, you should get a device with a CADR rating of at least 100.

When choosing a good air cleaner for your home, make sure you do your research and choose on the best possible option for the space you need to clean. MERV and CADR allow you to do this.

Allergens Affected by Indoor Air Quality Systems: A Tip from Tucson

Indoor air quality devices are designed to capture and remove certain allergens from the air, but what exactly is being removed and how would those allergens affect your health if left to circulate? Here is a quick rundown of common allergens found inside the average Tucson home and why you should have them removed:

  • Dust Mites – Dust mites develop in high humidity conditions – above 50%. This means that dehumidification to a healthy range between 35-50% will keep them from developing and ensure your indoor air stays comfortable and safe. Dust mites are not dangerous but they can severely increase complications from asthma and other uncomfortable conditions.
  • Animal Dander – Dander from cats, dogs, birds and other furry or feathered creatures is a common allergen for millions of people. If you suspect dander as an allergy, go on vacation to a place without dander and see how it affects you or your loved ones.
  • Dust and Dirt – Dust is in every home and while it is a common irritant, it can inflame asthma or worsen allergies many times over.
  • Pollen – Pollen is a problem for anyone with seasonal allergies or hay fever. While medicine can help, proper sealing of your house and indoor air filtration can reduce the presence of pollen from clothing and animals.
  • Mold Spores – Mold develops in high humidity and in ductwork where it is dark and sometimes damp. Proper filtration with a HEPA system and dehumidification will reduce this risk.
  • Bacteria and Viruses – Bacteria can develop in the air from common colds, old food or outside contaminants. Use a UV light to remove these from your air handler or ductwork.
  • Smoke and Exhaust – Indoor/outdoor ventilation can allow in smoke and exhaust that irritates most lungs. To avoid this problem install an electronic air cleaner that can target particles in smoke.

Getting rid of allergens in the air is an important aspect of maintaining a clean and healthy household. Proper air cleaning, filtration and UV purification will reduce these allergens many times over. There are also some great tips on the Asthma and Allergy Foundation website for how to reduce the presence of those allergens to start with.

Top 4 Upgrades For Your Green Valley HVAC System

Your HVAC system is a trusted part of your Green Valley home’s comfort system. Without it you would be cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and breathing in contaminant laden air year round. So, it’s important that you install the best systems and subsystems available for your HVAC system. Here are some options to keep in mind when looking for ways to get the most from your heating and cooling.

  • Humidity Control – Don’t rely on your air conditioner to remove humidity in the summer. A dehumidifier is more energy efficient and reduces stress on your air conditioning system when the humidity gets high. In the winter, humidification allows your home to hold more heat, effectively increasing the efficiency of your heating system.
  • Air Filtration – Every air conditioning system and furnace comes with some form of air filtration, but is it enough? Standard filters are effective, but they are not always comprehensive. A good HEPA quality filter for your air handler and duct system will severely reduce the number of contaminants in your air supply and ensure that you and your family feel much better year round.
  • Ductwork Cleaning – If nothing else, having your ductwork cleaned on a regular basis removes excess mold, dusty, pollen, debris and other pollutants that can affect your health and the quality of the air you breathe. Schedule annual cleanings of your ductwork.
  • Air Quality Controls – Beyond air filtration, you can upgrade your air handler’s ability to remove pollutants with a dedicated air cleaner and UV lights. These systems are installed in your air handler and/or ductwork to remove advanced pollutants like bacteria and mold and remove smaller particles including smoke, gas, and exhaust. Which system you need will depend on the level of contaminants in your home, so make sure you check with a contractor before choosing anything.

These upgrades are a great way to get more out of your HVAC system – in terms of both comfort and safety. Discuss your options with a contractor today to learn more.