7 Benefits of HVAC Air Purifiers
Superior Home Supplies Resources
What is an HVAC Air Purifier?
Whole house HVAC air purifiers are a component of an HVAC system that will help to remove contaminants from your air, such as dirt, debris, allergens, and pollen. This helps to improve the indoor air quality in your home, which will lessen asthma and allergy symptoms and improve other respiratory ailments.
There are several types of HVAC air purifiers that will connect in line with your HVAC system. Each different type of air purification system may work differently to remove VOCs and other contaminants from the air. Still, all will help to improve the indoor air quality in your home and help you breathe a little easier.
No matter the method of your HVAC air purifier, they all work by filtering forced air, which is then pushed back into your home's ductwork.
How Consumer Reports Tests Air
When looking for an HVAC air purifier to improve the indoor air quality in your home, you may be wondering how air purifiers are tested to determine the amount of particulate and size of particulate that they effectively remove.
Consumer Reports is one of the most reliable organizations known for testing air purifiers, and many consumers rely on their reports when making a purchasing decision. To test HVAC air purifiers, Consumer Reports will test them in a sealed air chamber to create a controlled environment. In this chamber, a specific amount of dust and cigarette smoke will be forced into the air purifier. Air particles will be measured over the period of a half hour to see how well they are removed from the air as it passes through the air purifier.
When an Air Purifier May Be Needed for Your Home
While an air purifier can provide added comfort to your home, no matter your situation, there are some cases where choosing to install a whole home air purifier might be a necessity. You may want to consider an HVAC air purifier if you or a family member suffers from allergy symptoms, either seasonal or year-round. Allergens can move throughout the air in your home and settle on hard surfaces. With an air purifier, the allergens that your filter doesn’t trap will be caught and removed, preventing them from triggering your symptoms.
You may also want to consider an air purifier in your home if you have a family member who suffers from asthma. Asthma can lead to significant respiratory concerns, so ensuring an environment with clean air is crucial.
Homes with one or more pets could also benefit from an air purifier, which can reduce the amount of dander and pet hair circulating around your home, leading to a cleaner home with less pet odor.
You may also want to consider an air purifier if you are remodeling your home or are in an area with a lot of construction, smoke, or pollution from environmental factors, such as wildfires.
1: HVAC Air Purifiers for Odor Control
While most HVAC air purifiers are not designed to specifically control odor in your home, they are efficient at removing contaminants that can lead to bad smells. When the indoor air quality in your home is improved, you will also enjoy clean air, which will likely improve the overall smell in your home.
The type of odors that an HVAC air purifier can help you address will depend on the type of filter in the system. Though many can often help reduce pet odors, kitchen smells, and odor from mold or mildew. Some filters, such as activated carbon filters, are designed to help reduce or eliminate chemical odors from cleaning products, pesticides, and certain building materials.
Air purifiers can work to remove odors through several processes. First, many of the particulates that cause odors will be trapped in the prefilter and then the high-efficiency particulate air filter if one is included. This will then be removed from the air before circulating back into your home.
If your system has an activated carbon filter, the gas pollutants will move through it, where they will be absorbed before the air is recirculated. If the HVAC air purifier uses UV light technology, allergens, mold spores, bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants will be destroyed by the light before the air is returned to the ductwork.
2: HVAC Air Purifiers for System Efficiency and Lifespan
An HVAC air purifier will not only help to control odors in your home and improve the overall indoor air quality, but it can also improve your system's efficiency and longevity. Since HVAC air purifiers trap and remove particles such as dust and debris, fewer of these particles will move through your system's blower motor. When your system is not as clean, dust and debris can build up in the motor and other areas of the system, which can reduce its overall efficiency and also decrease your system’s lifespan. A cleaner system may also translate into fewer breakdowns and repairs as well.
3: HVAC Air Purifiers for Decreased Energy Bills
An HVAC air purifier will not only lead to improved efficiency with your system but also lower energy bills. When your system is clean and well-maintained, it will not have to work as hard, which means it will use less energy, and you will enjoy lower energy costs.
Additionally, when the airflow to your system is uninhibited, it will also use less energy to operate. Regularly changing your filter will help to prevent airflow restriction. Still, an air purifier will remove even smaller particulates, allowing the air to move freely through your HVAC system.
4: HVAC Air Purifiers for Seasonal Smoke and Pollutants
If you live in certain parts of the country, your home may also have pollution or seasonal smoke to contend with. Smoke and particulate from wildfires can wreak havoc on your home’s indoor air quality, leading to respiratory problems and other health issues.
According to the EPA, an HVAC air purifier with a HEPA filter can remove up to 85% of smoke particulate, leading to fresher air circulating throughout your home. While the odors from the smoke may not be removed with just a HEPA filter, you can also find one that uses a larger carbon filter, which will adsorb the smoke odor after the particulate has been removed from the air.
5: HVAC Air Purifiers for Pets and Allergen Control
Another great benefit of an HVAC air purifier is its ability to control pet dander and allergens in your home. If you share your home with pets, your HVAC system and HVAC air purifier will work together to create the ideal filtration system.
HEPA filters in air purifiers are designed to trap small particles such as pet dander, hair, and allergens to prevent them from returning back to your central air or heating system. When you use a whole home air purifier with a HEPA filter and have an air filter with a higher MERV rating in your HVAC system, you will be able to trap much of the particulate associated with pets that can exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms and cause pet odors to spread around your home.
HEPA Filters for Air Purifiers
Homeowners looking to reduce their indoor air pollution and improve their home’s indoor air quality will need to find the best filter to address their specific home pollution concerns. HEPA filters are the most commonly found filters in an HVAC air purifier as they are designed to remove significantly smaller particulates from your home that a traditional filter may let slip through. They are highly efficient at removing small particles from the air but are not always sufficient for all types of pollutants.
When homeowners have air quality concerns such as bacteria, viruses, smoke, and chemicals, they may need to choose an HVAC air purifier that combines a HEPA filter with other types of filtration. Activated carbon filters are designed to absorb chemicals, odors, and VOCs in your home.
UV light air purifiers can be combined with a HEPA filter or used alone. These systems will use UV light to kill microscopic organisms like bacteria and viruses.
6: HVAC Air Purifiers for Total Comfort and Humidity
Air purifiers can provide you with increased comfort as they will help reduce allergens and contaminants that can lead to increased allergy and respiratory symptoms. When combined with other HVAC components, they can improve your home’s comfort even further.
Running an Air Purifier and Humidifier Together
One combination of HVAC components that can provide a more comfortable environment in your home is pairing an air purifier with a whole-house humidifier. Even though each component has completely different functions, they can be used together in your HVAC system and work together to improve comfort by creating the ideal humidity level and fresh air. The HVAC air purifier will trap contaminants and allergens, removing them from the air and improving the indoor air quality in your home.
The humidifier will add moisture to the air in your home until the ideal level is reached. You will enjoy better sleep, improved respiratory health, and less dry skin during the winter months with proper humidity levels. To ensure that both components are working optimally, you want to ensure that they are kept clean and the filters maintained.
If you live in areas that see high levels of humidity in the summer, such as the south, then running an air purifier and dehumidifier together can create the perfect levels of comfort in your home. While low humidity levels can cause respiratory issues from dryness in your throat and nasal passages, excess humidity can lead to heaviness and difficulty breathing, especially if you have asthma.
A dehumidifier will work with your HVAC system to draw moisture out of the air to reach the desired comfort levels. Your air purifier will not only remove dirt, dust, and debris, from the air but also mold spores that can grow more easily in humid environments.
7: HVAC Air Purifiers for Employee Health and Comfort
Your home is not the only place you need to worry about indoor air quality. Businesses face several concerns when it comes to indoor air quality. Even with a good HVAC system filtering fresh air back into the workplace, IAQ may still be compromised as many workplaces contain various pollutants, such as gasses, cleaning chemicals, and chemicals used in various manufacturing and other business functions.
These pollutants and toxins can lead to severe health issues, a higher number of sick days, and lower productivity. Air purifiers containing carbon filters will absorb much of the chemical toxins in your building, trapping them and allowing fresh air to be circulated through the air ducts and into the office and production spaces.
With fewer volatile organic compounds in the air and fewer pollutants, employees will be able to breathe a little easier, suffer fewer illnesses, and be able to work more efficiently during the day with a consistent fresh air supply. They will also feel more comfortable in their work environment.
An HVAC air purifier can also reduce the spread of airborne diseases such as colds and flu viruses. If you choose an HVAC air purifier with an activated carbon filter or UV light and a HEPA filter, bacteria, viruses, and allergens will be reduced in the air, preventing their spread to healthy employees that have not been infected. This can help to significantly reduce the amount of production time lost to sick days and employees battling illness while working.
Considerations to Make When Purchasing an Air Purifier
While most HVAC air purifiers remove unwanted VOCs, debris, dust, and allergens from the air in your home through the use of a filter, they can function in different ways and also be designed to cover different amounts of square feet.
When choosing your air purifier, one thing to consider is the CADR or clean air delivery rate of each option. Your system should be enough to cover the number of square feet in your home. If it is not the right size, it may struggle to keep up and result in lower efficiency and a higher cost to run. The higher the CADR number, the faster it will remove the particulate from the air, but there is no need to pay for one that has a higher rate than is needed for your home.
Another consideration that may be more important to some homeowners than others is the amount of noise the air purifier produces. Most whole-home air purifiers will not be any louder than your HVAC system, but if the noise level is a significant concern for you, you may want to see the decibel level for the purifier in its specifications.
The final consideration to make when determining which air purifier is right for your home is the costs and maintenance associated with it. Most HVAC air purifiers require little maintenance, mainly cleaning and filter maintenance, but it is essential that you can keep up with them to ensure that it works properly and efficiently.
- Whole-house air purifiers are designed to clean the air in your home by removing contaminants as they travel through your HVAC system.
- Air filtration with an HVAC air purifier can come in various forms, such as HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, or UV light purifiers.
- Activated carbon filters can help remove odors in the home and from odor pollutants like smoke.
- UV light air purifiers can reduce the spread of illness by removing viruses and bacteria from the air through the use of UV light.
- Air purifiers can improve employee comfort and productivity by providing a cleaner environment.
- Combining an air purifier with a whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier can maximize the comfort in your home throughout the year.
Find the Perfect Air Purifier for Your Home at Superior Home Supplies
Whether you have household members who suffer from respiratory problems, live with multiple pets, or want to breathe a little easier in your home. An air purifier is the perfect answer. HVAC air purifiers work with your current HVAC system to make sure that the air circulating through your ducts has as little debris, allergens, and VOCs as possible before it reaches your family members. Want to get started on a healthy and more comfortable home for your family? Our knowledgeable staff at Superior Home Supplies is here to help. Contact us today to find out which type of air purifier will provide the best results for your home.