A whole house air purification system is an excellent choice for improving indoor air quality instantly, while also keeping surfaces around the home clean and pristine throughout the year. Persons with allergies, asthma, and other such health concerns benefit especially from whole house air filters, and these systems are also a perfect solution for homes located near busy roadways, production facilities, construction sites, and other areas creating airborne dust constantly.
Homeowners might expect to pay between $500 and $2000 for a whole house air purification systems. Costs are affected by the quality of your chosen system, size of your home, installation costs, and added warranties or guarantees.
Because a whole house air filter is often a costly investment for homeowners, you might wonder if these systems are effective in improving indoor air quality. You might also wonder if you can reduce those costs in any way, such as installing the system yourself!
Note a bit of vital information about whole house air purification systems, including their benefits for families and houses. You might then also note why installation is not a DIY job, as well as some tips on how to save on HVAC costs overall. Discuss these options with an HVAC contractor near you as needed, so you know your home is always as clean and hygienic as possible.
How Do Whole House Air Purification Systems Work?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is sometimes 2 to 5 times as polluted as outdoor air! This added pollution is often caused by trapped dust, chemicals such as from cleaning products, pollen and allergens clinging to clothes and shoes and then dragged inside the home, germs and bacteria, pet hair and dander, and other such irritants. Consider how a whole house air filter works to improve your home’s inside environment:
Paper furnace filters work to trap airborne dust as well as larger particles such as pet hair. These filters, however, do not trap smaller particles and can do little to kill germs and bacteria!
HEPA, or High Energy Particulate Air filters, trap much smaller particles and keep them from circulating throughout your home. Most HEPA filters trap and lock some 99% of airborne particles including dust, pollen, and other such irritants.
Carbon activated filters trap irritants as well as odors, such as from cooking and cigarette smoke. If you or anyone in the family is especially sensitive to strong smells, consider a carbon filter for the home.
Ultraviolet light or UV filters outright kill germs and bacteria. These filters are often used in commercial kitchens and medical facilities, where cleanliness is vital!
Electrostatic filters use static electricity to capture and “zap” irritants, including viruses. Electrostatic filters are an excellent option for those prone to sicknesses or for healthcare workers and others who might bring viruses home with them.
Ionizing air purifiers attract positively charged airborne particles, including pollutants. As the negative ions attach to the positive ions, the particles become too heavy and they drop from the air, getting trapped in the filter.
Do You Need a Whole House Air Filter If Your Home Has Central Air?
A central air conditioner pushes air through the home’s furnace filter, which traps and locks airborne dirt, dust, and other debris. Central air systems also remove humidity as well as heat; humid air traps dirt, allergens, and airborne mold, so removing humidity means improved indoor air quality.
However, there are limits as to the type and amount of irritants removed by central air conditioning systems. Note, too, that central air conditioners simply circulate the same air in your home’s interior space. So, as an example, if you smoke, that smoky air and any airborne soot and ash might actually get circulated around the home when you cycle on the central air conditioner!
Furnace filters also do little to trap and destroy germs, bacteria, mold, and smaller particles of dust and other irritants. Filters also don’t typically remove bothersome odors from a house! A clogged filter also does very little to trap added dust and irritants.
It’s also vital to note that most homeowners don’t run their home’s central air system 24 hours a day. A central AC unit only helps trap and lock dust and dirt when it cycles on and begins circulating air through the furnace filter. Once the AC cycles off, your home is then prone to collecting more dust and dirt and other debris.
Your home’s central air conditioner might offer cleaner air than fans and open windows, but is not as powerful and effective as a whole house air purification system. You might even benefit from a whole house air filter if you have pets or a smoker in the home, as these systems prevent pet dander, fleas and ticks, cigarette smoke, and other such irritants from getting circulated through the home’s central system.
Common Mistakes With a Whole House Air Filter
If your residential air purification system doesn’t seem to improve air quality, very often it needs just a bit of routine maintenance; in some cases, a homeowner might also install a new filter incorrectly or damage it unknowingly. One consideration is that air moves through a furnace vertically, being pushed up from the blower to the ductwork overhead. Some homeowners mistakenly put a filter next to the blower rather than above it, and then wonder why it’s not working to improve indoor air quality!
It’s also important to remember that filters only work when air passes through them, so it’s vital you cycle on that filter or the attached appliance regularly. Whole house air filtration systems also need new filters, or a filter cleaning, regularly. As with your home’s furnace, a clogged filter does little to keep air clean in the home.
Quick Tips for Improving Indoor Air Quality
A whole house air filtration system is an excellent choice for improving indoor air quality and creating a cleaner, more hygienic environment. Note a few additional tips for keeping that air clean and reducing airborne dust, dirt, and other irritants:
Change the home’s furnace filter often! Both the central air conditioner and furnace push air through that filter before it circulates through the home, so even a high-quality filter gets dusty and dirty before long. A clean filter traps more irritants than a clogged filter, so change it every month or as often as needed.
Vacuum often, even every day, and ensure you change the vacuum cleaner bags or empty the canister and change its filter often! Carpet fibers trap dirt, dust, mold spores, pet hair and dander, and a host of other irritants and allergens. Daily vacuuming removes those irritants, keeping them from becoming airborne.
Ensure you also vacuum fabric furniture as well as your home’s carpets. Upholstery fabric often holds dirt, dust, and other irritants, and excess moisture in cushions and fabric increase the risk of mold and mildew growth.
Avoid the use of aerosol sprays and especially anything toxic, such as bug spray. If your home is prone to pest infestations, contact an exterminator about organic pest removal methods, or use traps and other devices that don’t release toxic chemicals into the air.
Reduce smoke in the home, including cigarette smoke. Consider going outside if you do smoke, or at least using a smoke trapping ashtray. Avoid the use of incense and candles, as their resultant smoke is also very unhealthy for your lungs!
Bleach, ammonia, and other common household cleaning products are typically very bothersome to sinuses and might even trigger headaches and other such reactions. Rather than these products, consider organic cleaning materials and methods; for instance, a baking soda paste is often sufficient for removing mold around a bathtub or shower surround as well as greasy stains on the stovetop.
You might not associate your home’s plumbing with its indoor air quality, but water leaks increase the risk of mold growth behind walls and along ceilings. Breathing in airborne mold spores is very unhealthy and some forms of mold are dangerous and downright deadly! Keep the home’s plumbing in good condition and consider regular leak detection services as needed.
Does a central air system clean the air?
A central air system pushes air through the home’s furnace filter and removes humidity and its trapped dirt, dust, allergens, and airborne mold, as said. A central air system therefore cleans the air more so than a window or portable air conditioner, or room fans, but not as much as a whole house air purification system.
If you buy an air filter, do you still need to clean your home?
A whole house air filtration system often means less dust and dirt settling onto furniture and carpeting. UV and electrostatic filters also kill germs, bacteria, and viruses. However, these filters can’t remove dust and irritants already settled into carpet fibers and other such surfaces, and can’t kill germs and bacteria and other such irritants inside the pits and pores of bathroom and kitchen tiles.
Do air purifiers dry out the air?
It’s a common myth that whole house air purification systems dry out a home’s indoor air, but this is not the case. Air purifiers don’t remove excess humidity, and note that airborne dust and dirt often create a dry and uncomfortable feeling inside homes. By removing dust, dirt, and other irritants, your home is typically more comfortable as well as cleaner and more hygienic overall.
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