If you’re looking to improve your indoor air quality, or if you suffer from indoor allergies, you may have looked into getting an air purification system. There are a variety of different options to choose from, but it’s important to know the basics of air purification systems so that you can make the right choice for your family.
There are three different kinds of air contaminants: particles like dust, pollen and dirt; microorganisms like mold, bacteria and viruses; and gaseous vapors and odors. Different air purification systems attack these contaminants in different ways, and some only attack one or two of the three.
Interception is the most common way to remove particulates. The airborne particles come within the radius of the filter and adhere to one of the fibers. Once they adhere, they can no longer pass through. Interception as a method works only for particles of a certain size; smaller particles will not adhere to the fibers.
Impaction is used for smaller particles such as microorganisms like viruses and mold spores. Rather than adhering to the fibers of the filter, the particles are unable to avoid the fibers and become stuck. Unable to pass through the filter, but not actually stuck to one of the fibers, they are no longer able to circulate in your air. The higher the airflow velocity, the more likely the particles are to impact.
Diffusion works with the smallest of particles like gaseous vapors and odors. It is a mechanism where the particles collide with gas particles. This delays their path through the filter, increasing their chance of impact or interception.
Products that contain a HEPA filter will filter out the particulates and impact the microorganisms. A system that contains a UV-activated catalyst or an active charcoal filter will cause the diffusion. Not all air purification systems utilize all three methods and only ones that do will remove all pollution from your home, so research your system.
For more professional advice on choosing air purification systems, contact us at Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving Southeast Michigan 365 days of the year since 1945.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air purification systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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