In Decatur, Alabama’s cooler months, you may notice a drop in air quality inside your home or office. Windows are closed more often than during the spring and fall, leading to pollutants gathering inside. Sometimes, the air inside your home can be even dirtier than outside!

It’s no wonder that air purification systems are a thing. Having one in your home goes farther than simply changing your furnace filter (although this helps as well.) There are several types of systems, and you’ll want to choose the right one for you.

HEPA Filters. These systems are very common and readily available. Portable versions are fairly inexpensive, and their filters can remove well over 99% of all allergenic particles from the air, making them a great choice for single rooms, a section of a home, or other smaller areas such as offices. However, their filters restrict air flow so much that they can’t fit into air vents and be used to clean the air in larger areas. Fitting a HEPA filter into your HVAC system can be very expensive.

High-Level MERV Filters. Furnace filters can help you fight the bad air quality in your home, but only at higher MERV ratings. MERV 6 filters will catch particles such as dust and mold, while MERV 12 filters and above are capable of capturing viruses and bacteria. However, furnace filters by themselves won’t completely solve your air quality woes and are best used in conjunction with other systems.

Higher level MERV filters are great for homes where allergies are a larger issue but be aware that very high ratings can restrict airflow and make your HVAC system work harder.

UV Lights. Did you know that ultraviolet light can kill many bacteria and viruses? Did you also know that your HVAC system can collect germs and mold around vital areas such as the coil and the air handler? Having UV lights installed over these areas can kill these germs before your system has the chance to spread them throughout your home. UV lights may be a good choice if you are worried about illnesses spreading through your home or office.

Electrostatic Filtration. These filters can fit into your HVAC system and are made of cotton and paper. These materials create a static charge that captures particles as they pass through.

While these filters are inexpensive and can be cleaned or replaced as needed, many tend to only capture larger particles, letting most allergens through. They may be a good option if used with other filtration techniques. If you need more filtration, opt for a filter with multiple layers.

Activated Carbon Filters and Ionic Filters. These portable systems are better at removing smoke and other odors from your home, as activated carbon is good at trapping odors and gases. Ionic filters are also good at stopping smaller particles but are far less effective for larger ones such as dust. Activated carbon filters often include HEPA as well and tend to run higher in price.

Activated carbon is the only filter type capable of removing odors from the air, making it a good choice for those who are sensitive. Ion filters may also work well for those sensitive to tobacco smoke.

Any Questions? Contact us today with any questions you may have about which air filtration system is right for you and your home or office. Southeastern Mechanical Services in Decatur, AL, is here to help keep you breathing well all year long.