Whole-House Air Cleaners and Filtration Systems Boost Your IAQ

Whole-house air cleaners and filtration systems remove unwanted dust, debris and other particles from your air to make it healthier for you to breathe. While they aren’t the only way (portable air-cleaning systems are available), they are the most efficient because they use your existing ductwork to comprehensively treat all of your home’s air. There are four main whole-house air cleaners and filtration systems to choose from: the flat-panel filter, the extended media filter, electronic filters and ultraviolet filtration systems.

Flat-panel filters are the most common systems for residential use. These are the common one-inch-thick filters that yWhole-House Air Cleaners and Filtration Systems Boost Your IAQou slide into a slot between your ducts and the furnace or air handler’s air intake. They’re usually rated by their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). They can be your basic fiberglass filter, or can come as a more efficient pleated variety that does a better job of capturing smaller particles in the air such as various allergens and mold. Basically, the cheaper the filter, the fewer particulates it will remove from your air.

Extended-media filters are much thicker than standard flat filters, about 8 inches. The filter holder has to be retrofitted into your existing system by a professional (unless this has already been done), and your existing blower motor may need to be upgraded. The end result is a filter that will last much longer, improve air quality much better, and need fewer replacements than a standard flat filter.

Electronic filters are high-tech filtration systems that use static electrical charges to remove particles from the air. When air enters the unit, it’s charged with a high-voltage current. At the far end of the unit is an oppositely charged aluminum collection plate. These filters are extremely efficient and do not need to be replaced. The aluminum collection plate simply needs to be removed and cleaned with soap and water once every few months to keep it in working order.

Ultraviolet or UV light germicidal filtration systems use UV rays to neutralize and remove bacteria, mold and viruses from your air. They are used in tandem with one of the other filtration systems listed above, since they don’t remove non-organic particles. They can either be installed in your duct system to treat the airstream as it flows through, or can be positioned to shine directly on the indoor coil of your heat pump or A/C to kill mold and bacteria that collect there.

For more expert advice on whole-house air cleaners and filtration, please contact us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We’ve been proudly serving the Greater Cleveland area for 75 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about whole-house air cleaners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!   

Image courtesy of Shutterstock