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Air Filtration and Purification Explained

germicidal-lightWhile doing your online research, you might come across the fact that there are two approaches to cleaning the air in your home:

Air filtration and air purification.

While the methods are similar, and some of the products even have overlapping functions, they’re not quite the same. However, if you’re working with an HVAC expert in Avon, OH from the very start, you won’t need to worry too much about it. Your technician will be able to test the quality of your air and install the right systems for you.

However, we’re still happy to help explain the differences between them with a couple of examples.

Do You Need Filtration or Purification?

While we believe every home can benefit from the addition of an air filtration or purification system, the homeowners who benefit the most are the ones who suffer from asthma, allergies, and weak immune systems. Those who do not experience these issues may not feel much of a difference.

Filters and purifiers will remove the contaminants that commonly trigger these symptoms. They include things like particles and chemical pollutants. Even microorganisms, like those that create respiratory viruses, can be removed with the right purifier.

Air Filtration

As the owner of an HVAC system, your technician should have instructed you on how to replace the air filter. This particular type of air filter is designed specifically to keep dirt out of the HVAC system—it’s not designed to filter contaminants out of your air. However, it can look similar to the kind of air filter that we’re talking about.

These filters, known as mechanical filters, come in various qualities ranked by their MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. Higher MERV ratings can filter out smaller particles. However, if the MERV rating is too high, even the air has a hard time flowing through them, and that can cause your system to become inefficient.

Your HVAC technician will find a filter with a MERV rating between 7 and 12. This will help eliminate the most harmful particles while still remaining efficient.

Air Purification

On the other hand, we have air purifiers. A high-quality air filter can be just as effective as an air purifier, but the process by which they clean the air is different. They typically use electricity to send a charge through the air, rendering those contaminants inert.

What an air filter can’t do, however, is remove microorganisms from your air space. This is something that can only be done by a UV air purifier.

These purifiers use an ultraviolet light to eliminate germs, bacteria, and viruses. The UV light acts as a harmful radiation to these organisms, killing them outright or preventing them from reproducing. Even those without compromised immune systems can benefit from these purifiers.

Since germs spread easily between people, a UV air purifier can make a difference either in the home or even in commercial buildings.

Do you need air filtration or purification? We can find out with an air quality test. Contact Westland Heating & Air Conditioning today to request an estimate.

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