Readers have written to me with questions about the purification of the air in their home. Here are the latest news on the actions you can take to improve the quality of air in indoor environments.
“I heard about a HEPA air conditioning filter, which is and should I buy one?”
HEPA is the acronym for High-Efficiency Air Particulate. A HEPA filter works with a powerful fan to force air through a thick pleated net that traps pollen, pet hair, dust mites and smoke. It can filter almost all toxic microorganisms including bacteria, mold spores and viruses. Hospitals are one of the biggest users of HEPA air filters.
Sounds great, right? We go down to the store and buy one. Wait, not so fast. There are a couple of problems you will encounter if you try to insert a HEPA filter into your air conditioner or into the air return ducts. The first is an expense: ten dollars for a filter for the size of the vacuum cleaner and over $ 200 for commercial air managers. The second problem is that residential air managers do not have fans with enough power to push the air through HEPA-type media.
But there is some good news – since the use of a fancy filter is to clean the air, there are things you can do to improve the quality of the air inside . One is to use a HEPA filter in the vacuum cleaner if it is a model designed to use HEPA filtration. The other thing you can do is buy an autonomous air purifier, which I will discuss in a future article.
Without switching to a dedicated air cleaner, the following things will help you keep the indoor air fresh and clean.
A well maintained vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, used several times a week for floors and carpets, will do much to keep the air in your home clean. A non-HEPA vacuum with dirty filters on the other hand will effectively add dirt and contaminants to the air by lifting it off the floor and redistributing it into the air.
Modification of air conditioning and heating filters according to a schedule and using high efficiency air filters. The high-efficiency mid-air conditioning filters sold at the supermarket are very good at trapping bad particles.
Minimize the use of candles and wood fires if you can. These are added to the internal pollutant load.
Limit the use of air fresheners and intensive cleaning products.
No smoking inside.
Use the exhaust fans if you have them when you cook, but don’t use them if you have a fireplace in the fireplace.
You can also call an air conditioning contractor to come to your home and quote your air management fan upgrade to one that will operate a HEPA installation. This is not an inexpensive upgrade, so you could try the above methods first, and then consider an independent air purifier.
Opening the windows on fine days will do a lot to clean the indoor air. With the Environmental Protection Agency that states that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, let the breeze sweep away the pollutants will reduce your list of activities.