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A-1 Mechanical Blog

What Are the Different Types of Air Cleaners?

Air Purifier

There are several air cleaners for whole home use available to homeowners across the Lansing and Grand Rapids areas. Air cleaners address indoor pollution issues to improve the health and comfort of a home’s occupants.

In this blog, the HVAC technicians at A-1 Mechanical share the types of air cleaners that are used to generate better indoor air quality for Michigan households. Schedule a consultation with our team today to learn more about your options and how to select the best solution to address your needs.

Types of Air Cleaners

For treatment of airborne pollutants and allergens throughout the entire home, your best choice is a whole home air purification system. Common types of air cleaners include portable models, but these units are only helpful for treating the air in a small room or area. They simply do not have the capacity nor are they meant to treat the home’s entire air supply.

A whole home air cleaner is strategically installed as part of your home’s central HVAC system. This allows these types of air cleaners to provide treatment to the home’s entire air volume as it circulates through the ducts for heating and cooling. A portable air cleaner is only exposed to a small volume of the home’s air.

The most popular types of air purifiers for whole home use include media air cleaners and air purifiers.

Media Air Cleaners

These types of air purifiers offer advanced filtration of airborne pollutants beyond what your standard furnace filter is capable of providing. Media air cleaners use filters that are thick and dense to trap more and finer particles – they can be up to five inches thick, whereas the standard furnace filter is only one inch thick. Media filter types of air purifiers are effective at trapping many kinds of contaminants, from common allergens like dust mites and pet dander to biological matter such as mold spores.

Installed on the return duct, media air cleaners filter air before it moves into the furnace or air handler. It traps contaminants, removing them from the air supply to prevent recirculation into living areas and protecting sensitive HVAC system components from exposure.

The advanced filters used in media air cleaners have MERV ratings at the higher end of what is suitable for home use, typically from MERV 6 up to MERV 15. These higher MERV filters have a longer useful life and require less frequent changes than most standard disposable furnace filters – a change is required about every nine months to one year. Some filters use activated charcoal or carbon to treat odors as well as particulate matter.

Some units are available with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters that are MERV 16 to 20. However, these filters are typically used in specialized environments like hospitals and clean rooms. Their density can create problems when used with a residential HVAC system due to added resistance, which makes it difficult for the unit’s blower motor to circulate air through the filter.

Air Purifiers

There are many types of air purifiers available today. Some use UV light, while others use electrostatic means to attract the contaminants into the filters and kill them. UV light air purifiers use ultraviolet energy to treat airborne pollutants. These types of air purifiers do not remove particulate matter from the air supply, but instead render contaminants ineffective and unable to reproduce. Mold, viruses, bacteria, and germs are treated by UV light air purifiers.

Installed within the HVAC system’s ducts or within heating and cooling equipment, UV light air purifiers treat air as it passes through the home’s comfort system. The UV light neutralizes particles so they cannot cause allergy symptoms among household members or grow in areas of the home or HVAC system.

UV light air purifiers use minimal electricity to operate. Maintenance is very easy, as bulbs only require replacement every one to three years, depending on the type.

A-1 Mechanical Helps Homeowners Achieve Better Indoor Air Quality

These types of air purifiers are highly effective for treatment of air pollution inside the home and are recommended for households with allergy sufferers, those with respiratory conditions, and more. Air purifiers deliver cleaner air while protecting your home and your loved ones from harmful contaminant exposure and growth. Contact A-1 Mechanical today to find the air purification solution that offers the protection you want and need!

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