Considering an air purifier or maybe an upgrade to your air filtration system?
Whether it’s allergies, asthma, or the rampant cold season we’re experiencing in the Mat-Su Valley that brought you here, we’re happy to share our clean air knowledge with you!
Today, we’ll talk about what an air filtration system is, how it works, the difference between an air filtration system and an air purifier (why you should upgrade your air filtration system rather than purchase a standalone air purifier), and where you can find the best air filtration system in the Mat-Su Valley.
We’re here to get you on your way to clean air as soon as possible!
Take a look.
Need a new air filtration system but don’t have the funds? Ask us about our financing options when you schedule an appointment!
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What Is an Air Filtration System and How Does It Work?
We are often surprised by the number of homeowners who don’t realize they already have an air filtration system in their home.
An air filtration system can be as simple as the filter installed in the filter box in your furnace ductwork and as complex as a heat recovery ventilator.
Let’s talk about each of these air filtration systems one at a time.
1. Furnace Filter
Your furnace should come with a filter.
It can be located in the filter box on the return side of the ductwork near the furnace or behind the return vents in your home.
On the cheapest end, this is a 1-inch filter that looks something like this:
This is the most basic form of an air filtration system.
Your furnace forces air through this filter and it works by catching and removing particles such as dust, pollen, and dander to protect your furnace, your home, and you.
These filters come at a variety of filtration levels rated by something known as the MERV scale (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) which runs from 1-16, 1 being the lowest level of filtration and 16 being the highest.
The higher the MERV rating on a filter, the better it is able to catch smaller particulate such as smoke and bacteria.
MERV 16 filters can capture over 95% of particulate as small as o.3 microns. To fully eliminate all bacteria, however, a homeowner should consider getting an air purification element to sanitize the air such as UV lights.
Filters can range from 1-inch to 4-inch and they can be made from a variety of materials from polyester to fiberglass. They can also electronic, such as the Lennox PureAir™ Air Purifier we sell here at HeatSource Mechanical, which combines high-level filtration with UV light technology.
What about HEPA filters? HEPA filters also fall on the MERV rating scale, they have just created their own levels, from 17-20. These filters capture 99.97% of particulate as small as o.3 microns.
2. Heat Recovery Ventilator
Unless you were born and raised in the Mat-Su Valley, it’s likely that you’ve never heard of a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), but a heat recovery ventilator is another kind of air filtration system.
Heat recovery ventilators improve the efficiency of your heating system by heating the fresh air that comes into your home with the heat from the stale air that is leaving.
They also bring fresh, filtered air into your home, making an HRV an air filtration system.
A heat recovery ventilator can be added to your existing heating system for cleaner air and improved efficiency.
Heat recovery ventilators also use filters that are rated according to the MERV scale.
Whether you have a filter box or an HRV, you need to replace your filters regularly. For 1-3-inch filters, replace every three to six months. For 4-inch filters, replace every six to twelve months. The filter in a heat recovery ventilator needs to be replaced just once every two years.
Air Filtration System vs. Air Purifier
So what is the difference between an air filtration system and an air purifier?
If you and your family are struggling to keep the air inside your home clean, a standalone air purifier probably looks like an attractive option to you.
To put it simply, an air filtration system simply filters air whereas an air purifier sanitizes it, killing bacteria, viruses, mold, and other pathogens. However, the term “air filtration system” can be used to refer to a system that has both filtering and purifying properties.
At HeatSource Mechanical, our Lennox PureAir™ Air Purifier is an air filtration system that both filters and purifies the air.
You can also combine products to achieve both filtration and purification, such as a heat recovery ventilator plus UV lights installed in the ductwork.
We believe that an air filtration system like this–one that is installed in your heating system–is better than a standalone air purifier because it touches all the air that enters your home.
It can also be more cost-effective and efficient to install an air-purifying product in your current heating system than to buy a new, standalone product.
What Is the Best Air Filtration System in the Mat-Su Valley?
Now, for the answer to the question you’ve been asking from the start!
What is the best air filtration system in the Mat-Su Valley?
We may be a bit biased, but as experts in heating and air filtration systems in the Mat-Su Valley for over 35 years, we believe we have found the best combination of air filtering and purifying technology on the market.
We believe that the best air filtration system available in the Mat-Su Valley is any combination of a MERV 16 rated filter and UV light technology.
A MERV 11 filter will do if you want something great but it is not the best of the best.
With a system like this, you are both filtering your air from the maximum amount of particulate while not only removing but eliminating bacteria through UV light sanitization.
There are two HeatSource Mechanical air filtration systems that meet this MERV 16 + UV light requirement:
- The Lennox PureAir™ Air Purifier
- A heat recovery ventilator with UV lights installed in the ductwork
If you are interested in either of these air filtration systems, we would love to talk to you!
How Do UV Lights Kill Bacteria?
After reading this article, you may still have a few questions. How do UV lights kill bacteria, viruses, mold, and pathogens anyway?
We’re glad you asked!
At a specific wavelength, UV light destroys the nucleic acid in the DNA of the cells of bacteria, making it so that the cells cannot perform vital cellular functions.
That wavelength is 185-254 nanometers (nm) and UV light at this wavelength is considered germicidal.
As a result of the disruption of their DNA, the bacteria die.
By killing the bacteria rather than simply filtering it out, you eliminate any chance of it making it through to your home.
Is your family experiencing frequent sickness, allergies, or asthma?
Then it may be time to upgrade your air filtration system to something with more powerful filtration and UV light air purification technology.
We would love to talk to you about the options for air filtration systems available here in the Mat-Su Valley.
Give us a call and schedule a free consultation today! Financing options are available.