THE IMPORTANCE OF INDOOR AIR QUALITY
Even before the global pandemic of 2020, indoor air quality (IAQ) has always been important. However, talking about indoor air quality and its benefits has never really showed any real value to some clients. Especially with the perception that it is expensive to install. Households that contained people with allergies, elderly, asthma, and other issues caused by tainted air were the primary cliental for these air purifiers.
Now with the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, the world has seemingly changed overnight, and it only escalated from there. The focus on IAQ jumped drastically. The industry went from having average sales of air purifiers to having problems keeping the air purifiers in stock.
One good thing came from the sudden spike in demand, is that there are many companies that now make a large variety of air purifiers and thus the costs are coming down.
Based on the air purifier that would best suit your needs is of course as unique as your household situation. For example, many people do not know that their indoor air quality can be just as bad if not worse than that of outdoors! If indoor air is not exchanged with fresh outdoor air, your inside air and all its contaminates (such as dust, bacteria, mold, pet dander, viruses, etc.) is now trapped inside.
Due to the pandemic, major companies have allowed their employees to work from home. This doubled the amount of time spent being home. This hopefully screened you away from the Covid-19 virus, but it also meant you were now stuck home with minimal fresh air which only increased the number of germs and bacteria circulating through your home. Unfortunately, it also meant that if someone in your home did catch the virus, then everyone else staying at home was a greater risk of catching. Bad indoor air quality will affect you and your guest’s health or comfortability.
The benefits of improved indoor air quality
- Kills viruses and bacteria
Obviously at this moment in time, the importance of killing viruses and bacteria is an understatement. We had learned to become complacent with the common cold and flu, but Covid-19 as shown us how a new type of virus can affect healthy people, but also compound health issues for people with pre-existing conditions. Air purifiers can help remove up to 99.7% of viruses if paired with a HEPA filter and disinfection of home surfaces.
- Reduces allergens
Allergens are substances that can create adverse immune responses in the form asthma or allergies. Common allergens are: Pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.
While medications for allergies and asthma can help alleviate symptoms and prevent reactions, air purifiers may help remove the source of your symptoms to begin with. After continued use, there is a chance that you might experience fewer allergic reactions and asthma symptoms.
3. Reduces mold
Like allergens, indoor mold particles can become especially dangerous for people with asthma and other lung conditions. Air purifiers may work to some degree, but filtration is far more effective in getting rid of mold in the air.
An air purifier along with a HEPA filter would work best, along with reducing humidity levels in your home.
- Reduces indoor toxins
Not only may your home be a source of airborne allergens and mold, but it may also be a source of indoor toxins from cleaning products, personal care products, and more.
When these particles live in the air, they can become harmful to your body. Air purifiers may also trap indoor toxins
HEPa filters remove 99.7% of partcles
High-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA for short. To be classified as HEPA, an air filter must remove no less than 99.97 percent of particles 0.3 microns or larger from your air. This standard, enforced by the Department of Energy, makes HEPA filters are the gold standard for allergen and airborne particle removal.
How Air Purifiers Work
Air purifiers essentially work by sanitizing the air. There are a few types of purifier technology:
- Activated carbon filters use small, absorbent pores to capture pollutants as they pass through the filter. Since the pores chemically react to the pollutants in the air, activated carbon filters are great at removing odors, chemicals, and smoke from the air, but they do not remove dust and allergens. If you have an odor problem, look for HEPA or HEPA-Type filters with activated carbon to remove odors and purify the air.
- UV purifiers remove bacteria and viruses from the air. These ultraviolet germicidal lights kill airborne germs to help keep your family healthy. Like activated carbon filters, they are rarely used alone to purify air and work best when combined with HEPA or HEPA-Type air purifiers, but they are a little bit more expensive and required new bulbs about every two years.
- Ionic air purifiers do not actually purify the air. Instead, they send streams of negative ions into the air that attach to airborne particles, making them too heavy to remain airborne. Since most surfaces are positively charged, the negatively charged particles are attracted to the surfaces in the room and settle there. In other words, the particles may be removed from the air, but they are still temporarily stuck in the room. Shortly after installing an Ionic purifier, it may seem as though your house is dustier. That is because all the particles are falling out of the air. After you clean and dust your home a few times, you will begin to see the need to dust reduce drastically as those particles are purged from your home. Like the UV purifier, Ionic purifiers work best with routine filter replacement because the large, ionized particles are easier to trap in the filter which then the filter is thrown away. Again, over a short period of time you should notice your air quality improve as all these particles are trapped, cleaned, and purged from your home.
It is also a good idea to pair your air purifier with annual chemical indoor coil cleanings. By cleaning the coils, you promote good airflow improving cooling efficiency and allowing the air purifier to be more effective. The reason we recommend annual coil cleanings is because to get the most out of the air purifier it is recommended to run your fan continuously while home and having the indoor fan set to circulate. This increases the amount of purified air entering and circulating throughout the home.
Running your fan more often will dirty up your filter faster as the filter is capturing more contaminants in the air. Your coils themselves also act as a substance that captures particles, so it is a good idea to have them cleaned once per year as well.
As a personal story to help show the value of the air purifier I have recently installed one on my house because my wife is a respiratory therapist and has been at the front lines since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. I installed an air purifier system at my house this year to help prevent the transfer to me, my daughter, and my father who lives with me since he has severe medical issues that makes him high risk. I am happy to say that my family have been safe so far and I continue to talk about these products to spread awareness of the benefits and I hope it can benefit you as well!
Remember, your air quality needs will determine which air purifier and filter to buy. If you are looking to create a haven from seasonal allergies caused by pollen, dust mites, and mold spores, then a True HEPA or True HEPA/UV-C air purifier combo is the right choice for your home. If you just want to get rid of the pet dander, lint, and household dust that makes breathing a little more difficult, save some money and choose a more economical HEPA/Ionic -Type air purifier.
If you have any questions, please call AIR4U at (888) 702-4748 and we will be happy to help in anyway. Hope to see you soon and until then be safe!