Breathe a Little Easier With Clean Air Filters
Most people spend the majority of their lives indoors whether it be in a home, office, or obtaining other services. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the concentration of some pollutants can be two to five times higher indoors than typical outdoor air. That can mean everything from general discomfort to significant respiratory issues for you and your family. Our team at Great Dane Heating & Air Conditioning wants to provide you with some information about air filters, which can successfully reduce indoor air pollution in your Michigan home.
What Are Air Filters?
Air filters are removable, usually disposable, components of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. They are constructed from either a fiberglass or pleated material and enclosed in a cardboard unit or frame.
As the indoor air from your home returns to the HVAC system, it’s pulled through your air filter before being heated or cooled. This clean, conditioned air is then circulated through your air duct system and into the living spaces of your home.
Air filters are designed to catch indoor air pollutants such as dirt, fibers, hair, lint, and a host of other items floating through the air. In some equipment, air filters need to be cleaned regularly instead of replaced.
What Are MERV Ratings?
When you buy air filters, you may notice the packaging specifies a MERV rating. This acronym stands for minimum efficiency reporting value and is designed to help you understand the performance level of a particular filter. MERV ratings range from a score of 1 to 16, with the lowest scores reserved for the most basic, inexpensive air filters.
MERV ratings of between 1 and 4 point to extremely basic air filters. Most HVAC systems recommend filters with a MERV rating of about 8. If you want better filtration, catching particles 1 micron or larger, you’ll want to invest in an air filter with a MERV rating of between 9 and 12. The best air filters are more expensive but successfully capture particles larger than 0.3 microns.
Some specialty filters may offer off-the-chart MERV ratings. However, you’ll want to ensure your HVAC equipment can use these special filters to prevent equipment damage. Too dense of filtration can backfire and harm your system if it’s not designed for that level.
Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect My Family’s Health?
The short answer is “yes!” A wide range of indoor air pollutants are naturally present in all Clinton Township homes. In addition, many families add more potential pollutants through smoking, caring for indoor pets, remodeling projects, or using various household cleaners.
Breathing these indoor air pollutants may simply make you uncomfortable in some cases. However, many people are suffering from allergies, respiratory illnesses, and asthma today. In those situations, indoor air pollutants can have a significant impact on health and quality of life. Indoor air pollutants may require people to use additional allergy medications or use inhalers to feel well enough to manage daily living.
What Can I Do?
One of the easiest things you can do to help improve your indoor air quality (IAQ) is change your air filter regularly. Frequency is usually around every three to six months, but take the time to read your HVAC manufacturers’ recommendation to be sure.
It’s also a wise decision to schedule an HVAC inspection twice a year. One of our trained, certified Great Dane professionals will not only clean your system but also inspect your overall unit and check things like your ductwork. Keeping your system running effectively and efficiently will help you keep your indoor air cleaner.
Can I Go Above and Beyond?
Certainly! Many options are available today to help you improve your indoor air quality. Look for high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters specially designed for individuals with respiratory challenges. In addition, a host of air purifiers and air cleaners are available on the market that can put your air through another filtration system.
Select from activated carbon filters, ionizers, ozone generators, electrostatic filters, and ultraviolight (UV) lights. Each of these air purification systems are designed to address a particular type of indoor air pollution.
Some are designed to remove viruses and bacteria and are modeled after systems used in hospitals while others are designed to tackle things like mold spores or odors. Invest the time to research your options, and make your home a healthier, more comfortable place for your family and friends.
Call Us Today for Your Air Filter Needs
Our professional team at Great Dane in Clinton Township, is well trained in understanding all aspects of HVAC systems and related indoor air quality issues. Contact us at 586.790.2604 or request service online.