Is it time to do something about the itchy eyes, dripping nose or wheezing breath? Does someone in your home suffer from asthma or another respiratory issue? Indoor air quality has a tremendous impact on people with allergies and asthma but it can also affect the health of everyone in your home even those without these complaints.
Indoor air pollution can be much worse than what you find outdoors. Our tightly-sealed homes and offices may be more energy efficient but they also trap pollutants within our walls. There are fewer cracks and gaps to allow our structures to “breathe.” Additionally, we tend to depend on our climate-control equipment rather than opening a window. This can result in a build-up of pet dander, carpet fibers, dust mites, cleaning chemicals, perfumes, ragweed, pollen, mildew spores and many other pollutants in the indoor air.
Home air purifiers can help clean up your indoor air quality and allow you to breathe easier. There are plenty on the market to choose from so you’ll need to make a few decisions before buying. Talking to an HVAC specialist can help you choose the right equipment. Here are a few points to consider.
- What size do I need?
- What features are best for my home?
- Where will I put an air purifier?
- What kind of maintenance will an air purifier require?
If you have a small home like an apartment or a condo and only minor allergy or respiratory problems, you may be able to get by with a very small, table top style purifier. A large home or a serious medical issue may require a purification system that integrates with your HVAC system.
Features will likewise depend on your household’s needs. Some options use HEPA filters which can screen out particles as small as .3 microns, the size of a single flake of pet dander, which often is enough to alleviate allergy symptoms. Others can filter out VOCs (volatile organic compounds) found in cleaning supplies and paint or even microorganisms like viruses and bacteria. This can be critical to the health of a person with a compromised immune system, serious lung disease or nervous system damage.
The maintenance of a home air purification system can be as minor as wiping dust from the blades and changing the filter on a small unit. However, “whole house” systems need the attention of a professional once or twice a year.
Talk to your HVAC specialist to see if an air purification system is right for you.