Good indoor air quality, or IAQ, relies partly on portable air cleaner effectiveness. Not all homes have air cleaners, but if you suffer from asthma or allergies, you could certainly benefit from using one in your home. Here’s how to find the right one.
A unit’s Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is the amount of filtered air the portable purifier delivers in a certain amount of time. All air cleaners are tested to determine how quickly, though not necessarily how thoroughly, they remove certain pollutants from the air. The ratings range from 10 to 450 for tobacco smoke; 10 to 400 for dust; and 25 to 450 for pollen.
CADR ratings have some limitations. For example:
- They don’t indicate how efficient a filter is removing minuscule particles
- They fail to measure a filter’s ability to remove gaseous pollutants
- They don’t tell whether a filter stops being as effective over time
- The filters are always run on high settings during the CADR test, though homeowners usually use low settings to reduce noise
High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are the most efficient air filters available today. They are rated 17 to 20 on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale. They trap more than 99 percent of all particles smaller than 0.3 microns, which includes viruses, tobacco smoke and carbon dust along with larger particles such as bacteria, auto emissions and mold spores. While no other filters can trap particles this small, HEPA filters only target airborne particles, not gaseous pollutants.
“Asthma and Allergy Friendly”
This relatively new certification indicates that an air filter removes allergens and improves IAQ by not redistributing them. Only a few filters have earned this distinction so far, but it’s worth considering if you find it.
Some machines are marketed as freshening air cleaners. Unfortunately, the sweet-smelling scent they produce is a known lung irritant called ozone. Avoid these types of air cleaners to preserve IAQ.
To learn more about maintaining good indoor air quality, please contact us at AirRite Air Conditioning. We have served residents in the DFW area since 1955.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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