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Air Purification & HEPA Filtration: What Kind of Air Are You Breathing at Home?

air purification hepa filtrationMany of us in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield can tend to spend a lot of time indoors, particularly at home. What we might not always be aware of is that the air we’re breathing inside can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside. The EPA even suggests that our indoor air can be more polluted than city smog.

That certainly sounds a bell of alarm for indoor air quality. When we think of air impurities, dust and dirt probably come to mind. However, those particles are only the start of what’s in our air. It also often contains a medley of mold, bacteria, pet dander, dead skin cells and dust mites. If there’s a smoker in the house, we’re inhaling those toxins as well.

The EPA further identifies gaseous pollutants referred to as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These substances leach from flooring and furniture as well as chemicals from pesticides and cleaning products. They can even release from air fresheners and computer printers.

Collectively over time, this concert of impurities in the air can become irritating at least and hazardous to health at worst. This can become particularly troublesome for people with allergies, coughs, sinus problems or breathing difficulties.

If you are conscientious about air quality or if you feel that your indoor air is becoming a matter of comfort and health, you might consider installing a whole-house air purifier for your HVAC system.

What Is Air Purification?

The air filter we use for our HVAC helps remove dust from the cooled or heated air that enters our home. Some filters are also made to trap other unwanted particles, an ability measured by the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating.

For truly thorough air purification, however, even filters with a high MERV rating have limitations. Installing a whole-house air purification system goes a step further by placing filters deeper into your HVAC system’s return-air ductwork. Rather than trap dust before it enters the home, it filters air moving through the ducts when the blower fan is running.

What Is HEPA Filtration?

High-Energy Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are one of the most efficient methods for improving the quality of indoor air at home. HEPA filtration removes air contaminants by means of pleated air filters that can trap larger particles (.3 microns and bigger). Theoretically, HEPA filtration can remove 99.97% of these particles, which might include dust, mold, ash, smoke, bacteria, pollen and viruses.

Unlike with sieves or membrane filters, where particles smaller than pores or openings can pass through, HEPA filtration targets a range of particle sizes. The filters are designed with randomly arranged fiberglass or polypropylene fibers that create a narrow, convoluted pathway through which cooled or heated air passes. Particles are then isolated and trapped in one of three ways:

diffusion. When particles smaller than .3 microns collide with gas molecules, the smaller particles are bounced or blown around, causing them to collide with the HEPA filter fibers. This makes them easier to capture.

interception. Particles that follow a particular line of flow in the air stream come within one radius of a filter fiber and adhere to it (i.e. they are blocked and intercepted).

impaction. Larger particles cannot avoid filter fibers by following the air stream’s curving contours, so they are forced to embed in a fiber.

The advantages of HEPA filtration in an HVAC system extend beyond air quality at home. It can also be used at other places where people spend time indoors, such as at businesses, restaurants, churches and schools.

HEPA filtration further supports businesses’ and organizations’ efforts to meet national, state or local air quality standards. It helps them attain or maintain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification as well.

True Believers in Air Quality

Here at Air Dynamics, we’re passionate about the quality of your indoor air. Working with us, you can greatly improve your air at home in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield.

We install the Clean ComfortTM HEPA Whole Home Indoor Air Cleaner 3-in-1 (AMHP-250-UPD) system featuring five stages of air treatment for cleaning and sterilizing air in the home. The AMHP-250-UPD combines HEPA particulate filtration with:

non–ozone producing UVC germicidal light for deactivating viruses, bacteria and molds

photocatalytic oxidation for reducing airborne chemicals

activated carbon/potassium permanganate for absorbing odors

The AMHP-250-UPD is designed to be installed on the return air duct. A portion of the return air is drawn in through an opening on the rear or top of the filtration unit. The air then moves through five stages of treatment before returning to the return air duct.

When running continuously on full speed, the AMHP can treat all of the air in a 2,000 sq. ft. home in just over an hour.

Other Air Dynamics indoor air quality solutions include:

electrostatic air purifier with electrostatic fields for trapping pollutants as small as .1 micron with static electricity from air passing through static-prone fibers 

ionizing air purifier that uses negatively charged particles to gather positively charged air pollutants, which then gain weight, fall from the air and attach to surfaces

We also specialize in residential air duct cleaning. As you occupy your home through the years, the surface of your duct system typically becomes very dirty. The build-up can create indoor air quality problems. If you’ve ever noticed increasing dust on surfaces, this is often a sign of dirty ducts.

In addition to removing extra dust and other impurities, our air duct cleaning supports greater HVAC system performance by clearing obstructions to airflow. If you would like to have your air ducts analyzed, simply speak with one of our N.A.T.E. certified technicians.

Contact Us Today

We really do care about how cleaner air contributes to your quality of life at home. To further discuss how you and your loved ones can breathe and live in cleaner air in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield, we welcome the opportunity to answer your questions. Simply give us a call at (630) 731-1550.

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