Air cleaners are essential for some households with indoor air quality problems. There are a number on the market, and shopping for the right one for your home can be confusing. They come in portable and whole-house models, and offer a range of technology, including electronic, HEPA filtration, gas phase and germicidal. Your HVAC specialist can help you decide which is best for you.
The following information may be included on the labeling, and the short guide below will help you to decide which type is right for you.
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. All filters are given MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings to denote their effectiveness. Filters are rated from 1 to 20, with HEPA filters scoring at the top, from 17 to 20. The higher, the pricier, but homes are usually well served by a filter in the 7-13 range. Consider your home’s needs, as installing HEPA filters in your HVAC system will require extensive alterations to compensate for diminished airflow. Another solution is to use portable HEPA air cleaners.
CADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate. The CADR rating is a measure of the amount of air an air cleaner can treat for pollutants such as tobacco smoke, pollen, and dust. It is associated with portable air cleaners only.
Asthma and Allergy Friendly Certification
If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, an air filter may be an indispensable item. The Asthma and Allergy Friendly Certification, awarded by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, is not given to just any air cleaner, and the few products to receive it have been independently tested to ensure they do what they say. Air cleaners with this designation have been shown not to produce ozone and are able to remove particles rather than just redistribute them.
Pick the Right One
Consider the following factors when determining what filter is best for your home:
- Cost versus benefit
- Volume of space to clean
- Household pollutants
- Noise level
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about UV lights and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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