Maintaining good indoor air quality in your home is important to the wellness of your family. And because your HVAC system essentially works like a giant filter, plenty of contaminants can settle inside your air duct system and contribute to indoor air pollution

Mold, mildew, microbes, allergens, and even small pests can settle in your ductwork over time, and all that gunk can negatively affect your family’s health. That’s why many households rely on air purification systems to help keep the air fresh and clean between duct cleanings.

If you’re thinking about implementing an air purifier in your Twin Cities home, our indoor air quality improvement experts at Dust Doctors would love to help you. Check out what you should know about the differences between portable and whole-house air purification systems, so you can choose the unit that best suits your needs.

Important Role of an Air Filter

Installing an air purifier is one of the most important things you can do if you want to improve your indoor air quality. While your HVAC filter can trap lots of particulate matter, plenty of airborne contaminants can pass through it and end up settling in your home’s air vent and duct system.

Even the cleanest environments can contain microscopic particles you don’t realize you are breathing. An air purification system helps eliminate those potentially harmful particulates and airborne chemicals from your home’s air supply.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality is significantly less healthy than outdoor air quality. An air purifier can help fix that by removing a number of harmful particles from your air, including:

●        Pet dander

●        Dust

●        Odor

●        Smoke

●        Pollen

●        Spores

●        Viruses

●        Bacteria

●        Dust mites

●        Other Pollutants

How an Air Purifier Works

An air purification system cleans and purifies the air circulating in your home. These devices typically use mechanical filtration and HEPA filters or high-efficiency particulate air filters.

There are many types of air purifiers, including:

●        Electrostatic precipitators

●        Charged media filters

●        Activated carbon filters

●        Ion and ozone generators

For a breakdown of how these systems work, check out our blog, Air Purification Systems: Which Type Is Best for Your Home?

HEPA Filtration and Your Health

Installing an air purification system that uses HEPA filtration is an excellent choice if you’re really looking to clean up your indoor air. These tightly woven, specialty filters are designed to trap particles that can easily pass through a normal HVAC filter and circulate into your home’s ventilation system.

A HEPA filter is capable of trapping 99.7% of all particulates sized 0.3 microns and larger that pass through it. In terms of size, that’s remarkably small. For reference, the diameter of the average human hair is roughly 70 microns, and the human eye can only see particles that are 25 microns or larger in size.

When you have a HEPA filtration system, it’ll trap virtually all of the particulates that can dirty up your HVAC system and cause health problems for you and yours. HEPA filters can even trap airborne bacteria and viruses. While they can’t totally eradicate them from your indoor air, they can certainly help reduce their quantity.

Portable Air Purifiers

Portable air purifiers are generally small in size and usually sit on a table or in the corner of a room (if you opt for a taller, larger version).

These units are energy-efficient options that provide air purification where you need it most, such as in areas where pets frequently hang out. Portable air purifiers can also be a great option for households that do a lot of cooking, as some cooking fumes can contaminate indoor air with potentially carcinogenic compounds.

Aside from being convenient and easy to move around, portable air purifiers are cost-effective. They can serve as a permanent air-cleaning solution or as a stepping-stone to a whole-house system.

If you have a small home or are trying to minimize your energy footprint, this type of unit could be a great option for keeping your indoor air quality high. 

Whole House Air Purifiers

Whole home air purifiers offer a built-in air purification solution. These are either filter-based purifiers that work at the intake point of your HVAC system or duct-based purifiers installed directly in the air duct path of your duct system.

Because whole-home systems only work when your HVAC system is running, your system must be running all the time. If you don’t use your HVAC system constantly, you simply won’t see the benefits of having this type of system installed. If, however, your home is large, you use your HVAC system daily, and you regularly have your ducts cleaned, this may be a better option for you.

Portable vs. Whole-House Air Purification System: Which Is Right for You?

If you’re interested in giving air purification a try, consider starting with a portable unit or implementing multiple portable units around your house. That way, you can determine if you like having air purification in your home and whether you and your family may benefit from investing in a larger, more comprehensive, and more effective air purification device.

If you’ve already tried portable purifiers and love them, upgrading to a whole-house system may be in your best interest if anyone in your house suffers from allergies. If you run your HVAC system frequently and want to put air purification on autopilot, opting for a whole-home system may be in your best interest.

Get a Free Indoor Air Quality Improvement Quote

At Dust Doctors in Little Canada, MN, we specialize in helping Twin Cities homeowners improve their indoor air quality. We understand the important role your HVAC system plays in keeping the air inside your home clean and fresh and offer a variety of duct cleaning and air purification services to help your HVAC system do just that.

To learn more about how we can help you clean up the air inside your home, give us a call at 651-319-9777 or send us a message, and we’ll get in touch!

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