5 Common Air Filters for Your California Home
Being a homeowner allows you to control all sorts of aspects of your home’s design. However, one aspect that can be harder to control is the quality of your home’s air. Unsavory contaminants like mold spores and dust can get into your air and make it uncomfortable to breathe. Fortunately, it’s common for many home service companies to offer air filters for your California home. However, there are many types of air filters for specific situations. It’s important to know the differences between the most common types so you can properly manage your home’s air quality.
Here are five of the more common air filters you can buy for your California home:
First used in the 1850s, HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are an old yet reliable way to stop dust and other debris-based contaminants. Unfortunately, they’re unable to clear out odors, radiation, gasses, or chemicals. “True” HEPA filters have to be able to capture 99.97% of particles larger or equal to 0.3 microns in a lab setting (in Europe, the requirement is only 85% of particles). However, “true HEPA” is also a marketing term that gets thrown around a lot. So do your research on HEPA filters to find ones that are actually effective.
UV lights are great at destroying bacteria and germs, but can’t do anything against airborne particles. One of the more common types of UV light filters are lamps that zap germs as they pass through the lamp and the UV light. However, there are a couple of health-based caveats concerning these filters. First, UV light can be damaging to your skin and eyes, so they’re best placed somewhere where you can’t easily access it. In addition, they can convert oxygen and water to ozone (O3, as compared to the O2 we breathe,) which is dangerous at even low levels. When looking at UV filters, look for ones with minimal ozone production. This filter works best when paired with a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter (see below,) as these two can destroy contaminants that could shield bacteria from the UV light.
You might know how carbon can absorb contaminants like chemicals and gasses through chemical bonding. Activated carbon is a variant that’s designed to be more porous. By doing so, the carbon has more surface area and can absorb more contaminants. For maximum efficiency, activated carbon works best with HEPA filters to cover the widest range of cleared contaminants.
Central air filtration systems
Do you have central air in your home? There are air filters out there that can make use of that. Certain parts of the vents make great choke points for placing air filters as all of the house’s air will eventually flow through your duct system. These systems stay out of sight and can be very effective.
Negative ionizers clean your home’s air by adding extra electrons to air molecules that pass through it. From there, the air molecules attach themselves to positively-charged contaminants and become heavy enough that they fall to the floor or stick to a surface. They operate very quietly, but they only move the contaminant problem. This means you’ll have to do more cleaning on your walls and floors. In addition, movement can cause the stuck contaminants to break free and be released into the air. More importantly, negative ionizers can produce a worrying amount of ozone. There’s also some evidence that inhaled ionized particles can stick to your respiratory system and cause lung irritation and allergies.
Ozone filters are somewhat rare compared to other air filters, but there’s a good reason for that. That’s because they’re dangerous to your health and highly inefficient. Various studies suggest that it would take months or even years to fully work and that it can’t clear biological pollutants without breaking public health standards. As for the ozone itself, it can create dangerous byproducts when reacting to certain chemicals, such as chemicals from a new carpet. In addition, the EPA says the ozone itself can:
- Make it more difficult to breathe deeply and vigorously.
- Cause shortness of breath, and pain when taking a deep breath.
- Cause coughing and sore or scratchy throat.
- Inflame and damage the airways.
- Aggravate lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.
- Increase the frequency of asthma attacks.
- Make the lungs more susceptible to infection.
- Continue to damage the lungs even when the symptoms have disappeared.
- Cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Why call on Crystal Blue to keep my home’s air healthy?
Our technicians at Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air work with a variety of air filters and air purifiers, as well as other IAQ solutions. They’re focused on your complete customer satisfaction and will work closely with you to meet your home’s specific requirements for better air quality. It’s our honor and privilege to serve the needs of customers in Sacramento, CA and the surrounding areas. Call us today to learn more about how we can keep your home’s air fresh!