One of the most important things you can do to support a healthy home environment is to pay attention to indoor air quality. For this reason, many homeowners turn to air purifiers or cleaners to reduce pollutants. When choosing an air cleaner, keep the following factors or terms in mind.
Clean air delivery rate (CADR): This indicates how well and quickly the air cleaner removes smoke, pollen and other airborne particulates. The number given represents how much clean air, in cubic feet, an air cleaner can process per minute. The rating is between 10 to 450, and the higher the number, the better the system. To receive a CADR rating, the air cleaner must be tested by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
Asthma and Allergy Friendly: This is a newer certification started by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. In order to receive this, the air cleaner must have shown that it removes a certain minimum amount of allergens from the air, rather than simply redistributing them.
HEPA: This stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. Air purifiers and cleaners with this designation contain HEPA filtering systems, which can trap the tiniest airborne particles. The primary drawback of these filters is reduced airflow. If used in a forced-air HVAC system, serious system modifications usually are required due to increased airflow resistance. In the case of portable air purifiers, the resistance amounts to a lower volume of clean air released into the room per minute. Nevertheless, HEPA filters can play an important role in achieving pristine indoor air quality if used correctly.
What to avoid: Many air cleaners on the market claim to clean the air through electrostatic charge/ionization to produce ozone, which is supposed to sanitize the air. However, ozone is a known lung irritant and these types or cleaners are not recommended.
For more information about choosing the right air cleaner and other issues related to home climate and comfort, please contact us at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning. We proudly serve the Fresno area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air cleaners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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