Whole-house air purification systems are becoming important appliances in the modern home, especially among allergy sufferers. Not all air purifiers are created equal, though, and it’s important to know the functions of each model before making the decision to install one in your forced-air system.

Let’s take a closer look at the features of three common types of residential air filters: HEPA, activated carbon technology and UV technology.

  1. HEPA

    High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) is a type of air filter that traps particles, mold, bacteria, viruses and chemicals, in order to create a cleaner environment. HEPA filters are widely considered the industry gold standard. Why? Well, the accordion-shaped HEPA filter is made of fibers that must trap at least 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns, according to government standards. The filters typically last an average of two to four years.

    The HEPA purifier depends on airflow being constant, and is most effective in trapping airborne particles. However, it doesn’t deodorize the room, like other purifiers.

  1. Activated Carbon Technology

    Activated carbon is an extremely porous material, allowing most air particles to get absorbed by the material. The level of absorption makes carbon-based technology ideal for removing chemicals, gasses and tobacco smoke. Unlike the HEPA purifier, it absorbs most odors, too. However, activated carbon filters are not as effective as HEPA when it comes to removing allergens and smaller particles.

    Air purifiers with activated carbon filters can also rid the home of harmful gases, like formaldehyde found in carpets, wooden paneling and other furniture. It makes the air much easier to breathe, and can be a good choice for households with elderly individuals and young children.

  1. UV Technology

    As an air purifier, UV technology’s strength is in its ability to kill germs, bacteria and viruses. These types of air purifiers have UV lamps that destroy microorganisms through the process of cellular damage. The best versions are used with filter systems placed ahead of the lamps. The UV lamp is often not enough to purify the air on its own, as the technology doesn’t get rid of most airborne particles.

Ozone: The Big ‘Oh No!’ of Air Purification

Ozone (O3) is a strong oxidant and chemical byproduct of some air purifiers. It’s a possible risk associated with UV technology, and a definite risk associated with ionic air purifiers. That’s right—some air purification systems that are meant to help you can actually harm you! In an extra twist of irony, ozone is imperative to human life on Earth, because it protects us from UV radiation. We need it to survive on this planet, but it’s meant to stay in the atmosphere. We’re not supposed to breathe ground-level ozone into our lungs, as the EPA has warned.

In light of these concerns, negative ion and ozone air purification systems pose an added and unnecessary risk to the homeowner.

Call an Expert

Choosing an air purification system is a decision that affects your health, your home and your budget. That’s why it’s important to consult a specialist before installation.

The experts at FloCore will assess your home and customize a plan that corrects the air quality and lowers your risk of respiratory distress and health problems.

To find out more or request an indoor air analysis, call 507.424.5723 or email our team today!