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How Air Purifiers Work in Your Home

UV-air-purifier-lightThe air quality in many homes today is much lower than it should be. In fact, it can be three to four time worse than the air pollution outdoors—something that often surprises people. The trouble with air quality in a modern home is the lack of proper ventilation to allow air replacements; i.e. moving out stuffy air filled with pollutants from indoor sources and replacing it with air from outside. Opening up windows and doors can help—but this kills a home’s energy efficiency and doesn’t do much good for comfort either.

One of the best ways to enjoy better indoor air quality while keeping your house from drafts and hot spots is to have air filters and air purifiers installed into the HVAC system. A Chapel Hill, NC, HVAC contractor can help find the right type of air purifiers and air filters to help see that your house has the cleanest and healthiest air possible.

Taking a Closer Look at the Air Purifier

Air filters are simple to understand: a mesh of material traps particles trying to flow through it. Air purifiers are trickier, however. They use electric power to remove airborne pollutants, but not all use the same techniques. Here are how some of them work.

  • Ionization purifiers: This is the most common type of air purifier installed into residential buildings. It creates an electric field called a corona discharge inside the ductwork. Particles passing through this field either gain or lose an electron, giving them a negative or positive charge. Oppositely charged particles are then drawn to each other, become heavier and fall out of the air. Other particles are pulled to a pair of oppositely charged metal plates on the purifier, where they are trapped. Ionization purifiers are effective against a wide range of small particles like odor molecules, smoke, and pesticides.
  • Photocalytic oxidation purifiers: This is a more recent technological advance in air purification. Essentially what these purifiers do is change volatile organic compounds and microorganisms into carbon and water.
  • UV air purifiers: This type of purifier is aimed specifically at organic pollutants such as microbes, germs, bacteria, and mold spores. The purifiers use ultraviolent lights to disrupt organic pollutants on the cellular level, rendering them inert or killing them outright. UV air purifiers are harmless for people and pets and are easy to maintain

In almost all cases, an air purifier will be paired with a set of filters; the filters handle trapping the larger particles like dust, lint, and dander while the purifier eliminates the more minute contaminants that may slip through the filters. When accurately selected and installed, the combination of filters and purifiers can remove 99% of unwanted airborne pollutants from circulating through a house.

Our indoor air quality professionals can examine your home and find the best combination of air filters and air purifiers. We offer other IAQ solutions as well, such as whole-house dehumidifiers (great for our summers) and heat and energy recovery ventilators to bring in fresh air without also bringing in heat and cold.

Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. serves the Triangle Area of North Carolina. We offer comfort from our family to yours.

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