Carolina Climate Control Blog: Posts Tagged ‘electronic air filters’

5 Quick, Simple Ways To Improve The Indoor Air Quality In Your Lowcountry Home

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations — a fact that can be somewhat upsetting given that most of us spend a large percentage of our time indoors.

If left untreated, pollutants and allergens in your indoor air like dust, mold, pet dander, lead, ozone, pesticides, cleaning chemical compounds and more can end up in our bodies and can ultimately lead to various health defects (asthma & other respiratory diseases) in many cases.

Unfortunately, here in the Lowcountry some of these indoor air quality cases can be compounded by our year-round humidity levels and our extended time indoors escaping the summertime heat.

Fortunately, though, listed below are 5 simple ways that you can quickly improve your Lowcountry home’s air quality and help fend off those pollutants.

1. Vacuum, Mop Regularly & Use A Floor Mat

Many of your home’s indoor air pollutants and allergens can end up settling in your home’s various dust particles, so keeping things tidy by vacuuming — then mopping — can help keep those allergen-filled dust particles from ending up in your body.

Your floor mats aren’t just for decoration, either. Many of the outdoor pollutants and dust particles can become indoor pollutants quickly when people track them into your house, so adding a few around your home’s entrances can help collect those before they make their way into your home. (And remember to clean those mats regularly as well.)

2. Keep Indoor Humidity Down

Nobody likes their home’s air to be muggy and full of moisture. It’s not only uncomfortable to live in, but also creates a breeding ground for mold, dust mites and other indoor air pollutants. Most Lowcountry homes are already equipped with built-in humidity reducers: air conditioners (or heat pumps).

Even with an air conditioner installed, however, if it is not sized or configured correctly you can end up with more moisture in your home than you would want, so be sure to keep track of humidity levels even when your system is running the most.

3. Change Your Air Filters Regularly

Your HVAC system’s air filters are a vital defense against indoor air pollutants, but if they’re not changed or cleaned regularly those air pollutants can settle in your ductwork and even build up on the wrong side of your air filter.

Both of those situations can wreak havoc on your home’s indoor air quality which is the opposite effect of your air filter’s purpose.

On top of this, a clogged up air filter can cause your HVAC system to run inefficiently — something that can drive up your monthly energy bill.

4. Sign Up For An Annual HVAC Maintenance Plan

More of an indirect way of improving indoor air quality, but having an experienced, local HVAC company come out a few times a year to inspect your system can help you catch any unwanted sources of indoor air pollutants coming from your system.

An annual maintenance plan can also help you catch the humidity or air filter issues mentioned above as well, so be sure to ask your heating and air company in Charleston about their maintenance plans and rates.

5. Install A Whole-Home, In-Duct Air Purifier

While the above listed air quality-improvement steps above can go a long way toward making your indoor air quality better, something more homeowners in Charleston are adding are whole-home in-duct air purifiers like the HALO-LED™ In-Duct Air Purifier into their HVAC system.

These types of air filters use advanced filtration, ultra-violet (UV) technology to remove airborne contaminants from your home’s air. They’re installed directly into the ductwork of your HVAC system and turn on automatically when your system kicks on, ensuring nearly every cubic inch of air in your home gets treated.

We hope you take the steps to make your home and family’s indoor air quality better this year and if you follow the above listed ways, you’ll be well on your way to a better air quality this year.

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HVAC Explained: What Is The Best Air Filter Choice For Your Heating & Air Conditioning System?

Friday, January 5th, 2018

Air filters may be one of the most neglected, often forgotten components in residential HVAC systems here in Charleston.

It’s easy to overlook air filters as they quietly do their job unseen in most cases.

Despite this understandable overlooking though, air filters play a vital role in both indoor air quality and overall HVAC system performance.

Air Filters & Air Quality

The EPA lists indoor air quality as one of its top environmental health risks, so understanding the relationship between your HVAC system’s air filter and your home’s air quality shouldn’t be overstated.

We’ll get into more detail below about air filter ratings & types, but since most of the air in our homes here in the Lowcountry pass through your air conditioning or heating system, the air filters you choose can ultimately decide how good (or bad) your home’s air quality is.

Air Filters & HVAC Efficiency

We’ve stated the role air filters play in system efficiency & lifespan in several blog posts over the years, so we’ll be brief here.

If your air filters are clogged with dust & debris, this will result in buildup in your ductwork and sometimes even back to the main unit itself. This clogging means your system has to work harder to push air through it, resulting in overworking. This overworking will drive up your energy bills and ultimately can shorten the lifespan of your system.

Air Filter Ratings & Types

To help end users of air filters, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) created the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV rating. The MERV rating essentially allows users to see how effective air filters are at capturing particles that pass into it.

MERV ratings range from 1 (lowest effectiveness) to 20 (highest) which take into account three main characteristics:

  • Ability to remove particles
  • Air flow resistance
  • Air filter operating lifespan

To get a better sense of the rating system, let’s look at some of the more common air filter types and their associated MERV ratings.

Fiberglass Air Filters Charleston SCDisposable Fiberglass
(1 to 4 typical MERV rating)Pros: Inexpensive, good for protecting HVAC components (less air flow resistance)

Cons: Not great at cleaning air

Pleated Air Filters Charleston SCDisposable Pleated
(5 to 13 typical MERV Rating, up to 16 for high efficiency types)Pros: Pleated material increases filter efficiency lowered air resistance for HVAC system

Cons: Less efficent than HEPA for the smallest particles

HEPA Air Filters Charleston SC

(17 to 20 typical)

Pros: Top of the charts as far as filtering all types of particles

Cons: Most are too large for residential systems, restrict air flow which could result in overworking your HVAC system

Washable Air Filters Charleston SC

(1 to 4 typical)

Pros: Longer lifespan of filter use, durability

Cons: Requires frequent cleaning & needs time to dry to prevent germ/mold buildup, more expensive, not great at cleaning air

So What is the The Best Air Filter Then?

As with choosing the best HVAC system for your home in Charleston, selecting the best air filter can be a challenge. There are tradeoffs between optimal air filtration, which gives you better air quality and optimal system performance, which keeps your electric bills down and extends your systems lifetime.

Our best bet for a good balance between these two would be the pleated air filter types. However, if you favor better air quality or better system performance, you can choose the air filter type on either end of spectrum to get the results you want.

As always, for more professional tips about air filters and air quality, reach out to your local heating and air conditioning company.

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