Filters, Air Cleaners and other Purification Products

Everything you need to know about filtration and more!

Filters are used to remove particles and large biologicals from the air as it passes through the system’s air ducts. A general “rule of thumb” to use when selecting the appropriate filter is that the media from which the filter is made of determines down to what size particles that particular media can capture. This is largely based upon how closely and densely the filter fibers in the media are spaced. In other words, when you are looking for the perfect filter, you need to keep 3 things in mind; the material used, the thickness of the filter, and the number of pleats per inch. All of these will determine how the filter will function and how often it will need replacement. (Note: Filters should always be replaced prior to becoming overloaded to avoid system malfunction and health concerns) One other thing to consider when selecting an appropriate filter is the MERV rating, or the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. These ratings are developed from averages of the PSE (particle size removal efficiency). The MERV scale ranges from a low of 1 to a high of 16. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter will be at capturing smaller particles. This rating should be a strong consideration in homes with occupants who are at risk for lung, allergy and other health concerns.

Types of Filters

Basic Panel Filters: 1 inch thick, coarse filter, which is designed only to protect the furnace or fan coil from bulk dust and large particles. This type is commonly found in home improvement stores as a replacement filter.
2-4 inch Pleated Box/Cartridge Filters: These filter types provide more effective air cleaning than a standard 1 inch filter, and have the ability to capture particles down to 1 micron. All pleated filters have a greater hold capacity, which extends the life of the filter, thus resulting in smaller maintenance costs.

Other Air Purification Aids

Electronic Air Cleaners: These products electronically charge and collect airborne particles onto a collection grid. EAC’s (electronic air cleaners) can effectively remove such particles as dust, lint, pollen, and can even trap and remove smoke from the air. The charged particles remain on the collection grid until they are washed away during monthly system cleaning.
Carrier’s Infinity Air Purifier: This hybrid between an electric air purifier and a standard media filter is ideal for people with allergies, and homes with small children and elderly. The Carrier Infinity Air Purifier captures particles and kills airborne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and mold. It has a very high filtration efficiency and germicidal effect, while being extremely easy to maintain. Carrier’s Infinity Air Purifier is one of the most complete air purification systems, combining both the large particle filtration of a standard media filter and the fine particle efficiency of an electronic air cleaner.
Ultraviolet Light: Ultraviolet lamps are used in the aid of indoor air quality and employ the use of UV-C light. Other forms of UV light are; UV-A – which is largely used in tanning and UV-B – which is used, in some cases, to aid in the recovery of some skin conditions. UV-C lamps are helpful in enhancing IAQ (indoor air quality) by helping to eliminate microbial organisms that grow on wet surfaces of HVAC systems. The best placement for a UV-C lamp is on the leaving air side of the evaporator coil over the condensation pan, so both areas are irradiated at the same time. One place we often see UV light used is in medical offices and hospitals, where the occupants are at a greater risk for various health concerns and where many more microbes could be floating through the air. It is important to note that UV-C lamps, such as Carrier UV-C Germicidal Lamp, can return an existing unit to an “as installed” condition, which will help reduce maintenance costs over time.

Which ever air purification or cleaning product you choose to use, make sure you are keeping up with scheduled maintenance and replacements when needed. This will ensure you always have the most efficient and effective air purification!

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