Air Cleaners Improve Air Quality: An Overview of Available Options

While beautiful spring weather is welcomed by most Mid-Ohio homeowners, the accompanying pollen and other airborne respiratory irritants are not. Whole-house air cleaners can help you take control of indoor-air quality (IAQ) inside your home, so you can enjoy the cheery spring weather without the watery eyes and sneezing.

Airborne contaminants

Air cleaners boost IAQ by targeting one or more of the three classes of contaminants, which are:

  • Micro-organisms: viruses, bacteria, mold spores, dust mite parts and fungi.
  • Particles: pollen, fibers (carpet, furnishings and insulation), garage emissions and pet dander.
  • Gases and odors: cooking odors, vapors from cleaning products, tobacco smoke, pet odors and more.

Air cleaners boost IAQ

Whole-house air-cleaning systems capture, destroy or neutralize airborne contaminants inside the duct system. The following air-cleaning options may be used independently or combined to remove all three classes of contaminants from the air.

  • UV-light systems destroy or neutralize micro-organisms such as mold and viruses, rendering them harmless and unable to multiply. UV-light systems are installed inside the return-side ducts, which effectively destroys contaminants before they reach the blower/air handler. This helps prevent mold and bacterial growth on heating and cooling components. UV lights should be paired with a mid- or high-efficiency air filter to remove particles.
  • Electronic air cleaners capture particles by electrostatic attraction. An electrical charge is given to particles and micro-organisms as they pass through the charging area. Collector plates with an opposite charge attract and capture the contaminants. The plates must be cleaned periodically in the dishwasher or bathtub, but are fully reusable.
  • HEPA filtration systems are the most effective air-cleaning systems for capturing particles and micro-organisms as small as 0.3 microns. Your HVAC professional should inspect your heating and cooling system to inform you whether, and what type of, modifications might be required to install a HEPA filter in order to make it work with your system and not impede airflow. Stand-alone HEPA systems are also available.
  • Gas-phase filters typically use a carbon sorbent to neutralize specific odors from the air. Like UV lights, gas-phase filters should be paired with a good air filter.

If you would like more professional advice about air cleaners, please contact us at Joe Behr Plumbing & Heating, Inc. We've proudly served Mid-Ohio homeowners since 1965.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Mid-Ohio area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air cleaners and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

« Back to General Blog