What Does An Air Purifier Do?

January 21, 2021

In an ideal world, every breath would be perfectly pure and clean, with no pollutants or contaminants that could cause you harm. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world, meaning that the air you breathe, even the air inside your Denver home, isn’t perfectly pure and clean.

Rather than simply accepting this reality, it’s important to take action using the various tools that are available. One of the best tools in the fight against dirty air is an air purifier from Summit Heating & A/C. These devices have multiple excellent features that make them ideal for improving your home’s air quality and ensuring that you and your family stay healthy.

A Basic Introduction to Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are designed for one purpose: to make the air in your home as clean as possible. Air purifiers accomplish this task by drawing air through multiple stages of filtration using a fan.

Although most air purifiers from Summit Heating & A/C utilize electricity, you can buy some small desktop-sized models that are powered by batteries. An air purifier can be added to an existing HVAC system or installed alongside a new HVAC system. They are usually installed before any temperature-control equipment in an HVAC system so that they can provide clean air to your HVAC components.

What’s in a Typical Home’s Air?

Purifying your home’s air is of utmost importance. Although it’s easy to see the dust in your home’s air whenever the sun shines through your home’s windows just right, what’s more dangerous is the millions of particles in the air that are invisible to the naked eye.

These particles can include formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide from tailpipe emissions, asbestos from various household materials, lead from the insulation on electrical cords and countless other potentially harmful substances. Given the danger that some of these substances pose to you and your family’s health, it’s easy to see why air purification with a top-quality air purifier from Summit Heating & A/C is so important.

Understanding Multi-Stage Filtration

As mentioned, an air purifier from Summit Heating & A/C utilizes multiple stages of filtration to get your air as clean as possible. The best air purifiers utilize three stages of filtration designed to capture and eliminate the widest variety of indoor pollutants. These stages of filtration are mechanical filtration, chemical filtration and biological filtration. The size of your home will determine how large each of these stages need to be.

Mechanical Filtration

The first stage in an air purifier is the mechanical filtration stage. If you have an air filter on your HVAC system, you already have a mechanical filter in place. A mechanical filter is designed simply to trap contaminants in the fibers of the filter until the filter can be removed and replaced. In most air purifiers, a HEPA-type filter is used.

These filters have especially dense fibers and are often rated to remove up to 99.97% of all particles that are 0.3 microns or larger in size. Thus, most household dust, some types of mold and other large particles typically don’t make it past the mechanical filter. For contaminants smaller than 0.3 microns, an air purifier has other stages to remove these contaminants from the air.

Chemical Filtration

An air purifier uses a second stage of filtration called chemical filtration to help remove offensive odors and potentially dangerous volatile organic compounds. This stage utilizes activated charcoal to attract and trap small molecules as they move through the air purifier.

Charcoal is the remains of burned wood, coconut shell or some other combustible substance. The charcoal is then injected with carbon dioxide. This process creates countless microscopic pores over the entire surface of each piece of charcoal. This provides multiple places for the charcoal to attract and trap problematic molecules in the air. Once the molecules are trapped, they remain on the surface of the charcoal until the charcoal pack is replaced.

Biological Filtration

Before the air purifier from Summit Heating & A/C sends the air to the rest of your HVAC system, it sends the air through a final filtration stage. This third stage utilizes biological filtration in the form of UV bulbs to kill bacteria and other organic lifeforms that could cause various illnesses in you and your family.

Similar to how a sunburn caused by the sun’s UV rays can potentially alter your body’s genetic structure, exposing a simple biological organism to a strong dose of UV radiation can alter its genetic structure enough to cause the organism to die. This means that you will likely see reduced instances of common illnesses, even when you’re stuck inside for long periods of time.

Required Maintenance for Air Purifiers

Each of the three filtration stages in an air purifier from Summit Heating & A/C requires regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. The HEPA filters in the first stage must be replaced when they become saturated with dust. With a high-quality filter cartridge, this usually takes about six months or more. Likewise, the pores on the chunks of activated charcoal will typically become saturated after six months and require replacement with fresh charcoal.

The UV light bulbs in the third filtration stage are commonly rated to last about 9,000 hours. This works out to about 12 months. If you don’t want to deal with keeping track of these schedules yourself, Summit Heating & A/C offers a maintenance program that can take care of replacing these filters for you so that you can be sure that you’re breathing fresh and clean air.

Whole-Home Versus Portable

To provide the cleanest air throughout your home, your best option is to install a whole-home air purifier from Summit Heating & A/C. Since these units work in tandem with your HVAC system, the amount of air that is pushed through a whole-home air purifier is quite significant, meaning that your home will stay cleaner when you opt for this solution.

If you don’t have the space to install a whole-home air purifier, though, you can opt for a portable air purifier. These units can be moved from room to room and come in all shapes and sizes. One big benefit of a portable air purifier is that these units can continue to purify the air even when your HVAC system isn’t running.

Therefore, if the air quality in your home is especially poor, it may make sense to augment your whole-home air purifier with a quality portable air purifier. No matter which type of unit you choose, though, it’s important to have your air quality tested after using the air purifier for a few months to ensure that it is doing what it is designed to do.

Your Clean Air Experts

At Summit Heating & A/C, we believe that everyone has a right to fresh and clean air in their home. That’s why we’re proud to install indoor air quality solutions for our customers around the Denver area. We can also repair, maintain and install air conditioners and furnaces of all types. In addition, we can install water heaters, thermostats and a variety of other home comfort solutions. Serving Denver for over 20 years, Summit Heating & A/C continually receives five-star customer reviews. To learn more about improving your home’s indoor air, contact Summit Heating & A/C today.

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