What Do Air Purifiers and Air Filters Do?

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Most homes in Massachusetts and across the country are well-insulated, helping your heating and cooling system run more efficiently. 

A tightly sealed home prevents conditioned air from escaping, allowing your home to maintain a consistent temperature for longer periods. That means your air conditioner (AC), furnace, or heat pump can run less to keep you comfortable. 

A well-insulated home also means less natural ventilation. Dust, debris, and germs don’t have anywhere to escape. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the concentration of some pollutants indoors can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor concentrations.

Fortunately, there’s technology to combat this problem. Air filters and air purifiers can reduce the presence of harmful airborne particles, improving indoor air quality (IAQ). Northstar Heating and Cooling is pleased to provide quality IAQ products to our customers in  Provincetown and its surrounding communities. 

How Does an Air Filter Work? 

Forced air moves from your HVAC system, through your ducts, out of your vents, and back again. Your filter catches various particles, removing them from circulation. 

This can limit your exposure to irritants such as dust, pollen, dander, smoke, pest byproducts, bacteria, and viruses. It also protects your HVAC equipment from becoming dirty. 

How Often Should I Change My Filter? 

You should change your filter every one to three months. Do you have pets or someone who suffers from allergies in the house? Change it more frequently if that’s the case.

If you have a ductless system, follow your owner’s manual recommendations for how often to clean it. Otherwise, it can get clogged and create problems for your HVAC system and air quality.

How Effective Is My Filter? 

Want to see how well a filter will perform in your Provincetown home? Check its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value–– MERV rating for short. MERV ratings range from 1-16. The higher the number, the better it is at catching particles. 

For instance, a MERV 16 filter catches 95 percent of particles between 0.3 and 10 microns. High-efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters go above and beyond. A standard for hospitals and industrial facilities, a HEPA filter capture 99.97 percent of particles between 0.3 and 10 microns.

Before buying a filter with the highest rating, check your manufacturer’s guide to ensure your system can accommodate it. Otherwise, you will constrict the airflow and force your AC or furnace to work harder.

What Are Air Purifiers? 

While filters are a requirement for most HVAC equipment, air purifiers act as a supplement to maximize the quality and cleanliness of your indoor air. They come in many makes and models and utilize varying techniques to purify the air. A few common types include: 

Whole-Home Air Purifiers

As the name suggests, these products offer protection for your entire Massachusetts house. They mount to your AC, furnace, or heat pump to sterilize the air as it circulates. Some models generate charged particles, which bind to viruses, bacteria, and other particles to break them down. Others use a combination of advanced filtration and sterilizing lights to kill germs and trap dust. 

Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs)

There’s nothing better than fresh air. An ERV circulates filtered air from the outdoors into your home. Doing so simulates natural ventilation. It’s like opening all your windows—except you’ll retain the temperature in your home, keep out the allergens, and avoid overworking your HVAC equipment.

Ultraviolet (UV) Lamps

The same technology used to disinfect surgical equipment can disinfect the air. Ultraviolet (UV) lamps can mount inside your ductwork. They kill mold, pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and other airborne irritants.

Not sure which system works best for your Provincetown home? Our Northstar Heating and Cooling professionals can help recommend the right solutions.

Call Today for First-Class HVAC Service

Northstar Heating and Cooling is ready to assist our customers with all their home needs in  Provincetown, MA, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at 508-240-0367 or request service online

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