Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April is for Air Quality!

Indoor Air Quality

Good “Indoor Air Quality” starts with the air in a home being kept at a comfortable temperature and humidity level, which is taken care of by the air conditioning system.  For the indoor air to really be “Good”, it should also be clean and free of objectionable odors and particles.  “Good Air” also needs to be healthy air.  It should be free of harmful materials such as carbon monoxide, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), pollen and illness causing bacteria or viruses.  

After temperature and humidity control, the next basic step is to reduce the particles in the air.  Air Filtration is used to trap airborne particles before they can restrict the cooling coil or get circulated throughout the home for you to breath.  Who wants to breathe in particles?  Airborne particles vary greatly in size – from 0.3 Microns to as large as 10 Microns. One Micron is very, very small – 0.000039 inches small!  Air Filtering Ability is measured and rated by its “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value” (MERV).  MERV Ratings go from MERV 1 through MERV 20.

·         MERV 1–4 – (80%) - 10 Microns and larger include most Pollen, Cockroach Debris and Fibers (typical fiberglass or synthetic disposable filters; the most common are 1” thick).

·         MERV 5-8 – (90%) - 3 to 10 Microns will include most Mold Spores, Dust Mite Debris and Pet Dander (typical 4” thick cotton-polyester pleated disposable filters).

·         MERV 9–12 – (95%) 1 to 3 Microns including Legionella and Auto Emission Particulates (typical box style 6”-12” deep, microfine cotton-polyester pleated disposable filters).

·         MERV 13–16 – 0.3 to 1 Micron in size - including Bacteria, most Tobacco Smoke and Candle Soot (specialized media – cartridge style 6”-12” deep, disposable filters).

·         MERV 17–20 (HEPA) – Particles smaller than 0.3 Micron in size - including Viruses and all Combustion Smoke (specialized media – cartridge style 6”-12” deep, disposable filters).

The Dilemma:

The best particle filters have high air flow resistance.  Some very good “allergy” style air filters available in the hardware stores have so much resistance to airflow that they can damage the furnace heatexchanger and freeze up the cooling coilWe need to keep the air moving while it is getting filtered!

The Answer:

To use the high MERV filters, they need to be designed and applied properly.  We can help you here. We have Air Filtration Solutions that range from the very basic to the most high performance options available.  Ask your Andersen Service Technician for a specific range of solutions that would be best for your home and circumstances.  

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