More time indoors along with more knowledge and concern of indoor air quality means more interest in doing all we can to have clean air inside our homes. An air purifier could be a good device for better air quality for everyone in your home. But how do you know what’s best to buy? If dust is a common issue, will an air purifier help combat dust?
Air purifiers can help against dust, along with allergens, viruses, airborne contaminants and pollutants, and more. Factors you can consider vary, from the newest tech to the filtration to how easy they are to use. How well they work against dust is just one question. How does dust get in your home? What can you do about it with the right air purifier and in general?
How an Air Purifier Works
Dust isn’t just one thing. It’s really tons of possible things we simply call “dust.” Any tiny particulates in the air are dust. This can include normal, usual matter, or odd, frankly disgusting, stuff, too. Bits of human, animal, or insect skin can be in the dust. So can soil, sand, hair, fibers of clothes or fabric, carcinogenic pollutants, bacteria, and more organic material from inside or outside, all can be “dust.”
In this case, organic doesn’t mean safe or fine. You don’t want to have contaminated air, from organic or inorganic material, in your home. You’ll breathe this stuff in for hours a day.
So now you’re considering getting an air purifier? First, what is it? The most basic idea is, it’s a device that draws air in, runs it through one or more filters, and puts out clean or at least cleaner air. The filtration should filter out dust, pollutants, contaminants, and more depending on the type and system of filtration.
HEPA filters – High-efficiency particulate air filters – have a standard of filtering out 99.97% of dust and other airborne particulates from air that are 3 microns or larger in diameter. You might not need to pick a HEPA filter, but this is a common term and standard for indoor air quality needs. Air purifiers with HEPA filtration are considered of professional caliber.
Filters with a lesser filtration rating might work for your needs. They might or might not work efficiently enough for dust in your home, environment, or area. As an example, UV filters kill mold spores and microorganisms but do not have the same rating and effectiveness with dust as a HEPA filter. Some air purifiers combine methods, having multiple types of filters in the same system.
Things to Think About with Air Purifiers
If you’re looking into an air purifier for your home, there are a lot of factors. Here are some of the main ones:
- What the filters filter – Different filters filter different stuff. You don’t want to guess about something impacting your health and well-being. If you’re getting an air filter for a certain reason, make sure the device or system you’re getting does the job. Purifiers with a UV filter generally are best for removing bacteria and viruses, but not necessarily particulates and dust. There’s a lot of new filter tech with lots of capabilities. Just make sure what you’re getting fits your needs.
- Power usage – Some air purifiers are more energy efficient than others. Getting an air purifier that’s Power Star certified is good for the environment, your home environment, and your electric bill in the long run.
- Filter replacements – When looking at purifiers, it’s best to consider when you’ll change filters and do any other routine maintenance. How much will it cost? How often? Is it easy? If this is a pain, you might neglect to change filters or keep the device clean, then a purifier won’t do any good or become a health problem unto itself.
- Area – The air purifier you get has to fit the space you’ll use it in. There should be a maximum room size or square footage for a device. If the purifier is too weak for a large area, it’s doing very little good.
What Else Can I Do?
The best way to improve the quality of the air in your home is to improve the airflow in your home. You want to keep your home as clean and as well-ventilated as possible. An air purifier can help, but it should just be considered help, not the only answer. Here are other steps you can take.
- Vacuum regularly – Vacuuming dust, and all the stuff that is in dust, is one major way of helping your indoor air quality. You want a sealed vacuum and, especially if needed for health reasons, a HEPA-quality vacuum. A vacuum should suck up and contain dust, not just shoot it up off the floor and mostly into the air.
- Open windows – Especially when the temperature and the weather are nice, it’s great to open windows to help airflow with fresh air. You can create the best circulation by opening windows on opposite sides of a room or floor.
- Change air filters – There are many reasons to stay on top of this often-forgotten chore. This is good for HVAC effectiveness and air quality. There are purifiers or filters – such as a HEPA filter – which can be used.
- Use a vent fan – Using vent fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms moves air, helps with high humidity and removes particulates. You want to leave a fan on for a few minutes after you’re done cooking.
- Candles and fireplaces might not help – You might like the scent or feeling of a fire or candles, but you might be putting more particulates into the air and breathing them in.
About South End Heating and Air
At South End Heating and Air, we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult and free estimate. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call at 704-684-5339.