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Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog

Is an Air Purifier Necessary If I Already Have Air Filters?

air-filterBefore we go further in answering this question, we want to make sure we know what you mean by “air filters.” If you’re referring to the air filter on your HVAC cabinet, the one you’re supposed to change every one to three months, then you don’t have an actual air cleaning system of any kind in place. This filter isn’t in place for better indoor air quality but to protect the interior of the HVAC system from dust and debris. The type of air filters you need for improved indoor air quality are specialized air filtration systems, and that’s something you can call us for. These filters are the best place to start when you’re looking to improve indoor air quality for your house.

If you already have a set of these types of filters, then it does make sense for you to wonder if they’re enough. Maybe you need an air purifier in Alachua, FL for the best IAQ.

When an Air Purifier Is Helpful

Modern air filters are powerful and can trap a much wider range of contaminants than ever before. Clean rooms and hospitals use filtration systems to keep out germs, bacteria, and microscopic contaminants. However, there’s a limit on how powerful a filter can be installed into a residential HVAC system. The thicker the weave of the filter to catch pollutants, the more resistance it places against the airflow through the ventilation system. Most home HVAC systems can’t deal with a filter that’s powerful enough to block out the majority of contaminants—there wouldn’t be any airflow, and therefore there wouldn’t be any comfort.

This is why air purifiers are often helpful. The maximum power filter the home’s HVAC system can handle may allow tinier particles to get through. For example, a standard filter for a house with MERV 11 (MERV is the universal rating system for filter strength) is more than 85% effective at stopping particles down to 3 microns, from 65–76% effective at particles down to 1 micron, and less than 20% effective at stopping anything down to 0.3 microns. This means the filter will stop dust, carpet fibers, dust mites, some cooking and cleaning fumes, and auto fumes, but won’t be much help against bacteria, smoke, viruses, carbon dust, and aerosol particles. If the house cannot have a filter stronger than MERV 11 and has problems with particles under 1 micron or wants better protection against particles under 3 microns, an air purifier is the best choice. Air purifiers place no restrictions on airflow because they use electric fields, oxidization, or UV lights to eliminate particles.

Find the Right Purifier

We can help you find out if your house needs an air purifier and then locate the right type to have installed. We often install the Phenomenal Aire, which uses Cold Plasma Generator technology to clean air naturally. We install other types of purification systems, and we’ll see that your house and your current air filters are matched with the right kind of filter.

Touchstone Heating and Air Inc has served the communities of North Central Florida since 1998. Call us for indoor air quality services.

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