Who likes clean air? Pretty much anyone who, you know, breathes. Unfortunately, the prospect of breathing fresh air in your own home can sometimes be one of those “easier said than done” things. How’s that, you ask? Simple: many homeowners do not know that their dwellings lack the necessary features to keep the air indoors free from particles that are invisible to the naked eye. As such, they could be breathing in all manner of unwanted materials regularly. If you want to keep the air in your home truly fresh, you might be considering several home improvement options. One such option is to buy a HEPA air purifier, which is a specialized type of mechanical air filter.
A HEPA air purifier can trap many particles that would otherwise affect the quality of the air you breathe in your home. However, you may want more detail about the pros and cons of these products so that you can decide whether such an air purifier is right for your home. You came to the right blog. In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a detailed look at HEPA purifiers so that you can decide for yourself whether they can help you breathe easier—literally.
How Does a HEPA Air Purifier Work?
The basic science behind HEPA air purifiers is relatively easy to comprehend. The purifier forces air through a fine grid of mesh to trap particles of unwanted material. HEPA filters can catch the following contaminants, effectively preventing them from entering the air in your home:
- Pollen: practically all flowers produce pollen as a means of reproduction. This fine powder can create an allergic reaction in humans who breathe it in, so it’s best not to let it into your home. Pollen allergies are relatively common among the general population, with an estimated 10-30% percent of all people worldwide affected by allergic rhinitis.
- Pet hair and dandruff: you might not notice the hairs that your precious cat or dog sheds—but trust us, they’re there. In fact, many dogs and almost all cats shed hair naturally, which can quickly build up in unwanted places such as clothing or furniture. You can mitigate the annoyance this causes by vacuuming on a regular basis and grooming your pet properly, but that hair can still make its way into the HVAC via the ducts and eventually cause blockages or other problems. Preventing it from doing so can save you a great deal of stress and AC maintenance work overall.
- Tobacco smoke: you might not be an avid smoker, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any in your building. If someone else in your house smokes or if you live in an apartment complex with a central heating and air system, their smoke might be travelling through the ducts and into your space. Filtering out that secondhand smoke is an excellent way for you to take care of your lungs.
- Dust mites: these pesky critters are invisible, but that doesn’t mean they don’t cause noticeable problems for the people whose buildings they occupy. Dust mites can cause itching sensations on the skin, irritate the eyes, and even cause respiratory problems when they are inhaled inadvertently. Fortunately, HEPA air purifiers are more than capable of stopping these tiny pests from circulating through your home along with the air your HVAC treats.
Debunking Some Common Myths About Air Purifiers
Buying a HEPA air purifier can certainly help protect you from the contaminants listed above, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a perfect solution to your air quality problems. Below are a few common misconceptions about these filters, which we’ve taken the time to debunk for you:
- I’ll never need to dust in my house again! Wrong. HEPA air purifiers are not complete and total solutions. Instead, they should be seen as one of several useful strategies for maintaining clean air in a home. Sorry pal: you’ll still have to dust occasionally.
- My HEPA air purifier will make my home smell better! Wrong again. These filters remove contaminants from the air, but they won’t change the way it smells. That’s the job of an air freshener. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t purchase a few of those as well.
- I should never open my windows once I buy a purifier! Every home needs fresh air from time to time. A HEPA purifier will make the recirculated air in your home healthier, but it won’t replace the need for fresh air entirely.
Still a Worthwhile Investment
The HEPA air purifier isn’t a magic wand that will instantly replace the atmosphere in your home with fresh aspen air—but it will filter out several of the nastiest and most annoying materials you’re likely to find in a residential building. For more information on these systems or to learn about the importance of air filters in general, contact a licensed HVAC contractor and ask for their seasoned advice.