If there is one thing every single home today has in common, it is this: indoor air pollution.
Worryingly, current research estimates that the air inside the average home is anywhere from two to five times more toxic than the outside surrounding air!
But beyond this common denominator, there is no single unifying consensus within the HVAC and indoor air quality industries on the best type of indoor air quality system.
Rather, the emphasis is on matching the specific indoor air quality issues inside your space with the right types of air quality cleaners and purifiers to detoxify and clean up your indoor air.
In this post, we introduce three essential indoor air cleaners from which we believe every home, workplace and school can benefit. You will learn what each cleaner is designed to do, how it works and additional perks each system has to offer.
Air Duct and Dryer Vent Cleaning
All the air quality controls in the world can make improvements starting only from the time they are introduced into your space.
Meanwhile, tucked deep down inside your dryer vent and air duct system, there are plenty of old trapped toxins that are being re-released into your air every time you run a dryer or HVAC cycle.
These services will thoroughly clean and sanitize your air duct network and clothes dryer, essentially hitting the “reset” button on your indoor air quality.
After you have these two services done, it is time to move on to the next phase – selecting and installing your indoor air quality cleaners.
All indoor spaces will typically have a combination of three types of toxic airborne pollutants: liquid particles, gaseous particles and solid particles.
But there is no one air cleaner that is designed to neutralize all three types of pollutants.
For this reason, we typically recommend a three-pronged approach to permanently upgrading the quality of your indoor air.
HEPA Air Filtration System
The first air cleaner we recommend has been the gold standard in indoor air quality all around the world ever since World War II. Developed to protect scientists from radioactive particles, HEPA filters are now used in laboratories, clinics and hospitals worldwide.
HEPA filters work best when addressing solid airborne pollutants such as dust, pollen, fungi, pet dander, tobacco and smoke micro-particles and similar others.
HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air. What this means is that HEPA filters are highly efficient at filtering out even the smallest micro-particles – solids that may measure just 1/100th the width of a single human hair.
Most traditional residential HVAC systems are not equipped to handle the density of a HEPA air filter. This type of filter is simply too thick and can impede airflow to the point of causing damage to your air conditioning or furnace.
However, standalone HEPA filtration systems can be easily retrofitted to work with any residential or commercial HVAC. Both portable and central (ducted) models are available.
Ultraviolet Air Purification System
The second air cleaner we recommend is the ultraviolet air purifier. As the name implies, ultraviolet air purifiers harness the power of ultraviolet light to purify the air of pollution.
UV air purifiers work best to neutralize gaseous and liquid particulates which may slip through even a HEPA filtration system, although they can also work well against mould and mildew spores.
Examples of gaseous and liquid particles can include ammonia, sulfur dioxide, freon, ozone, nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, radon gas and similar others.
The light source is a synthetic version of the sun’s most powerful ultraviolet light band – UV-C. Like its natural counterpart, synthetic UV-C has the ability to change the basic molecular structure of airborne particulate pollutants so they are unable to cause harm.
UV air purifiers can be easily retrofitted to work with any HVAC system, whether residential or commercial. Both ducted (central) and portable models exist.
Heat Recovery Ventilator
The third air cleaner we recommend is the heat recovery ventilator.
A heat recovery ventilator performs two essential functions to clean and purify your indoor air: it ensures a steady supply of fresh air and helps exhaust excess humidity that might otherwise foster mould, mildew and bacterial growth.
A third perk you will get from installing a heat recovery ventilator is the benefit of its ability to recycle heat energy, thus lowering your energy bills year-round. Some heat recovery ventilators can even put extra heat energy to work to heat your water!
But for our purposes here, the most important function a heat recovery ventilator provides that no other air cleaner can offer is to keep your indoor air perpetually fresh and oxygenated. In this way, you can think of the heat recovery ventilator as an extra set of mechanical lungs for your home.
Heat recovery ventilators are especially essential for new-construction homes, which must be built to the new airtight construction standards designed to conserve energy.
These homes may come with a lower carbon footprint, but they can’t “breathe” without assistance. This is why Toronto area construction standards now require the inclusion of a heat recovery ventilator with all new builds.
The heat recovery ventilator is best used with a central (ducted) HVAC system.
Its dual input/out system ensures that stale outgoing air and fresh incoming air never meet and mingle, while continually recycling otherwise lost heat energy to preheat your air in winter and moving excess heat outside in summer to lower your cooling bill.
At the same time, the HRV guards against mould and mildew by controlling humidity levels indoors.
Get in Touch
Do you need assistance to pick the right combination of indoor air quality tools for your home, workplace or school? We can help!
Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.