Thursday, April 26, 2018
Friday, 23 February 2018 05:41

Introduction to Air Cleaners and Purifiers

Investing in healthy indoor air quality is a good investment for your body, mind, and wallet. Considering that we spend more than 90% of our time indoors and that indoor air is 2-5 times as polluted as the air outdoors, it’s important to take this indoor air quality problem seriously. 

If your indoor air isn’t healthy, it can cause a huge health problem for you and your loved ones. While our modern homes and HVAC systems are more efficient than ever, they also have the unfortunate side effect of trapping indoor air pollutants.

That is why mechanical ventilation, air filtration, and air cleaners and purifiers are so important. 

While every forced air system has an air filter compartment that traps larger floating pollutants, dedicated air cleaners are usually not included.

Before you make the decision to upgrade your ability to remove indoor pollutants, learn about the different types of air cleaners and purifiers available to you. 

Keep in mind that the system that works best for you will depend on the type and level of contaminants in your home. Be sure to consult with a qualified IAQ professional before choosing anything. 

Introduction to Air Cleaners and Purifiers

While air cleaners and purification systems may not be necessary for your home, if anyone in the household suffers from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems, it’s highly recommended. 

Air cleaners and purifiers are installed directly into your existing HVAC system and actually kill the microorganisms in the air, like bacteria and mold spores.

Some air cleaners can remove or reduce odors, smoke, volatile organic compounds, mold spores, and pet dander.

There are many different types of products out there that are designed to improve your indoor air quality.

Here are the three main types of air purifiers:

1. Mechanical Filters

Mechanical filters act as a sieve to capture airborne particulates. They come in a rectangular frame and are given MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings depending on how effective they are at filtering material.

The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the air filter:

  • Low-efficiency filters have a 1-6 MERV rating.
  • Medium-efficiency filters have a 7-13 MERV rating (best for residential purposes).
  • High-efficiency filters have a 14-16 MERV rating.
  • HEPA (high efficiency particle air) filters have a 17-20 MERV rating.

In addition to regular filters, speak with your HVAC provider about specialty filters, such as: 

  • Activated Carbon Filters – eliminates impurities through absorption.
  • Antibacterial and Germicidal Filters – sometimes used with UV-C rays, they can be used alone or incorporated with an existing filtration system.
  • Pre-Filters – make your primary filter last longer by capturing all of the larger contaminants before making contact.

Do not purchase any high-efficiency, HEPA, or “specialty” filters without speaking with a qualified technician first. Professional modifications may be required to accommodate the thicker filters.

If you are thinking about upgrading your filter, contact your local HVAC specialist.

2. Electronic Air Cleaners 

There are two main types of electronic air cleaners:

Ion generator

Ion generators disperse negative ions into the air. The ions attach themselves to positively-charged particles and then land on the surfaces in your home. When you clean the surface, the particle is removed.

Electronic precipitator

Electronic precipitators also use ions to charge particles, but do so by drawing the air into an ionization section. Once inside the ionization section, the particles become charged, then collect on oppositely-charged metal plates.

3. UV Germicidal Lights

Ultraviolet lights emit UV-C rays, which kill microorganisms by scrambling their DNA and RNA. Ultraviolet light has been used for decades to sterilize food, water, and air. While UV lights do not filter anything, they can effectively kill living organisms, such as mold, fungi, and bacteria.

UV lights are installed directly into your return ducts to clean the air before it comes into contact with the air filter or indoor air handler. UV lights not only improve indoor air quality, they also improve the efficiency and longevity of your HVAC system.

Make sure you supplement your UV lights or any other air cleaner with an effective air filter. 

Air Filtration + Purification

For the best indoor air quality, you want to combine effective air filtration with a quality air purifier. Air filters are able to eliminate larger particles, such as dirt, dust, and hair while air purifiers can take care of odors, bacteria, mold, and other smaller particulates.

In addition to improving your indoor air quality, air filters, cleaners, and purifiers also increase energy efficiency and reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system. 

If you want to target indoor contaminants, both large and small, speak with a professional about incorporating both of these IAQ technologies. While the options can seem overwhelming, our team of experts can inspect your home, provide recommendations, and answer all of your questions. 

Nip allergies in the bud with professional indoor air quality solutions from AJ Danboise. Schedule service online or by giving us a call at (248) 236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.

Published in News
Monday, 09 October 2017 19:59

Benefits of a Humidifier in the Fall

Humidifiers have many benefits for your Michigan household in the fall and winter. The trick is finding the right balance of humidity. Dry air can trigger allergies, cold, flu, flaky skin and snoring (which is unhealthy for you – and whoever might be in the same room). The dry air in the fall and winter can also wreak havoc on your home. It can dry out wood structures and cause cracking and breaking, affecting both furniture and your home. To combat these problems, we recommend a whole house humidifier to ensure the right amount of humidity throughout the year.

The indoor air quality experts at AJ Danboise have put together a helpful list of the benefits a whole house humidifier can being to your home:

Replenish Dry Heater Air

In the winter, when you turn on your heater the warm air can instantly begin drying out the home. Along with the air - your skin, hands, lips, and eyes can all get very dry. The layered clothing that a Michigan winter demands, along with dry skin, can cause severe irritations. A whole house humidifier can add the necessary humidity to the air to add moisture and prevent some dryness.

Prevent Cold/Flu

With dry air your system has a harder time functioning, meaning your sinuses don’t drain properly – and lungs can become irritated and scratchy. A healthier humidity can help correct the drainage and dryness issues and in turn prevent cold and flu. Unfortunately, if you already have a cold or flu, you’ll need to rely on a doctor’s advice to cure it!

Alleviate Snoring

Snoring can be triggered by many different things - and dry winter air is one of them. Dry air can dry out your sinuses and cause breathing issues with certain people. If you already snore, this can exacerbate the problem which in not only a nuisance for others – it can cause severe health problems.

Diminish Allergy Symptoms

Just like spring, fall and winter come with their own set of allergies. The dry air from outside combined with your heater creates in your home, can aggravate any allergy symptoms you have and lead to complications such as sinusitis. Low humidity levels can make any sinus or lung issues worse.

Effects on your Home

Dry air can cause extreme damage to wood. Your home can be compromised structurally; cracking and warping can lead to a variety of problems. Cracks in doors and around windows can also raise utility bills, allow pet infestation and cause water leaks. If you have wallpaper in your home, it can also peel and crack. Wood furniture is also compromised – and should treated with oil-based solutions every winter regardless of humidity levels in your home. 

Most Michigan homes already contain one or two portable humidifiers to combat many of the problems related in this piece. However, our dry winters demand a much more holistic approach when keeping the humidity at healthy levels. Portable humidifiers are great for bedrooms; especially for small children and people who have extreme allergy and sinus problems. But these units only cover single rooms and constantly need to be filled with water (and running) to ensure optimum efficiency. A whole home humidifier (coupled with your portable units) can help considerably with all the common problems associated with dry air. If you are considering installing a whole house humidifier, contact the IAQ experts at AJ Danboise. Call 248-236-5999 for a full assessment today!  

 


For all your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs, you can count on AJ Danboise! Schedule service online or by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.

Published in Indoor Air Quality
Monday, 02 January 2017 21:27

Protecting Your Family From Radon

Radon levels can soar during the colder months when residents keep windows closed and spend more time indoors. As many as 22,000 people die from lung cancer each year in the United States from exposure to indoor radon.

The EPA Administrator urges Americans to heed January as National Radon Action Month by testing their homes for one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the country, indoor radon gas. Approximately one home in 15 across the nation has unacceptably high radon levels; in some areas of the country, as many as one out of two homes has high levels.

EPA Recommends:

Test your home for radon -- it's easy and inexpensive.
Fix your home if your radon level is 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher.
Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced.
Read EPA's "Citizen's Guide to Radon: The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family From Radon."

Source: Environmental Protection Agency

Published in Indoor Air Quality

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