Ask Dirk: Pollen and COVID and smoke, oh my god!
With smoke and allergy season upon us, and with COVID-19 still a concern, we’ll be looking at residential air purification devices. For reference, we use the EPA document “Residential air purifiers, a technical summary”, Like our guide, as well as our more than 30 years in the valley to ensure the comfort, the safety and the health of your family.
Autonomous filtration systems
Although it is difficult to find empirical data to support this claim, many people with allergies and asthma find relief with portable air purifiers. What works for some may not work for others, and it should be noted that some allergens, including pollen and mold, fall to the ground quickly and not all will be captured in time.
Portable air purifiers are designed to filter pollutants or contaminants from the air passing through them, according to the EPA. It only works when the fan is running and a high quality filter is used.
Self-contained air purifiers will clean the air in one room while a central system will clean the air throughout your home.
HVAC system filtration
The EPA advises consumers to choose furnace filters with at least a MERV 13 rating, or as high as the system can accommodate. However, highly efficient filters with a MERV rating of 13-16 or high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters may impede airflow through ducts which may not be designed for such highly efficient filter media. . To make this work, your trusted HVAC contractor can help you upgrade or modify your system.
Filters that have a higher MERV rating can increase the infiltration of your ducts. The relative pressures in your return ducts can be decreased, allowing them to suck more air from where they are, typically your attic.
Make sure your filters are properly installed to prevent unfiltered air from seeping in through the edges. Your HVAC technician can help you determine if you are using the best size for your system.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a lot of talk about UV light purification. While industrial versions may offer some protection, they are not really suitable for home use other than to keep the HVAC system coil and drain pan free of mold and bacteria.
Air is flowing through your home’s ductwork too quickly to be purified by UV lamps, which must be properly designed to achieve the right airflow / time ratio. In addition, you need very large ducts to accommodate enough UV light to purify your air.
Other disadvantages of UV light, according to the EPA, are that some materials degrade over time when exposed to UV light and some generate ozone, which can cause problems with your lungs. , you must therefore be on the lookout for the absence of ozone. UV lamps.
Ventilation can help dilute minute amounts of carbon monoxide (CO), but will not be effective against a major CO leak in your home. Install CO detectors in your home and be sure to change the batteries every time you change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
I totally agree with the EPA when they say, “Your best bet is still source control, filtration and ventilation for good indoor air quality, and that’s where you go. should start.
My team of highly trained technicians can help you assess whether your ducts are properly sized for higher efficiency filters and get your filtration system in peak condition for allergy and smoke season and help you decide on the best way to manage your indoor air quality.
For more than 30 years, Roper’s Heating and Air Conditioning has provided essential indoor climate management services to the citizens of western Nevada. Roper’s is a community-driven, family-owned business specializing in restoring and preserving total home comforts. Roper’s is located at 2062 S. Edmonds Drive in Carson City.