Are you concerned about the air quality in your home? That’s good. This will make you more cautious about what you need in terms of air purifier and air filters. These are the main defense systems that you will need if you want to have a good quality of air in your place.
When shopping for any air filter or purifier, you probably read some of these indicating “removes particles as small as X microns.”
What exactly are microns and why are these important when you are shopping for air purifiers and filters? Why should you care if it can remove 1 micron or 5 microns?
What are microns and how they affect air quality?
A micron is short for micrometer. It is a unit of measurement that refers to one-millionth of a meter. To give you insight into how small it is, the average diameter of a strand of human hair is 50 microns. Imagine how small 1 micron is.
A single micron particle is actually invisible to the naked eye. A particle has to be at least 5 microns for the human eye to see it.
And guess what? Almost all indoor air particles are smaller than 1 micron. If your air filters or air purifiers cannot remove 1-micron particles, can you imagine the state of the air quality in your home? These microns are a combination of different air contaminants. These include bacteria, fungi, smoke (cooking, tobacco, etc), pesticides or other household chemicals, viruses, household dust, etc.
That should make you shudder to think that you and your family are inhaling that amount of microns. The thing is, you do not have to. You just need the right appliance to clean your air properly.
How to ensure air quality despite microns?
The most standard model of an HVAC system can only remove particles that are between 5 and 10 microns in size. Anything smaller will escape its built-in filter. That means it will be floating in the air and being inhaled by anyone in your home.
This is why people who have respiratory problems are advised to get a separate air purifier or filter to ensure higher air quality. But how can you buy these with your knowledge of microns?
Usually, you will encounter two types of rating.
One is the Nominal Micron Rating. This refers to the efficiency by which the air filter or purifier can remove micron-particles. It ranges between 50% and 98.6%. If it states that a 5-micron air filter has a nominal micron rating of 75%, that means it has the ability to capture 75% of the 5-micron particles that go through it.
The other rating is the Absolute Micron Rating. This is a filter that can remove almost all the micron particles – up to 98.7%. So a 5-micron air filter with an absolute micron rating can capture 98.6% of the 5-micron particles that pass through.
Of course, you want to ensure that you can remove the smallest micron particles that you can. A 5-micron air filter or purifier means there are still 98% of microns circulating in your home. That is hardly the type of air quality that you want you and your loved ones inhaling on a daily basis.
How can this influence your health
Particles as fine as 2.5 microns or less are actually considered a hazard to your health. Apparently, these can be inhaled into your lungs and easily absorbed into your bloodstream. When you inhale these particles, it puts you at risk of various respiratory ailments. It can trigger asthma attacks, coughing, wheezing, etc.
To really protect your health and improve the air quality in your home, you should look for air filter or purifiers that can capture 1-micron particles. To be specific, you need to look at the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of the appliance you are going to buy.
Obviously, this will cost you more. But if you consider how expensive it is to get sick, then you will think that it is worth the expense.
Usually, air filters have lower efficiency in cleaning your air quality. You might want to consider looking into specific air cleaner like air scrubbers, UV air disinfection, air purifiers, etc.
And even if you get the right type of appliance to clean the quality of air circulating in your home, you need to ensure that you clean out the filter regularly. Even if it claims to capture the smallest micron particles, a dirty filter will compromise the quality of the air.
If you’re looking to improve the air quality in your home, make sure to contact us!