August 25, 2017
We don’t realize how many allergens and contaminants we’re breathing when we’re indoors. Although it may seem easier and healthier to breathe inside, our indoor environments can contain pollutant levels many times greater than the levels outdoors.
It seems counter-intuitive. You may be thinking—shouldn’t the outdoors be dirtier? I keep my home clean. How could I have more pollutants and allergens than the streets outside? The answer is insufficient ventilation, increased use of synthetic materials, and lack of air filtration.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency:
With proper air filtration and ventilation, you won’t be circulating all of those contaminants that can make you and your family sick. Don’t continue to recirculate debris through your HVAC system or redistribute dust and allergens around your home when vacuuming. With our air filtration guide, you can breathe easier and cleaner.
Here are the steps to improve your indoor air quality (IAQ) and reduce your indoor air pollutants and irritants:
MERV is an acronym that stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It’s a rating system that tells consumers how efficient an air filter is. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the pores for air flow, meaning finer filtration of dust particles.
MERV ratings go from 1 through 16 and are divided into three categories (low-efficiency, medium-efficiency, and high-efficiency). Medium-efficiency MERV ratings of around 7 to 13 are perfectly adequate at removing airborne dust and contaminants in a residential space. High-efficiency filters (MERV 14-16) are typically reserved for hospitals, restaurants, and other public facilities. They aren’t normally recommended for residential use since they can severely restrict airflow.
When looking for a more efficient filter in your home, look for a MERV rating of 7 to 13, and talk to your HVAC professional about the best way to reduce allergens and contaminants in your home’s indoor air.
If you are considering a higher MERV rating, consult your HVAC professional first. High-efficiency and HEPA filters normally require professional modification of your heating and cooling system.
More and more people are looking for home products with HEPA filtration. Like MERV, HEPA is also an acronym. It stands for High Efficient Particulate Air. It’s a mechanical air filter that traps particles and airborne contaminants in a fine mesh as air passes through it. It helps to keep pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and even tobacco smoke at bay. HEPA filtration can now be found in most air purifiers.
Vacuuming with HEPA filtration is a great way to reduce the spread of common contaminants throughout the home. It’s a useful aid for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. A HEPA filter can trap all particles .3 microns in size or larger at the impressive efficiency rate of 99.97%. For allergy relief and the cleanest home, you’ve ever known, ensure HEPA filtration is in your vacuum and air purifiers.
For more information on indoor air quality, air filtration, MERV ratings and HEPA air filters, contact the professionals at Service Champions. We’re your local source for the best indoor air solutions for your family’s health and safety.