Did you know that in the US alone, almost half of the population breathe polluted air? That translates to about 150 million people!
As if that’s not bad enough, polluted outdoor air can enter homes to contaminate indoor air. This can then compromise your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ).
There’s still some good news, though: home air filters can help you keep indoor air pollution at bay. We’ll give you some of the most awesome reasons you need to invest in these filters, so be sure to read on!
1. Enjoy Less-Polluted Air
A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system relies on air filters to do its job. The HVAC unit draws in air already present in your home and then passes it through the filter before it gets warmed or cooled.
Even the most basic HVAC filters capture large airborne particles, such as dust. More advanced filters can also trap mold, mold spores, pollen, fibers, pet dander, lint, and even small plastic pieces. In catching these particles, your HVAC system can give you cleaner, fresher air.
2. HVAC Systems Need Air Filters for Efficient Operation
Without a filter, sensitive HVAC system components will be quick to accumulate dust. Again, that’s due to the nature of air being full of pollutants, such as dust, pollen, dander, and other tiny particles. All these can then cause airflow problems in your HVAC unit, cutting its efficiency by at least 10%.
As such, HVAC air filters are crucial to the optimal operation of your HVAC equipment.
3. Higher HVAC Efficiency Translates to More Energy Savings
The more efficient an HVAC system is, the less energy it uses to make your indoor climate comfortable. So, by simply replacing a dirty air filter with a clean one, you can cut its energy use by 5% to 15%.
In addition, an energy-efficient HVAC system has a lower carbon footprint. It introduces less carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air, which is favorable to the environment. Note that CO2 is the primary greenhouse gas (GHG) that contributes to global warming.
4. Specialized Air Filters Capture More Than Dust Particles
There are at least 15 types of outdoor air pollutants, many of which can also be present indoors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies six of these as “criteria air pollutants.” These include the following:
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
- Ground-level ozone,
- Particulate matter (PM, also called particle pollutant)
- Sulfur oxides (SOx)
Other air pollutants include asbestos, creosote, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as acrolein and benzene, are also part of the list.
Of all those air pollutants, PM is the kind that most air filters can catch. However, particle pollutants differ in size, so they get classified either as PM10 or PM2.5. The PM size that an air filter can catch depends on the device’s MERV rating.
PM10 are inhalable particles usually measuring 10 micrometers or smaller. Standard air filters with a MERV rating of 8 are good enough to capture pollen, dust, dust mites, and mold spores. A filter with a MERV rating of at least 11 can catch all that, plus smaller-sized pet dander and lint.
PM2.5 are fine inhalable particles with sizes 2.5 micrometers or less. Scientists found that portable air cleaners with HEPA filters can reduce PM2.5 levels by at least 29%. They can even help lower blood cadmium levels by at least 14%.
PM2.5 is far more dangerous than PM10 because it can bypass the body’s defense systems. These microscopic particles can lodge deep into the lungs. Using a HEPA filter air purifier can help reduce your family’s exposure to such hazards.
5. Can Help With Airborne Pathogen Control
HEPA filters in air cleaners in tandem with HVAC filters can also help remove some pathogens in the air. These include bacteria and viruses.
However, the use of those devices alone isn’t enough to protect you and your loved ones from pathogens. You need to use them properly and together with other good health practices. These include regular hand washing and improved house cleaning and disinfection.
6. Keep Allergic Reactions at Bay
More than 50 million people in the US have nasal allergies. About half of these individuals live with seasonal pollen allergies. Many others are allergic to molds, mold spores, dust mites, and pet dander.
Experts say that HVAC filters with a MERV rating of 11 to 13 are effective in capturing those allergens. Studies found that these filters reduce such allergens to help provide some relief.
7. Reduce Odds of Asthma Attacks
The EPA’s criteria pollutants can aggravate or contribute to the development of asthma. This applies to both children and adults. In fact, asthma affects more adults; 8% of adults live with it, while only 7% of kids have it.
Either way, asthma can be a chronic, debilitating condition with high healthcare costs. So, as an added precaution, use high-quality air filters to help reduce asthma triggers at home.
8. Activated Carbon Filters Help Reduce Ozone Levels
Ground-level ozone exposure can irritate your throat and inflame your airways. It can also lead to chest pain, breathing difficulties, and even damage the lung tissues. It’s especially dangerous for people with lung problems, such as asthma and emphysema.
Early studies found that activated carbon filters were 95% effective in ozone removal. Even after two years of use, they still registered a 92% efficiency in removing ozone.
What’s even better is that you can now find replacement HVAC carbon air filters.
9. Makes Home Cleaning a Breeze
As a bonus, air filters can help you reduce the amount of time and money you spend cleaning up dust in your home. After all, they can help cut the concentrations of particles that can settle on surfaces. The fewer airborne particles there are, the less residue you’ll end up having to clean.
Top-Quality Air Filters To Keep Your Home a Healthy Haven
As you can see, home air filters deliver loads of science-backed benefits. Even health experts, from the CDC to the EPA, recommend their use. All in all, high-quality filters are a great, effective addition to keeping optimal IAQ at home, as well as your HVAC system running smoothly.