4 Things to Look For When Buying an Air Filter
Indoor air pollution is among the top environmental health risks, according to the World Health Organization. An air filter is one of the effective means to remove pollutants from indoor air.
When buying an air filter, make sure to look for the following features:
1. Capacity to Remove Particle Pollution from the Air
Particle pollution, also known as particulate matter, is a mixture of particles – tiny pieces – of solids or liquids found in the air.
Particles are categorized based on their sizes. PM10 are particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter and smaller. PM2.5 are particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller. To visualize how small 10 micrometers is, think of a single strand of a human hair – the average size is about 70 micrometers in diameter.
Examples of larger particles include dust, pollen, some spores and mold fragments, some dog and cat dander, skin flakes, some dust mite body parts and cockroach body parts and droppings.
Smaller particles can come from tobacco smoke, burning candles or oil lamps, operating fireplaces, cooking – frying, broiling and sautéing. Sources of smaller particles also include bacteria, some spores and mold fragments, some cat and dog dander, some dust mite body parts and droppings. Smaller particles pose the greatest threat to human health as they can travel deep into the lungs and even into the blood.
“Fine (smaller) particles, called PM2.5, are more dangerous because they can get into the deep parts of your lungs — or even into your blood,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
According to CDC, particle pollution has been linked to eye irritation, throat and nose irritation, trouble breathing and lung cancer. The CDC added that breathing in particle pollution can cause serious health problems like a heart attack, especially in people with existing heart disease, with symptoms including chest pain or tightness, feeling out of breath, fast heartbeat and being more tired than usual.
“There are very few studies on the health effects of indoor particulate matter, but those available seem to link PM to respiratory symptoms such as wheezing and coughing, especially in children,” Health Canada said. “On the other hand, there are many studies on the effects of outdoor particulate matter on health. These studies show a wide range of respiratory and cardiovascular effects, especially in those who already suffer from a respiratory or cardiac condition.”
When buying an air filter, look for a product that can remove particle pollution. An air filter that’s specially made to remove particle pollution is the filter type called HEPA, short for high-efficiency particulate air filtration.
A HEPA filter is a screen that’s made of dense fibers. The effectivity of a HEPA filter is dependent upon these 3 aspects: 1) size of its pores or microscopic-sized openings; 2) thickness of the screen; and 3) speed of the air being forced through it.
HEPA filters trap molds, aerosols, radioactive particles, toxins, viruses, bacteria and other particle pollutants. This makes HEPA filters ideal for hospitals, pharmaceutical laboratories and similar facilities as these facilities require a germ-free and hygienic environment.
Not all HEPA filters are created equal though. When buying an air filter, ensure that the product isn’t just a HEPA filter but a “True HEPA” as well. For an air filter to be designated as a True HEPA, it must be able to trap at least 99.97% of 0.3 micron-sized of particles from 85 liters of forced air per minute in a test.
2. Capacity to Remove Chemicals and Odor from the Air
When buying an air filter, look for a product that can remove chemicals and odor. To determine if an air filter can remove gaseous pollutants like chemicals and odor, find out if the product has a carbon filter or carbon canister. A carbon filter is composed of black granules of carbon-rich materials like coal, wood or nutshells.
3. Flexible Installation
When buying an air filter look for a product that’s flexible enough to be installed or integrated into your home’s central heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system or as a stand-alone air filter.
4. Quiet Operation
When buying an air filter, look for a product that’s quite enough to the point that you won’t realize that the equipment is in operation. A completely insulated air filter ensures quiet operation. This insulation also lessens the heat loss and gain.
Lennox Healthy Climate® HEPA System Air Filter
If you’re looking for an air filter that can remove large and small particle pollution, consider the Lennox Healthy Climate® HEPA System air filter. Lennox air filters are true HEPA, removing 99.97% of air pollutants. In addition to its capacity to remove particle pollution from the air, Lennox air filters can also remove chemicals and odor from the air.
Air filters from Lennox can be integrated into your home’s central heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. It can also function as stand-alone home equipment. Most importantly, the Lennox air filters are virtually quiet.
3-Stage Air Filtration Process
The air that goes inside the Lennox air filter goes through a 3-stage filtration process.
Stage 1: Pre-Filter
The first stage is the pre-filter. This stage removes larger particles from the air. This stage is essential in order to prolong the life of the other filtration stage, the HEPA filter. After removing larger particles, the air then moves to the next filtration stage.
Stage 2: HEPA Filter
The second stage is the HEPA filter. This stage removes 99.97% of particulates or particles as small as 0.3 micrometers in diameter. The air which is now nearly completely free of particles then goes through the third filter stage.
Stage 3: Carbon Filter
At stage 3, the air that’s almost completely free from particles then goes through the carbon filter stage. At this stage, chemicals and odors are removed.
After passing through the 3 stages, the clean air is then pushed out of the air filter unit to become fresh air that you breathe.
Call us today to make sure that you and your family breath clean air.