Health Reasons Why Your Home Needs a HEPA System Air Filter
If you’re particularly concerned about the air quality in your home, consider replacing your aging air filter with a HEPA System Air Filter.
An Air Filter is a device that removes airborne particles that if inhaled, are harmful to humans. Examples of airborne particles include dust, pollen, fungal spores, pet dander etc. A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Air Filter removes almost all air pollutants. The Lennox Healthy Climate HEPA System Air Filter is an example of a HEPA System Air Filter that removes up to 99.97% of pollutants.
Particulate matter, also known as PM, refers to a range of particles found in the air that are less than 2.5 microns in diameter (the average size of a human hair is 60 microns).
Particulate matter can be liquid, solid or a mixture of both. Anything that’s 2.5 microns in size or less is small enough to be carried by air and humans run the risk of breathing it into their lungs. You can’t see particulate matter – it can only be seen using a microscope.
The most common sources of indoor particulate matter are:
- Fungal spores
- Endotoxin – a toxin found in bacteria
- Tiny solid or liquid particles in aerosols
- Carbon, also known as soot, produced when something is burned
Another example of particulate matter is mold. It refers to a range of fungus that grows on damp building materials or food. Sometimes molds can be observed in a variety of colors; in some cases, they can’t be seen, you’re only aware of it because of their musty odor. Having mold present in the home contributes to poor air quality.
Mold grows wherever there’s moisture. This moisture could be a result of water leaks, flooding, or high humidity from everyday activities like showering or cooking.
Adverse Health Effects of Mold
A study conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) showed that there was sufficient evidence linking indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms– wheezing and coughing in healthy people.
The IOM study also showed a correlation between indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in healthy children.
Adverse Health Effects of Particulate Matter
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breathing in matter that is larger than particulate matter, also known as coarse particles, can result in eye, nose and throat irritation. The CDC stated that breathing in particulate matter is more dangerous as it can get inside the deep parts of your lungs or even make its way into your blood.
While particulate matter can affect everyone, it can bother some people more than others. According to CDC, people with heart or lung diseases, older adults, babies and children will most likely experience health effects after exposure to particulate matter.
The CDC stated that particulate matter can worsen asthma symptoms. This pollution also has also been linked to the following health effects:
- Eye irritation
- Lung and throat irritation
- Trouble breathing
- Lung cancer
- Problems with babies at birth (for example, low birth weight)
According to CDC, if you have a pre-existing heart disease, breathing in particulate matter can cause serious problems (such as a heart attack) with symptoms including:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Fast heartbeat
- Feeling out of breath
- Being more tired than usual
How to Reduce Exposure to Particulate Matter in Your Home
One of the ways to reduce exposure to particulate matter in your home is by using theLennox Healthy Climate HEPA System Air Filter. This particular air filter can be used independently or installed in forced air systems. Your indoor air goes through a 3-stage filtration process in the Healthy Climate HEPA System Air Filter, detailed as follows:
1stStage: Pre-Filter Stage
This filtration stage removes larger air pollutants like dust, pollen and pet dander.
2ndStage: HEPA Stage
This filtration stage removes up to 99.97% of particulates 0.3 micron and smaller.
3rdStage: Carbon Stage
This last filtration stage removes chemicals and odors from the air. The clean air is then released from your air filtration device and into the air you breathe.
The Lennox Healthy Climate HEPA System Air Filter should be used along with the steps below to reduce exposure to particulate matter in your home:
- Regular House Cleaning
Molds thrive in damp environments. Particulate matter like molds can be reduced by eliminating damp areas using a mop and other cleaning materials.
- Avoid smoking indoors and using candles and incense in your home. A study conducted by Health Canada in different Canadian cities showed that the average indoor particulate matter concentrations were less than 15 µg/m3 in homes without smokers, and less than 35 µg/m3 in homes with smokers.
- Move dusty work outside, for example, woodworking using power tools.
- Ensure your furnace is working properly and follow the manufacturer’s directions for maintenance.
- Install exhaust fans in the kitchen and in bathrooms. Make sure that these fans are properly installed and maintained.
“Everyone is exposed to air pollution. Air pollution, even at low levels, has an impact on human health,” the Government of Canadasaid. “Science has clearly shown that air pollution leads to disease, increased hospitalizations, and even premature death.”
Air pollution, the Government of Canada said, can be linked to nearly 14,400 premature deaths per year in Canada.
“As people spend a considerable amount of time indoors, either at work or at home, indoor air quality plays a significant part in their general state of health,” the World Health Organization (WHO)said. “This is particularly true for children, elderly people and other vulnerable groups.”
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.
3 Ways Healthy Climate® HEPA System Improves Your Home Air Quality
Canadians spend 90% of their time indoors, this according to the Canadian Lung Association.
Importance of Indoor Air Quality
As we spend most of our time indoors, it’s of utmost importance that our
family breathes clean air inside our home. We breathe, on average, 21,000
times a day. That’s an equivalent of about 14,400 liters of inhaled air
every day for a fairly active adult.
According to Health Canada and the Environment and Climate Change Canada, indoor air pollution affects people with asthma, allergies and other lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It also increases the risk of stroke, hypertension, angina, arrhythmia, heart attack and heart failure. People who are exposed to indoor air pollution are also at risk of asbestosis and Legionnaires’ disease.
Older adults and young children are most at risk for indoor pollution health effects, according to Health Canada and the Environment and Climate Change Canada. Older adults have weaker heart, lungs and immune system compared to other people in other age groups, making them vulnerable to air pollution.
Compared to other people in other age groups, young children breathe in more air. This makes them more vulnerable to air pollution as they breathe in more contaminants. In addition, young children’s immune system and lung systems aren’t fully developed yet. As such, their body can’t naturally fight off diseases that may result from air pollution.
The Healthy Climate® HEPA system provides a 3-step air filtration process, providing your family clean air at home. Here are the 3 Ways Healthy Climate HEPA system improves your home air quality:
1. It removes large air pollutants.
Stage 1 of Healthy Climate’s 3-step filtration process removes large
particulates from the air.
According to Health Canada, particulates are “particles that are small enough to be carried by the air and therefore be breathed in by people”. They can be in liquid or solid form or mixture of both.
Particulates are categorized according to size as particles of different diameters have different health effects. A large particulate matter has 10 microns in diameter, while a small particulate has 2.5 microns in diameter and less. In comparison, the average size of a human hair is 60 microns. Dust from roads is an example of large particulates.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breathing in large particles like dust can irritate your nose, eyes and throat.
2. It removes small air pollutants.
Stage 2 of Healthy Climate’s 3-step filtration process removes particulates that are 0.3 micron and larger, effectively removing 99.97% of air pollutants.
Small particles, according to Health Canada, pose the greatest risk to human health as they can travel deep into the lungs. The CDC, meanwhile, said that small particles – 2.5 microns in diameter and less – are more dangerous than large particles because they can travel, not only into the deepest part of the lungs but also into the bloodstream.
According to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, particulates the size of 2.5 microns in Ontario is largely made up of nitrate and sulphate particles, elemental and organic carbon and soil. These fine particulates, the Ministry said, are primarily formed from chemical reactions in the atmosphere and through fuel combustion, including motor vehicles, power generation, industrial facilities, agricultural burning, residential fire places and wood stoves. Other examples of small particulates are pollen, pet dander, dust mites and tobacco smoke.
“The greatest effect on health is from particles 2.5 microns or less in
diameter,” the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change said.
“Exposure to fine particulate matter has been associated with hospital
admissions and several serious health effects, including premature death.
People with asthma, cardiovascular or lung disease, as well as children and
elderly people, are considered to be the most sensitive to the effects of
fine particulate matter.”
According toHealth Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada, air pollutants such as dust mites and mould can trigger allergic reactions to some people. These allergic reactions are grouped into 2 general categories:
A. Immediate Allergic Reaction
Some bodies react immediately or within minutes after being exposed to air
pollution. Immediate allergic reactions may come in the form of hay fever
or allergic asthma.
B. Delayed Allergic Reaction
Allergic reaction may manifest only days after being exposed to air
pollutants. This appears as a peeling rash that looks similar to eczema.
The stage 2 filtration process of Healthy Climate is also called the HEPA
stage. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. At this stage, the
HEPA air filter forces air through a fine mesh and traps small particles
such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander and tobacco smoke.
The HEPA filter of Healthy Climate is also a “True HEPA”. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines True HEPA as “filters with a MERV between 17 and 19 are defined by the IEST test method as having a minimum efficiency between 99.97 percent and 99.999 percent in removing 0.3 μm particles”.
True HEPA air filters are used in medical and laboratory facilities. To prevent the spread of tuberculosis, for instance, the CDCrecommends the use of HEPA filters in isolation rooms for patients with possible tuberculosis. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)also requires establishments to use HEPA filters to control occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases or smokes.
3: It removes chemicals and odors.
Stage 3 of Healthy Climate’s 3-step filtration process has a ½-inch
thick carbon filter for removing chemicals and odors from the air. A carbon
filter is made of carbon-rich materials. As contaminated air flows through
the carbon filter, the contaminants are removed from the air as they stick
to these carbon-rich materials or carbon filter.
If one of your family members or you are very sensitive to odors or there
are odors in your home that are difficult to remove, you may want to
consider the Healthy Climate HEPA system.
Connect with our air quality experts today to learn more about the benefits of the air filtration systems