There aren't many things more frustrating than an air conditioning that refuses to run. A hot, muggy home can make your space incredibly uncomfortable, which is why I have always focused on maintaining my air conditioning system. Unfortunately, I still run into problems from time to time and I am sure that all of you do, which is one of the reasons I decided to build this website. Check out these posts for more information about keeping your system working beautifully, even if you aren't naturally good at fixing things. You never know, making the right changes could dramatically improve your summertime experience.
Can HVAC filter replacement or an HVAC UV light protect your family against viral or bacterial particles? If you want to sanitize the indoor air, take a look at the top questions homeowners have and their answers.
Can an HVAC System Filter Out Microorganisms?
You want to purify the indoor air, remove the germs, and make your home a healthier place. But is a new filter the way to achieve your interior air sanitization goals? The answer to this question depends on the MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting value, rating. Lower MERV-rated filters remove larger particles, such as pet fur or dust from the air.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), MERV rated one through four filters trap less than 20 percent of three- to ten-micron particles. In comparison, high-efficiency particulate air filters (or HEPA filters) remove over 99.9 percent of 0.3-micron particles. These particles include everything from dust and pollen to some types of mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms.
Do HEPA Filters Sanitize the Air?
If you don't choose a high-quality HEPA filter, it's not likely your HVAC system will remove microorganisms from the air. But if you do select a high-MERV rated filter, you can reduce the number of viral or bacterial particles—under the right circumstances.
The ability of a high MERV filter to remove microorganisms depends on several factors. These include the age of the filter, how clean it is, and the indoor air. Older, clogged HEPA filters won't efficiently or effectively remove microorganisms or other small particles from the interior air.
How Can You Sanitize the Air?
A HEPA filter isn't the only way to clear the indoor air. Ultraviolet light (also known as UV light) can kill microorganisms. The light acts as a germicide inside of your HVAC system. This reduces the viral, bacterial, and mold spore count and can lead to cleaner indoor air.
Can You Use a High MERV Filter and a UV Light?
To maximize the effectiveness of your home's system, combine both options (a HEPA or high MERV filter and a UV light system). Again, a HEPA filter won't remove smaller-sized particles if it's clogged. Don't substitute a UV light for a filter cleaning or replacement.
Check your home's HVAC system often. If the filter has visible debris or your furnace or AC unit doesn't heat/cool efficiently, it's time to clean or change the filter.
Who Should Install a Filter or a UV Light?
To maximize the effectiveness of either option, hire a licensed HVAC contractor to help you choose and install a new filter or UV light. The professional's expert knowledge may help you to improve the indoor air quality and reduce the number of microorganisms/particles inside of your home. Look for HVAC filter replacement options near you.