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Beyond the Filters – Home Air Purification Options

Conditional air filters do a great job with most particulate pollution. Unfortunately, in the extreme heat of Arizona, high-efficiency filters can starve an HVAC system of the airflow it needs to provide maximum indoor home comfort. For home comfort optimization during peak heat during Arizona summers, Semper Fi recommends a non-pleated, fiberglass filter. For customers with indoor air quality concerns, there are additional options for the homeowner in need of hospital-quality air purification without the use of high-efficiency, pleated filters that can restrict airflow.

Bipolar Ionization

Bipolar Ionization splits molecules in the air, including water vapor, into positively and negatively charged ions. The opposite charges attract each other to form a compound. The positive and negative ions surround air particles, and the added mass causes the air particles to be captured by an air filter and removed from the air. The positive and negative ions also surround and pull hydrogen away from pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and mold spores. With the hydrogen pulled away from the protein coat, the virus cannot infect. With bacterium or mold, when the essential hydrogen is removed, the cell is ripped open and the pathogen dies, preventing infection.

Electrostatic Air Filters

Electrostatic Air Filters are most often used to remove dust, dander, mold, or pollen from an indoor space. Along with regular cleaning and adequate ventilation, an electric air cleaner installed into your HVAC system can help make your home more allergen-free. Electrostatic filters are magnets for dust. Like the positive and negative sides of a magnet that attract each other, the particles passing through a filter are given an electrical charge before they pass plates in the filter where they are attracted to the opposite charge. Under ideal conditions, the pollen and other allergens floating in your home air get stuck to the plates and are removed from the air circulating in your home.

However, everyday conditions are not ideal. The electrostatic filters need to be cleaned regularly. More importantly, continuous use of electrostatic filtration will raise the level of ozone in a home and cause other problems for anyone who suffers from allergies.

There is another solution. Allergy filters that come with an electrostatic charge will attract and hold dust, dander, mold, and pollen. These filters are flat rather than the more common pleated filters. They are also less expensive than high MERV-rated HEPA filters. The drawback is that eventually they will reach their load capacity and need to be changed. Unlike pleated filters, they can be washed and reused.

Ultraviolet Light Air Purification

Ultraviolet Light Air Purification is a viable alternative for scrubbing viruses and other pathogens from home air. UV light is the shortest wavelength light; you know it as the part of sunlight that causes sunburn. With home air purification, you are not directly exposed to the UV light; it is installed in your ventilation duct system, downstream of a high-quality air filter.

After a day at the beach, you will likely experience radiation burns resulting in redness of your skin. The redness is a direct result of damage to your skin from UV radiation. In moderate quantities, it is relatively harmless. Extreme exposure can cause skin cancer. Unlike our skin, bacteria are sensitive to even small amounts of UV exposure. They are harmless after effective exposure to germicidal ultraviolet light.

For a whole home installation, the UV lights will be installed inside ductwork and will not be directly exposed to you. The bulbs in UV lights generally need to be changed once a year but vary by manufacturer.

Semper Fi Heating & Cooling can help you choose from these and other home air purification systems to find the system that is right for your family.

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