Air cleaners, air purifiers, HEPA filters … what exactly are all these techniques for cleaning and purifying the air in your McKinney, Texas, home? The right air cleaner or purifier technology assists your HVAC system and improves your indoor air quality by tackling the particulates that might be causing your allergies or collecting in your ducts. However, choosing a random IAQ technology might not address the air quality issues you’re having. We’ll break down the types for you so you can make an informed decision.

Basic and HEPA Filters

The most common type of filter, also known as an air cleaner, is made of foam, fiberglass, cotton, or another particle-trapping material. Basic filters work simply: The air passes through the filter, either through your HVAC system or independently through a free-standing model. The particulates in the air get trapped in the filter. You have to change the filter every month or two once they fill up with particulates. To determine the strength of your air filter, check the MERV rating. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter. HEPA filters are the most powerful in this category, but you’ll need an HVAC system that’s built to handle HEPA.

Ionizers and Ozone Generators

Though they produce slightly different molecules, ionizers and ozone generators work in a very similar way. They produce either ions or ozone, both of which have a charge. Normal particles floating in the air have a neutral charge, so when they come in contact with the ions or the ozone they end up with a charge, too. That causes them to stick to surfaces around the room instead of floating through the air.

Be aware: Some people, especially those with respiratory issues, might find their lungs irritated by the ozone in the air. Use other filters if you notice this problem.

Electrostatic Filters

Like ionizers and ozone generators, electrostatic filters charge the particles that are in the air. After the particles are charged, this type of air purifier filters the particles by collecting them within the machine. You can remove the plates that most models use to trap the charged particles and wash them before reusing them. Electrostatic filters do produce ozone, so be aware. Carrier’s Infinity Air Purifier GAPA uses electrostatic charges to kill the particulates, microbes, and mold spores it traps within its top-notch air filter.

Activated Carbon Filters

You usually use an activated carbon filter with another type of air purifier. The porous carbon in an activated carbon filter traps odors and gasses that pass through it, removing them from the air. Some are strong enough to tackle volatile organic compounds, too. Some larger particles also get trapped in the carbon’s pores. When you notice your air filter isn’t quite tackling the smells you want to eliminate from your home, an activated carbon filter is a great solution.

UV Lights

Ultraviolet lights are germicidal. An air purifier with a UV light has the power to take care of microbes, sometimes even viruses. You can get UV lights installed within your HVAC system. Have one installed over the coil, where mold and other unwanted particulates grow. Install another near the air handler to purify the air before it moves throughout your house. Carrier’s Performance series offers two models of germicidal UV lights, which we can install in your HVAC system to give you virtually germ-free air.

You don’t have to choose just one air cleaning technology to improve your home’s IAQ. Sometimes the best solution involves pairing a few together, like a high-MERV filter and a UV lamp for someone suffering from asthma. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing the type of filter you use in your HVAC system.

Let the pros at Bill Joplin’s come take a look at your HVAC system. Tell us about the IAQ issues you’re experiencing. Once we get to the root of the problem, we’ll recommend the air purification technology that will work best for you. Carrier offers many great products, so we can work with your budget to provide you with clean air at a price you can handle. Call us today at 888-414-4655 to make an appointment.