Today's weather tight homes trap airborne particles inside where everyday household contaminants can become increasingly concentrated. The result: indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than the air outdoors
There's Something in the Air
You're not alone. The majority of people are not aware of the poor quality of some indoor air. Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, either at home or at their workplace, where they can be exposed to very high levels of airborne particles. In fact, the EPA ranks indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. Furthermore, according to the EPA, levels of many airborne pollutants may be 25-100 times higher than outdoors. Most of the airborne particles cannot even be seen.
The most efficient air filter for improving air quality is the electronic air cleaner. Air returning to the furnace or air handler passes through a screen to trap any large dust particles or objects. Using line voltage (upwards of 12,000 volts) is sent through power grids stretched across the air stream immediately behind the screen. Opposites attract, and dust particles collect on the plates. Smoke is microscopic particles, and is trapped as well. Ozone is created from the charged air, which helps kill bacteria and odors.
Electronic air cleaners will usually operate at 99% efficiency, allowing little to no dust to pass through. The dirtier they get, the lower the effectiveness, so clean grids are a must. Before removing the screens and grids for cleaning, it is imperative to shut the power off and wait a few seconds to allow the grids to lose the static charge. They may b washed in the dishwasher or in a tub of hot soapy water.
If the grids are not completely dry when installing them, do not turn the power back on; damage to the power pack can occur as the water will short out the grids. If in doubt about dryness, leave the power switch off for a day or two; allowing the air flow to dry the system. Arrows on the grids will display the correct direction of air flow Improper installation will render them useless.
Most electronic air cleaners have a light to show operating power. If the light is not on when the system is running and the switch is on, there are two possibilities. The power PAC has failed and the power has been disconnected, or the the unit has an air switch to sense air flow and charge the grids and it has failed. Either repair means opening up the power pack, exposing dangerously high voltage. This task should be left to a qualified technician.
Testing shows high efficiency air cleaners collect particles known to trigger allergic reactions. A recently completed trial by a nationally recognized independent laboratory tested the ability of the Honeywell electronic whole house air cleaner to collect specific bio aerosols from the air passing through the unit. The aerosols included mold, fungi, bacteria and ragweed pollen.
Hing allergen-capturing performance. As you can see, the models tested demonstrated very high collection efficiencies against these allergens, compared to the performance of a standard 1-inch furnace filter. In fact the top performing product, the F Electronic Air Cleaner captures twice as much ragweed pollen, 8 times as much bacteria, and 19 times as much mold particles as a standard 1-inch furnace filter
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