When it comes to improving the air quality in your West Palm Beach, FL home, installing an air purifying ionizer is one of the best ways to do so. However, there are several important considerations to take into account when it comes to installing an ionizer near a ventilation system. First, proper placement within the HVAC system is essential for optimal performance of both components. Adequate ventilation must also be provided around the unit so that its efficiency is not hindered by external environmental conditions, such as cold or hot drafts.
When it comes to installing an air ionizer near a water source, there are some special considerations to consider. To ensure the best performance and longevity of your device, it's essential to clean all parts of the ionizer regularly. This includes vacuuming dust or debris from inside the unit, as well as cleaning exterior surfaces with warm water and a mild detergent. Next, be sure to dry these areas completely, as the remaining moisture could cause corrosion inside the device over time.
Ozone is a colorless gas found naturally in the Earth's upper atmosphere and protects us from harmful ultraviolet solar rays, although it can also form at ground level. It is known to cause the formation of free radicals in biological systems, which damage tissues. One mechanism of damage is the result of ozone-olefin reactions and another of the reaction of ozone with electron donors (such as glutathione). Inhaling relatively small amounts of ozone can cause coughing, chest pain, throat irritation, and shortness of breath.
Ozone-generating air filters are devices that purposely create ozone to clean the air through chemical interactions that alter the compounds of the pollutants, but this is also the mechanism by which ozone exerts harmful health effects. In addition, ozone is generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution at lower concentrations. In other words, if the ozone concentration in the room is high enough to be effective in cleaning the air, it is also high enough to create an inhalation hazard for people in the room. In addition, ozone can even react with chemicals in the air to create harmful by-products (e.g., formaldehyde).
For these reasons, EH&S does not recommend the use of electronic air purifiers or ozone generators under any circumstances. Electronic air filters (including ionizers, electrostatic precipitators, hydroxyl generators, and ultraviolet light) use electrical voltage to convert oxygen molecules, or other species, into their charged ionic components that inactivate air pollutants, in a process called bipolar ionization (BPI). The ionic components of oxygen are reactive radicals that are capable of removing hydrogen from other molecules. In the case of bipolar ionization, positive and negative ions surround the air particles, destroying the germs and pathogens present, and the added mass helps the air particles to fall to the ground and pass through the building's air filter.
However, BPI can emit ozone and other free radical species as a by-product and may be less effective than other cleaning technologies, as charged particles in the air sometimes adhere to room surfaces (e.g., floors and walls) instead of being filtered. Filtering air filters pass air through a filter, where contaminating particles or gases are isolated, and return clean air to the room. There is some popular controversy surrounding the extent to which air filters can reduce the presence of larger particles (such as pollen, household dust, allergens, mold spores, and animal dander), but most of these large particles settle on surfaces in the home or office and cannot be removed by an air filter unless they are altered and re-suspended in the air. Therefore, regular cleaning is still considered to be one of the best ways to eliminate larger allergens.
Air cleaning units have air volume limitations that are identified by a “clean air supply rate” (CADR). A CADR is the cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air from which all particles of a given size distribution have been removed. The CADR indicates the volume of filtered air supplied by an air filter per unit of time, with three different scores for smoke, pollen and dust representing different particle sizes. The higher the CADR number of each contaminant, the faster the unit filters out contaminants in a particular size range.
A carbon filter is most suitable for cleaning gaseous VOCs from the air when new furniture is emitting gases. However if you notice an odor in a room contact EH&S first for an evaluation as they can perform an evaluation and develop a remediation plan. HEPA filters are better at cleaning particles from the air with 0.3 micron diameter specification responding to worst case scenario or most penetrating particle size (MPPS). Larger or smaller particles are trapped with even greater efficiency.
If you use worst-case particle size you get a worst-case efficiency rating (i.e., Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values or MERV) indicating a filter's ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm). EH&S recommends HEPA filters for particles and aerosols and all filters need regular replacement as specified by manufacturer in product user manual. If filter is dirty and overloaded it won't work well so with proper care and maintenance portable air filter will continue to work properly and filter out contaminants from your home's atmosphere. Consider buying replacement filters with your air filter as carbon filters can passively absorb VOCs from air so make sure they remain sealed until installed in unit to extend their lifespan. According to EPA there is currently no evidence suggesting reasonable number of indoor plants would be effective in removing significant amounts of contaminants from indoor air so regular cleaning remains best way to eliminate larger allergens.