Keeping the air clean in your Sanford, FL, home is an ongoing challenge. New outdoor allergens and contaminants are always finding their way in, and residents regularly add toxins when cooking, lighting candles, and discharging room-freshening sprays. Even your home’s basic building materials off-gas formaldehyde, benzene, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) both night and day. Although your HVAC air filter picks up lint, hair, and other particulate matter, it does little to eliminate gaseous chemicals, dangerous pathogens, and everything else. This is why many homes have additional indoor air quality (IAQ) support. Read on to find out if a whole-house air filtration system is a worthwhile investment for your home.

What Is a Whole-House Air Filtration System?

Whole-house air purification systems are integrated HVAC accessories. Our technicians install these secondary appliances on or in HVAC ducting. Some air cleaners filter incoming air before it enters furnaces and air conditioners. Others filter conditioned air before it’s distributed. However, regardless of their location, air filtration systems extract micro-fine particulates that are small enough to pass through standard HVAC air filter mesh. They also eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi and deactivate VOCs and other gaseous chemicals.

Exploring the Many Benefits of Whole-House Air Purification

As residential buildings develop increasingly airtight envelopes, natural ventilation declines. Efficiency measures like upgrading windows, adding insulation, and sealing up holes in building materials inhibit natural air exchange. With balanced air exchange, stale and contaminated indoor air flows outside, and fresh outdoor air rushes in to replace it.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air can be up to five times more contaminated than outdoor air. As such, lacking sufficient ventilation, many homes naturally have low IAQ.

One of the cheapest strategies for improving IAQ is upgrading from standard HVAC air filters to filters with higher maximum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings. For a relatively nominal cost, you can install an air filter that has a greater surface area, tighter mesh, and a thicker, denser composition overall. High-quality air filters can pick up things like mold, dust mites, and dander that might otherwise go unchecked. The drawback of upgrading HVAC air filters is that denser, thicker mesh inhibits airflow. Unfortunately, very few filter upgrades have an impact on airborne pathogens or concentrations of VOCs.

Whole-house air purification systems address all these IAQ concerns without impacting airflow. In fact, over the long term, their enhanced filtration abilities can even promote improvements in HVAC performance by staving off heavy buildups of debris and preventing airflow obstructions.

Extend the Lifespan of Your HVAC Equipment

By preventing airflow obstructions, air filtration systems limit stress on heaters and air conditioners. This causes heating and cooling appliances to use less energy and sustain less wear over time. Not only might your HVAC equipment last longer with an air purifier installed, but you may even experience fewer costly repair issues throughout its lifetime.

Protect the Health of Building Residents

Airborne allergens like pollen, mold, and dander can send residents into fits of sneezing, coughing, and wheezing. These allergens can cause additional symptoms, like:

  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Frequent skin rashes
  • Sinus and nasal congestion
  • Recurring headaches

Having high concentrations of allergens in your indoor air and a generally poor IAQ overall can additionally lead to sleep troubles, fatigue, and bouts of anxiety and depression.

Unfortunately, the effects of gaseous chemicals could prove far more serious over time. Off-gassing VOCs and other chemical contaminants are known to cause problems like cancer, kidney and heart disease, and an elevated risk of neurodegenerative ailments like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Thus, having an air purifier installed can be the perfect way to protect everyone’s wellness, both now and in the future.

Limit the Spread of Communicable Illnesses

Having one person fall ill in your household shouldn’t mean that everyone else is guaranteed to follow suit. Some whole-house air filtration systems can slow or limit the spread of communicable illnesses. They do this by deactivating bacteria and viruses before they’re circulated by HVAC systems. Many air filters are sophisticated enough to capture and retain the germs found in the aerosols of a sneeze.

Eliminate Stale, Unpleasant Odors

Whole-house air filtration systems also offer odor control. With a unit installed in your home, you can cook strong-smelling foods without making your living space smell for hours. Air purifiers can even eliminate pungent smoke odors from burning cigarettes and cigars.

Are Whole-House Air Purifiers Better Than Portable Air Purifiers?

There’s a big difference between having a whole-house air purifier installed as an HVAC system accessory and setting up a portable air filtration unit. Whole-house air purifiers purify all the air that’s distributed throughout buildings. With each cycle, a whole-house air filter will lower the concentrations of all airborne contaminants. To compare, freestanding, portable units can only extract contaminants from the rooms they’re in.

Understanding the Difference Between Fixed and Fixable IAQ Concerns

The real test of whether an air filtration system is a worthwhile investment for your home is whether your IAQ concerns are fixed or fixable. Fixable IAQ concerns are problems that affect your indoor air humidity, create conditions for mold, or add new contaminants at a higher-than-normal rate but can still be repaired. For instance, if you have slow or hidden leaks in your crawlspaces, basement, attic, or slab, any mold problems in your home are probably best resolved by finding and repairing these leaks. Installing an air purifier in a leaky home will barely mitigate the resulting IAQ concerns, if at all.

Sometimes indoor air quality is low because homeowners have poorly covered sump pumps. Installing a new sump pump cover will stop the influx of radon gas and improve your IAQ over the long term. An air filtration system will not.

Another fixable IAQ concern is having a backyard that lacks landscaping. If you don’t have grass, decorative rocks, or soil control measures in place, loose, particulate debris can blow into your home. Taking care of landscaping deficiencies before installing any IAQ accessories will provide the best results.

What Are Fixed IAQ Concerns?

Fixed IAQ concerns are indoor air quality problems that don’t have fixable underlying causes. For instance, if mold naturally proliferates just outside your home, you might have a constant stream of active mold spores finding their way indoors. Given that new interior paint, flooring, flooring adhesives, and particle board off-gas VOCs during the first one to five years that follow installation, you can consider your latest home improvements as fixed IAQ concerns as well. In these and other instances, installing an air filtration system may be the only worthwhile solution.

How to Know If a Whole-House Air Filtration System Is Right for Your Home

Sometimes finding the right integrated HVAC accessory isn’t as straightforward as homeowners hope. For example, if you’re battling recurring problems with mold but can’t seem to find the responsible leak, you may simply need help regulating your indoor humidity. Installing a whole-house dehumidifier to keep your indoor humidity at 60% or lower could solve your mold problem.

To learn more about your indoor air quality and the exact IAQ challenges you’re facing, you can schedule a professional IAQ assessment. These assessments list all airborne contaminants present along with their respective concentrations. They also measure indoor humidity levels and make need-specific recommendations for integrated IAQ improvements.

We help homeowners in Sanford optimize their home comfort and their indoor air quality. We offer exceptional air conditioning, heating, and ductless HVAC services. We also provide advanced IAQ solutions, duct cleaning, and preventative maintenance plans. Proudly serving the region since 1986, we’re always here to help. To schedule an appointment or request a hassle-free quote, contact American Air, Plumbing & Electric today.

Meet the Author
Frank Schmidt
Frank Schmidt

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