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How Do Electronic Air Cleaners Work?

The air that you breathe in your home every day may not be as clean as you think it is. Sure, you vacuum and dust whenever you can, but this sometimes just kicks up dust and sends it back into the air. But what about your home air conditioning and heating system’s filter? Most ducted HVAC units contain a filter that can eliminate particles from the air as it passes into your unit. But this filter is only effective at straining out larger particles. A typical home air filter can only remove particles about 5 micrometers in length, while more efficient home air filters with a higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating may remove particles of 1 micrometer.

This means that your filter may miss hazardous particles in the air that can aggravate allergies or other respiratory symptoms, such as mold spores, smoke residue, and bacteria like legionella. An electronic air cleaner, when installed by a professional in conjunction with your HVAC system, can help to eliminate over 99% of the contaminants that would otherwise pass by. So how do these highly effective systems work?

Electronic air cleaners depend on an ionization process to give a charge to particles in the air. There are two basic types of electronic air cleaners to help improve indoor air quality in Quakertown: electrostatic precipitators and ion generators. It can be difficult to tell whether these systems are operating properly due to their quiet operation, so you’ll want to have a professional install and test it first.

Electrostatic precipitators charge particles as the air is sucked into the unit. Particles are given an electrical charge from ions moving back and forth in the system, and these particles then accumulate on two flat plates in the unit which have the opposite charge. You usually have to clean these plates every month to three months, depending on usage.

Ion generators are a little different, instead sending out ions to charge particles all around a room. Particles receive a charge so that they can cling to surfaces around the room such as a curtain or the walls. This way you won’t have to worry about breathing in contaminants, and they’ll likely be taken care of during your next home cleaning spree.

The professionals at Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling can help you make sure you’ve gotten the right type of unit to protect your indoor air quality in Quakertown.

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