Are Electronic Air Cleaners Worth the Money?

Are Electronic Air Cleaners Worth the Money?If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may have wondered if an air filter can help alleviate your symptoms. The question most homeowners ask is, “are electronic air cleaners worth the money?” Will the benefits outweigh the cost of installation and operation?

Let’s take a look at your air filtration options and see.

HVAC Filters

Your first line of defense against allergens and pollutants is your HVAC filter. That filter can help purify the air but they are meant to protect your HVAC system, not to improve indoor air quality. Certain HEPA filters claim to remove allergens but for many, that is not enough protection.

Air filters also require frequent changing, especially if you have severe allergies, high pollution, or a lot of debris. The special filters can be costly if you are changing them regularly. That is why many people explore the idea of an electronic filter system to augment the filtering system of their HVAC unit.

MERV Rating

Your HVAC filters have a MERV rating between 1 and 16. The MERV rating indicates the efficiency and the size of particulate that the filter can trap.

  • MERV 1 to 4 – These provide basic protection for your HVAC system and yourself and are the least expensive filters to purchase.
  • MERV 6 to 8 – Most of these filters are made of pleated cloth and offer a higher level of filtration compared to the basic filter.
  • MERV 9 to 12 – For residential use, these filters are considered mid-range filters and can trap contaminants as small as 1 micron in diameter.
  • MERV 13 to 16 – These are the best filters you can get and can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter.

Beware of filters with MERV ratings over 16 for residential use. Your filter has to allow air to pass through it freely,  or you can cause damage to your HVAC system. If you find that the best quality filter for residential is not able to purify your air sufficiently, then you might need to look at portable electrostatic air filters or a separate HVAC filtration system.

Portable Electrostatic Air Filters

Like a magnet, air cleaners charge the particles passing through the filter and pull out particles, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. Electrostatic air filters work pretty well for most allergens but may lose their effectiveness depending on the size of the particles.

Small stand-alone electrostatic air filters may work well in small spaces but won’t be effective for the whole home unless you purchase multiple units.

HVAC Filtration Units

You can also install a more permanent air purification and filtration unit in the HVAC system itself. These air filtration units can treat the air before it is pumped throughout your home and provide a larger-scale solution. Check with your HVAC provider for more information and to find out if an HVAC filtration unit can work with your existing system.

Ultimately, the cost of a filtration system needs to be weighed against health concerns and your desire for comfort. Explore your options by contacting your HVAC company and learning more.

Contact IAQ today to schedule your annual HVAC maintenance appointment and learn more about air filtration systems. We serve homes in Highlands Ranch and throughout the Denver Metro Area.