IAQ Buyer's Guide
How to choose the right air quality system for your home.
Your home is a system and your air must be treated with a “system” approach. Any serious system should include the following:
- A reliable source of fresh air that can be introduced on a scheduled basis.
- A high efficiency filter to remove dust, dander, pollen and such. Look for the MERV rating. MERV 8 is a minimum. The higher the number, the better. A MERV 11 or MERV 13 trap smaller and smaller particles. Your installer should check the load the filter places on your central fan. Some filters can cause the fan to work too hard and fail prematurely.
- Charcoal filters add an extra layer of benefit by reducing odors, smoke and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
- UV protection. Ultraviolet light has a germ killing effect* on airborne bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungi. The higher the output, the better. Two lamps are better than one. Beware of lamps that produce Ozone. Ozone smells good but can be harmful to your family’s health. Check the EPA website for more details.
- Odor and VOC elimination. In addition to charcoal filtration, look for products that offer Photocatalytic Oxidation or PCO. True PCO combines UV light and a photocatalytic reaction to eliminate smoke, VOCs, and odors without using ozone.
- Control. Does this system use the central fan and your central HVAC system to circulate air throughout the entire house? Does it operate the fan independent of the heat and air to ensure quality air year round?
If your home doesn't have a central HVAC system with ductwork, look for portable air quality products that offer as many of the above benefits as possible. (See the our Portable Models for an example.)
Consult with your HVAC/IAQ specialist to choose the right system for your home.
To get idea of the right system for your home, download the Healthy Home System™ iAQ app to configure a system for your home based on your HVAC system, number of bedrooms, and square footage.
*Some airborne organisms are sterilized by UV and die before they can reproduce. Some are eliminated immediately when they come close to the UV lamp.
Learn more about our Healthy Home System™ and IAQ products or locate a Contractor.