Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Indoor Air Quality is an extremely important component to not only your health by your HVAC System, but one that is overlooked by 90% of Americans. Most of us don’t think about our daily routines and the air that we are breathing in, much less how much time we spend inside with a closed air system.
Return Air & Supply Air
Return Air are the vents that pull air up into your ducts and send them through your filter and system to either dehumidify (cooled air) your air or heat your air. The Supply vents are the vents that you feel the air coming out of, which is the dehumidified or cooled air or heated air that has cycled through your ducts, and heating/cooling equipment.
So the filter is what cleans that air right? Right?
Well, that’s the Million Dollar question – is your filter “purifying your air” and is your filter properly filtering without damaging your equipment? Let’s explore those questions:
No your filter is in no way “purifying your air”. That’s not its job. It is there to catch the bigger particles and dust to some degree at a first level basis. And No filter on the market that advertises Allergy or Dander enhanced filtration is doing anything different than a standard pleated filter. In fact, it’s most likely doing damage by restricting airflow and causing your blower motor to work harder.
Let’s talk about Air Flow!
All systems are designed (or should be) based on the square footage of your home and based on that square footage your systems Tonnage should be between 400 – 500 square feet a Ton. So a House that is 2000 Square feet should be sized at a 4 Ton. It can be lower if your home has properties like foam insulation, dual pane or weatherized windows, more shade around the home providing a cooling factor in your outdoor temp air etc. If the ducting and your System are not properly sized, it will cause more discomfort both by being oversized and undersized. There is ABSOLUTELY a thing called too big or too much air!
The REAL Air Purification steps
A UV light installed into your Supply Air side of the inside unit. They are great for taking care of about 80% of germs and bacteria. Properly done and replaced annually (the bulbs) with the right filter is a good option combined with filtering.
The right filter. That's not a one size fits all answer. Many factors should go into determining what is "best" for your home. Filtering can happen in a few places, but should never happen at both. Your system may have a filter base at the Furnace or Inside unit, or it could have return air filtering located throughout your home. It is great to filter at one or the other, but not both.
HEPA Air Purifier, which eliminates odors and purifies the air. It removes up to 99% of germs, bacteria, including mersa, pet dander and particles you cannot even see. HEPA works on a bypass method, which allows your air to be filter and purified without putting any pressure on your blower motor. This option is a "all in one" filter + UV Light + odor removal system.
The Ultimate Clean Air Solution - The V in HVAC
Okay, so we've talked about good + better filtering options, UV Lights and Whole House HEPA Systems, now let's talk Fresh Air Ventilation. ERV. Energy Recovery Ventilation.
ERV is a simple, and very effective way of discharging air from your home, and bringing in fresh air from the outside. It's a simple exchange of air that allows all of your homes stale inside air to be exchanged with fresh outside air up to 8 times a day.
But doesn't bringing outside air in defeat the purpose of the great filtering options and/or loose heated/cooled air costing more energy? Simply put No. The R in ERV is Recovery, allowing for up to 60% of the homes already cooled or heated air to be retained and picked back up with the outside air coming in. Combined with the right filtering options for your home this is best complete Air Purification Process.