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Understanding the Differences Between Air Purifiers and Air Filters


When it comes to the air that you breathe in your home, you want it to be as clean as possible. After all, contaminants of all kinds can cause headaches, respiratory irritations, illnesses, and foul odors. Therefore, it's important to understand the best methods to use to keep your home's air as clean as possible.



In the world of residential air cleaning, two devices stand out from the crowd: air purifiers and air filters. Understanding the differences between these devices will help you understand which of them is best for your Metairie home so that you can help your family breathe the cleanest air.

System Protection
Every HVAC system has an air filter. That's because air filters are designed first and foremost to protect your HVAC system from dust and debris. However, in the process of filtering out the contaminants that can harm your HVAC system, air filters also remove contaminants that can harm you.

Given that every HVAC system is equipped with an air filter, you don't have to decide whether or not you want to use one in your home. Your main decision will come in choosing the MERV rating of your filter. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. This rating measures how tightly wound the fibers in a particular filter are. The more tightly the fibers are wound, the fewer particles that can get through the filter.

Basic air filters recommended by Lightning Services Inc. usually have a MERV rating of around three or four. These filters are sufficient to collect the larger dust particles that are visible with the naked eye. This level of filtering will adequately protect your HVAC system and will help reduce respiratory irritation. However, MERV ratings go all the way to level 20, meaning you have many more options.

If you have family members who are sensitive to various allergens, then a filter with a rating in the low teens is a good idea. The most important thing to remember, regardless of which filter you choose, is that a filter that is more tightly wound provides fewer gaps for air to flow through. This means that your HVAC system will have to work harder, potentially resulting in excess wear and tear.

Leave Nothing Behind: Air Purifiers
Another option for cleaning the air in your home is an air purifier. Unlike air filters, which are attached to every HVAC system, air purifiers are entirely optional. Air purifiers have two to three stages to eliminate various types of contaminants to ensure the air in your home is as clean as possible.

The first stage of filtration in every air purifier is the mechanical filtration stage. This stage uses a HEPA filter to capture particulate matter down to a very small size. Essentially, this stage is the same as an air filter on your HVAC system from Lightning Services Inc., except the filter can remove much smaller particles than most HVAC air filters.

The second stage of filtration, typically, is chemical filtration. This stage is meant to remove a variety of contaminants that are potentially harmful as well as those that are simply a nuisance. Chemical filtration, usually accomplished with activated charcoal, can remove harmful volatile organic compounds. These contaminants are toxic gases that are released from a variety of sources in your home. Additionally, chemical filtration works to remove foul odors from the air.

One final stage of filtration is not shared across all air purifiers. This stage is UV filtration. This stage is meant to reduce the amount of potential disease-causing germs in the air by using UV light to kill bacteria and to cause damage to viruses. If you have family members with sensitive immune systems, this is a good type of filtration to have.

Knowledge for Your Needs
With so many different types of filtration available, it takes special skills to be able to sort through the options to determine the route that's best for you. When you consider the impact on your HVAC system, it's good to partner with Lightning Services Inc. to ensure you balance efficiency with clean air.

At Lightning Services Inc., we know about the different options and can install them for you. We can install air purifiers as well as new air conditioners and furnaces. We can also repair and maintain your HVAC equipment to ensure it enjoys a long life. On top of that, we offer other comfort-enhancing services, including dehumidifiers and duct cleaning.

If you have other home repair needs, such as electrical issues, we have a full range of electrical repair and installation services to take care of you. We can also install generators to keep the lights on even when the power is out.

Over our 40+ years in business, we have gained the trust of countless customers. We work hard to maintain that trust, which is why we're a proud member of the NexStar Network and employ only NATE-certified technicians. These commitments have resulted in the five-star reviews we proudly display on our website. If you are concerned about your indoor air quality, feel free to give contact Lightning Services Inc. today to learn all the ways we can help with your climate comfort.
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