Importance of Indoor Air Quality

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We spent approximately 90% of our time indoor. With practicing social distancing, quarantine, isolation or shelter-in strategies now during COV-19 pandemic , we even spend more time at home.  Indoor quality plays even more important role for our health since allergies, asthma, lung cancer and heart problems have all been linked to poor air quality. And The EPA has ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental dangers.

Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the area. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.

Pollutant Sources

There are many sources of indoor air pollution. These can include:

  • Fuel-buring combustion appliances
  • Tobacco products
  • Building materials and furnishings as diverse as:
    • Deteriorated asbestos-containing insulation
    • Newly installed flooring, upholstery or carpet
    • Cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products
  • Products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies
  • Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
  • Excess moisture

According to the NAFA (National Air Filtration Association) 95-98% of indoor air is made up of particles smaller than one micron. Bacteria, smoke, viruses, and lung damaging dust all fit into this category.    The filter you have in your home is designed to protect your heating and cooling system between its annual check-up and cleanings. It is NOT designed to protect you and your family. These filters don’t even keep your system clean much less filter out the other contaminants in your air. Trying to catch airborne particles that are harmful to humans with a standard filter is like using a tennis racket to kill mosquitoes. You may get a few bugs, but it’s pure luck when you do.   So having an extra air filters is one of the ways to enhance indoor air quality.  So how to choose a good quality air filter?

Most consumers have heard the acronym HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters in advertisements from manufactures of vacuum cleaners and air purifier products. But it’s easy to be confused and gloss over the fine print.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) technical standard specification for HEPA filters used by DOE contractors defines a HEPA as the filter shall exhibit a minimum efficiency of 99.97% at a test aerosol diameter of 0.3 micrometers (μm) in diameter from the air that passes through the filter.

Pay special attention to the last sentence because it is the numbers 99.97% and 0.3-micrometer that tell the only story that matters when it comes to home air purification. There are manufacturers use True HEPA (which captures up to 99.975% of airborn particles measuring 0.3 micrometers (μm) in diameter that pass through the filter) to different them from other manutacturers who use the term “True HEPA” are doing so because there are several misleading terms used by others such as “HEPA-type,” “HEPA-like,” HEPA-style,” or “99% HEPA.” “These would represent filter-based systems that do not satisfy the HEPA standard or may not have been independently tested.

That being said, let’s just summerize what we just talked about above, there are 3 criteria to choose a good quality air filter:

1.  Looking for True HEPA labels.

2. Pay attention to the description such as “captures up to 99.975% of airborne particles measuring 0.3 micrometers (μm) in diameter that pass through the filter”

3. Design is important–looking for a modern, minimalism design which will either blend in your interiors or at least will not stand out and pleasant to look at.

 

We have 2 recommendations here:

The Sharp FP-F50UW Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifier with True HEPA

The Sharp FP-F50UW Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifier with True HEPA Filtration is ideal for small rooms in your home. This air purifier model effectively reduces pollen, dust, pet dander, smoke, germs, bacteria, viruses, odors, mold, and fungus in your living space. There is a dual stage filter system including an activated carbon filter and long-life True HEPA filter, which captures 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns from the air that passes through it. Patented Plasmacluster Ion Technology disperses positively and negatively charged ions throughout the room to safely break down microorganisms and odors (even those trapped in fabric, carpeting, and drapery!). It is an ideal solution for allergy sufferers, asthmatics, pet owners, and smokers, and best used in a bedroom, living room, study, or exercise room. There are 3 manual fan speeds. The air purifier unit has LibraryQuietTM operation (as quiet as 29 decibels, or the sound of rustling leaves) and is ENERGY STAR(R) rated, so you can run the unit continuously while saving money and energy.

Shop Sharp FP-F50UW Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifier

FP-F50U_HO_low_res
$197 at Home Depot

 

SHARP HEPA AIR PURIFIER WITH PLASMACLUSTER® ION TECHNOLOGY FOR MEDIUM ROOMS (FPK50UW)

A breath of fresh air in any medium-sized room, the Sharp FPK50UW Plasmacluster Ion Air Purifier with True HEPA Filtration effectively reduces pollen, dust, pet dander, smoke, germs, bacteria, viruses, odors, mold, and fungus in your living space. There is a three-stage filter system including an activated carbon filter and long-life True HEPA filter, which captures 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns from the air that passes through it. The micro screen pre-filter for larger particles is washable and helps to extend the life of your filters.

Patented Plasmacluster Ion Technology disperses positively and negatively charged ions throughout the room to safely break down microorganisms and odors (even those trapped in fabric, carpeting, and drapery!) The FPK50UW air purifier is an ideal solution for allergy sufferers, asthmatics, pet owners, and smokers, and best used in a bedroom, living room, study, or exercise room.

“Plasmacluster Express Clean” gives you sixty minutes of high-density Plasmacluster Ion production and high-fan speed for an extra boost of clean when you need it, and a hands-free return to the prior mode when complete. The unit has LibraryQuiet™ operation (as quiet as 22 decibels, or the sound of rustling leaves) and is ENERGY STAR® rated, so you can run the unit continuously while saving money and energy.

SHOP SHARP FPK50UW HEPA HEPA AIR PURIFIER WITH PLASMACLUSTER® ION TECHNOLOGY FOR MEDIUM ROOMS (FPK50UW)

FPK50UW_HO_TRANS

 

 

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