The Differences Between Air Filtration and Air Cleaning

The Differences Between Air Filtration and Air CleaningKeeping your indoor air fresh and clean can be a challenge, especially during the winter months when you are more likely to keep doors and windows closed. There are two choice available for keeping particulates and other contaminants out of your indoor air: air filtration and air cleaning.

Air Filtration

Air filtration involves the removal of particulates such as dust, pollen, fibers, and other small pieces of debris from your indoor air. The air filters in your heating and cooling systems are designed to provide this type of filtration. Air circulating through your HVAC system passes through the filter where the particulates are caught and held in the material of the filter, often a type of spun fiberglass or pleated cloth.

Higher quality filters with a higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating can capture smaller particles. More efficient types of air filtration systems are also available that can be added to your HVAC equipment. HEPA filters, for example, can remove extremely small particulates from your indoor air.

There are some disadvantages to air filtration systems:

  • They can remove only those particulates that are pulled back into your HVAC system through the air return.
  • They cannot remove biological contaminants such as bacteria and viruses.
  • They cannot remove odors, fumes, and gases.

Air Cleaning

Air cleaning systems, on the other hand, are designed to remove not only particulates but also biological contaminants and odors. They usually combine a high-quality filtration system for removing physical particulates with additional elements that remove biological pollutants. These include:

  • Ultraviolet light: UV light can destroy bacteria and other potentially harmful microorganisms.
  • Activated charcoal layers: Charcoal is effective at absorbing and removing fumes and odors from air passing through a layer of it.
  • Electrostatic precipitators: These devices transfer an electrical charge to particulates which are then attracted to a collection plate, removing them from the air.

Air Assurance provides top-quality HVAC services to customers in Tulsa and the nearby communities. Contact us today for more information on air filtration and for expert help with deciding if a filtration or purification system is best for your needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273.