The Best Air Purifiers
Air purifiers work to clean the air in your home, but you want to make sure you’re investing in a trusted, proven product. Now more than ever we all want to be confident the air we’re breathing in our homes is safe and healthy.
At Santa Fe Air, we offer air purifiers to improve indoor air quality in your home. Read on to learn more about indoor air quality from Kansas City’s air purification experts.
Indoor air quality facts
Let’s start with a baseline about indoor air quality. In our (worthwhile) efforts to build homes that are more efficient with energy usage, we have created homes that are more airtight. Unfortunately for us, indoor air quality is often two to five times (or much, much more) more polluted than the worst outside air. So if that energy-efficient construction doesn’t incorporate sufficient mechanical ventilation for appropriate air exchange, you’re trapped inside with dirty air.
Yes, that’s right. Even with all of the cars likely going up and down your street on a given day, you get a fresher breath of air when you step outside than in your own home. Unfortunately, most Americans spend 90 percent of their time inside, if not more.
Common indoor air pollutants and sources
The most common pollutants that can lead to health issues are:
- Carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and smoke
- Radon, pet dander, and mold
- Pesticides, lead, and asbestos
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from products like essential oil diffusers
Typically, sources for indoor air pollution include:
- Fuel-burning combustion appliances
- Tobacco products
- Building materials and furnishings such as:
- Deteriorated asbestos-containing insulation
- Newly installed flooring or upholstery
- Cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products
- Products for household cleaning, personal care, or hobbies
- Central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices
- Excess moisture
There are other factors that affect indoor air quality, such as the air exchange rate, outdoor climate, weather conditions, and occupant behavior.
The effects of poor indoor air quality
There are some immediate, short-term effects people experience when they encounter pollutants in their air. Those include irritation in the eyes, nose and throat; headaches; dizziness; and fatigue.
Repeated exposure to pollutants over time can lead to long-term health effects that can be debilitating and even fatal. Long-term exposure can cause respiratory diseases, heart disease, and cancer. Here are some well-established pollutants and the associated risks:
- Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon forms from the breakdown of natural uranium deposits in the soil and enters your home through fractured bedrock, soil, well water, loose fittings, ground water, cracks, drains, sumps, and windows. It usually concentrates in the lower levels of your home since it enters through the ground.
- Exposure to elevated carbon monoxide levels indoors can be lethal. Carbon monoxide poisoning can also lead to terrifying psychological side effects like extreme paranoia, agitation, confusion, depression, hallucinations, and memory problems.
- Legionella bacterium has been associated with poorly maintained air conditioning and heating systems and leads to episodes of Legionnaires’ disease.
- A swath of indoor air pollutants are asthma triggers that can cause asthmatics to have severe attacks. These include dust mites, mold, pet dander, tobacco smoke, cockroach allergens, particulate matter, and more.
How to test indoor air quality
You know your indoor air is polluted, but you probably don’t know by how much. Risk factors for indoor air quality change based on environmental factors as well as your own habits. There are some steps you can take to evaluate your own indoor air quality.
- Purchase an indoor air quality monitor to consistently test and report on the pollution levels inside your home. The average price for an indoor air quality monitor is going to be at least $100. They test for things like humidity level, particulate matter, chemical pollutants, and sometimes carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide. For advice on testing your indoor air quality in Kansas City, contact the experts at Santa Fe Air!
- Install carbon monoxide alarms. LET US REPEAT THIS AGAIN FOR THOSE IN THE BACK: INSTALL CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS. If you have any gas appliances in your home you should have multiple alarms. Everything that burns gas creates carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is tasteless, odorless, colorless, and FATAL. Even if you don’t have gas appliances, you need carbon monoxide alarms.
- Conduct a radon test in your home with a short-term radon test. Like carbon monoxide, radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Kansas residents can get a discount on radon tests through the National Radon Program Services at Kansas State University and Missouri residents can request a test kit through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Radon tests are easy to conduct, you simply leave the test in the highest risk area of your home (the lowest levels) and allow it to sit for the recommended time (usually between two and seven days). You should close windows and doors around the test area and avoid using it until the test is complete to eliminate external factors that can affect radon counts. Once the test is complete, you mail it to the manufacturer’s lab for analysis.
What about testing for mold?
You’ve probably seen a ton of home mold tests. They’re inexpensive and easy to find. They’re also completely useless. Don’t waste your time or money. There IS mold in your home. There’s no reason to buy a test, because having us tell you right here and right now is exactly as accurate as the test. What matters is how much mold is in your air and what the source of that mold is.
What’s that you say? Shouldn’t we be talking about what type of mold is in your home? Nope! That’s another misconception about mold. Everyone has heard of the dreaded black mold and believe that being near it will cause them to inhale toxins. It’s just not true. There are thousands upon thousands of mold types, most of which don’t produce toxins. Even if you are unlucky enough to have a toxin-producing mold, it’s probably only dangerous if you eat it. So, don’t eat any funny molds you find around, but other than that, you’re not in any immediate life-threatening danger.
Now, if you do need to test for mold, professionals can help. A professional mold inspection will be your best chance at learning whether you have to worry about the mold in your home or not. The types of symptoms that mold can aggravate in a person are similar to any other indoor air pollutant, and many folks find that installing a whole home air purifier solves their problem.
Purify indoor air with activated carbon
Activated carbon has long been lauded for its ability to filter harmful pollutants out of air and water. At Santa Fe Air we are expert installers of the incredible Ultravation® UVCatalyst™ Photocatalytic Air Purifier. A titanium dioxide infused, activated carbon/photocatalytic air purifier, the UVCatalyst™ is a whole house air purifier that:
- Freshens indoor air
- Removes odors
- Kills airborne bacteria, viruses, and allergens such as microscopic mold
- Decomposes VOCs
- Produces no ozone
- Self-cleans so there are no filters to replace!
Most indoor air pollutants are too small to be captured by an ordinary air filter in your home’s HVAC system. The UVCatalyst™ and its use of activated carbon captures these pollutants and breaks them down at the molecular level.
The system features commercial-grade construction and it’s environmentally friendly, you can’t beat that! It’s designed to run cool and optimizes lamp operation for energy and air treatment efficiency, meaning it’s powerful but efficient. Enjoy a home free of household odors and contaminants!
How the UVCatalyst™ works
This advanced air purifier uses three panels of activated carbon cells—three times as much as typical photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) air purifiers. With a combination of a germicidal UV light, the activated carbon, and catalytic processing, all the air flowing through your home is freshened and cleaned. We can install it out of the way within your existing HVAC system. The carbon filters achieve maximum capture with their large surface area. Each filter is infused with titanium dioxide, which contains the photocatalytic properties that break down captured contamination and continually clean and renew the activated carbon.
Purified air using nanotechnology
The UVCatalyst™ utilizes nanotechnology to work on a molecular scale without adding anything to the air.
VOCs, one of the most common components of indoor air contamination, are complex molecules that cause unpleasant odors, among other complications. Hydroxyl radicals are short-lived charged ions created by titanium dioxide and UV light. These ions combine with VOCs and break them down until both VOC and ion have dissipated, leaving behind simple water vapor and CO2.
Extra clean with an extra UV lamp
For those who take their air quality seriously, the UVCatalyst™ has an optional EZ-Light™ 6P remote UV lamp that stops mold in its tracks. This UV lamp is designed to be powered by the UVCatalyst™ base unit and stops mold from growing on the HVAC cooling coil, drain pan, and other related parts. Clogged coils create insulation and restrict air flow, making your HVAC system work harder and wasting a ton of energy. In addition to stopping mold growth in this environment, the additional UV power enhances the overall air stream disinfection power.
Installing the UVCatalyst™
We install the system directly into your HVAC! The panels can be folded initially so we only make a 4.5 inch opening in the HVAC ductwork for installation. Once installed, the UVCatalyst™ expands to capture three times the contamination of other systems on the market.
Can you install an air purifier by yourself?
The UVCatalyst™ is a comprehensive air purification system that needs to be installed by an HVAC professional. When you call Santa Fe Air to install a whole home purification system, we will be able to evaluate your home’s indoor air quality needs and HVAC system. With that information we can find the best location for the equipment and adjust it to perform best for your unique needs.
Santa Fe Air is an expert on air quality in Kansas City
If you’re having trouble controlling your indoor air quality in Kansas City or you simply want professional advice, our experts at Santa Fe Air are happy to help. We pride ourselves on offering the best HVAC and air quality services to residents in the Kansas City metro areas.