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Filtering devices are either central filtration (often called "in-duct") systems put into the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system of a home or portable units with an attached fan to assist in reducing indoor atmospheric pollutants.


MECHANICAL draw atmosphere through a flat, pleated or high efficiency particulate HEPA surface to trap particles. HEPA Filtration is the most efficient of  mechanical air filters for removing small particles which can be breathed deeply into the lungs. The highest efficiency cleaners, widely available today, remove 0.3 micron (1 micron = 1 millionth of a meter) sized particles at a minimum of 99.97% efficiency.

ELECTRONIC, in their simplest form, include negative ion generators that charge airborne particles so they become attracted to and settle on room surfaces. Activity within a room, however, may stir up and release the settled particles back into the environment. More effective units called electrostatic precipitators electrically charge airborne particles and then trap them on oppositely charged metal plates. These plates must be cleaned regularly for proper performance.

HYBRIDS are made up of two or more of the above sifters. An example is the "electret" which uses electrically charged flat or pleated fabric to attract airborne particles. These are efficient when clean, but as they fill with particles the efficiency decreases and they must be replaced.

GAS PHASE are often attached to filtration systems to remove specific gases, vapors and odors.



Generally, portable units are used when cleaning is desired in a particular room or area. Central filtration systems are used when whole-house environment cleaning is needed. However, these systems require that the central fan be "on" in order for filtration to occur.


The efficiency of these systems is measured in terms of the particle size that the air filter can capture. In most cases, very small particles are the ones that penetrate deep into the lungs, causing health problems. Look for mechanical cleaners such as HEPA  and electronic air filters and filtration systems that can effectively trap large and small particles.


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