CleanAir Solutions Blog
IAQ. ACH. HEPA. MERV.*
These days, it seems like acronyms are in the air—literally.
But that’s not all that is in the air, especially in the indoor air the average person is breathing for an estimated 90 percent of each day.
HAP. PERC. VOC. CO.**
So what kinds of scary, toxic things must be in your indoor air supply to warrant all the fuss over A/C filters, vacuum cleaner filters, humidifier filters, furnace filters, etc.? Is your indoor air quality really that bad?
Unfortunately, statistics tell us that the indoor air we rely on often really is that bad. It is full of toxic chemicals and compounds, pollutants, and other perils that can impact our immune system, our internal organs, our memory, and even our life.
As it turns out, air filters just might end up being the unsung heroes that save the day for us all. So we would like to take you on a little tour of all that today’s high-tech air filters have to offer you.
*IAQ = Indoor Air Quality. ACH = Air Changes Per Hour. HEPA = High Efficiency Particulate Air. MERV = Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.
**HAP = Household Air Pollution. PERC = Perchloroethylene (a chemical used in dry cleaning). VOC = Volatile Organic Compounds. CO = Carbon Monoxide.
2 Types of Air Filters To Consider
With the ongoing publicity regarding global warming and the decimation of air-purifying natural plant life, it is natural that people are getting more curious about what high-tech air filters have to offer.
The good news is, even as filtration technology continues to advance, there are still really only two main types of filters that truly stand out from the rest in terms of keeping your indoor air squeaky clean year-round.
The HEPA-rated filter is still the gold standard when it comes to filtering out even micro-particle toxins in the air. HEPA, as you read earlier, stands for "high efficiency particulate air."
The US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) invented the HEPA filter during World War II. This specialized filter’s mission at the time was to filter out airborne radioactive micro-particles.
Today, the HEPA filter is still recognized globally as the world's best filter.
Consider this: a HEPA filter can remove airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns (1/100th the width of a single strand of human hair!). And a HEPA filter can do this with a 99.97 percent accuracy rate.
MERV isn’t actually a filter. Rather, it is a filter rating.
The MERV rating system was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to indicate how well a filter removes small particulate matter from the air.
MERV-rated filters are most frequently associated with furnaces. The higher the MERV rating (which stands for "minimum efficiency reporting value," as you might recall from earlier), the more efficiently the filter will work.
MERV filter ratings are in microns. The lowest MERV filter is 1. The highest is 16. Similar to how HEPA-rated filters work, a MERV filter rated 13 or higher can capture micro-particles as small as 0.3 microns. However, MERV filters will catch only about 75 percent of these tiny particles (compared to the HEPA filter’s rate).
NOTE: If a HEPA filter had a MERV rating (which it doesn’t), it would automatically be rated as MERV 17 or higher.
So Which Filter Type Do You Need?
If you or someone in your family suffers from asthma or severe allergies, you might already be headed out the door, keys in hand, to nab a HEPA filter.
But before you do, there is something else you need to know about these types of highly efficient filters. Unfortunately, they are not designed to work well with every HVAC system.
The reason for this has to do with airflow restriction. The smaller the particulate matter a given filter is designed to trap and retain, the more that filter will naturally restrict the airflow coming through it. With smaller holes for the air to flow through, an HVAC system will have to work harder to push that air through the filter and out into the space.
HEPA filters and filters with higher MERV ratings will work better when paired with the newer breed of naturally energy-efficient HVAC systems. Today, there are also certain HVAC systems that are designed specifically to work with HEPA and higher MERV-rated filters. Often, these types of units are found in hospitals and similar settings where the need to trap and contain airborne germs and toxins is critically high.
If you pair an older HVAC unit with a HEPA or high MERV-rated filter, there is a risk that it could cause the system to operate less efficiently. The best option here is to take a look to see if your system has a recommended MERV rating. If you want to use a higher MERV-rated filter than what your current HVAC system is rated for, you should call the manufacturer first to find out what, if any, impact that will have on your utility costs or system efficiency.
Give Us a Call
With today’s growing concerns about indoor air quality, choosing a high-quality, durable filter has never been more important. But the technology itself is changing so fast that sometimes it can feel like it is impossible to keep up with all the new acronyms, ratings, and options!
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we have decades of expertise in the indoor air quality and heating/cooling industries. Our goal is to help you achieve the level of clean, pristine air that safeguards your family’s health and also delivers top-level energy efficiency.
Give us a call at 905-544-2470 and let us know how we can help you with your indoor air quality needs!
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the science of indoor air duct cleaning is still in its developmental stages.
What is already well documented scientifically, however, is the ever-worsening quality of indoor air sources in general.
Recent ongoing indoor air quality studies indicate that our indoor air is often more polluted than the air just outside our homes and workplaces.
What makes this such a health concern is simply this: the average adult in North America spends up to 90 percent of the average day indoors, breathing this increasingly polluted indoor air.
For this reason, the EPA recommends indoor air duct cleanings when there is a justifiable need. In this post, we will talk about what those justifiable needs might be and how to choose the level of air duct cleaning for your home or workplace needs.
When a Professional Air Duct Cleaning is Justified
The EPA has identified certain situations when a professional indoor air duct cleaning might be recommended or warranted.
You or someone in your family or employee group is experiencing health symptoms that continue despite ongoing attempts to alleviate them. Here, particular symptoms to watch for include respiratory, skin allergy, memory, mood, or attention issues.
- Your home or workplace seems unusually dusty given the level of inside-outside traffic and regular housekeeping.
- Deposits of mould or mildew have been discovered in, at, or near the site of one or more air registers.
- Known toxic or hazardous substances or chemicals are used regularly in the space, including but not limited to glues or adhesives, paints or primers, tobacco, wood smoke, commercial cleaning products or air fresheners, and similar others.
- You have no documentation of any prior indoor air duct cleaning taking place in the history of the property, and logic suggests that the occasional air duct cleaning would complement and enhance the results of your annual HVAC/furnace inspection and cleaning as well as improving system efficiency.
- Air ducts are shown to be densely packed or clogged with dust, debris, dirt, and/or vermin (insects, rodent debris and waste, etc.).
How Often Should Your Indoor Air Ducts Be Professionally Cleaned?
This is a great question—and one with no single definitive answer.
Part of the answer lies here: just as regular inspection and maintenance services can extend the life of your HVAC/furnace systems, so too can regular attention to air duct cleaning be expected to benefit the efficiency and lifespan of these systems.
The rest of the answer depends on how and how frequently the indoor space is used. For households or workplaces with heavy chemical or tobacco use, for instance, the indoor air ducts would more quickly accumulate potentially toxic particulate matter.
It is known that having a clean air filter and clean air vents, air registers, and air grills can improve HVAC/furnace efficiency year-round. This is because the cooling and heating systems don’t have to work as hard to transport temperature-controlled air through the system.
Conversely, when air filters, air ducts, and registers begin to clog up with dust and debris, the system has to expend extra energy to push the air through into each room. By keeping the air duct system, filters, and registers clean and clear, minimal energy is expended to complete this task and money is also saved.
Having offered these caveats, Angie’s List and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends having your indoor air ducts professionally cleaned every two to five years or as needed. Those with pets or allergies would benefit from an annual cleaning.
Which of These Three Indoor Air Duct Cleaning Packages Should You Choose?
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we work in partnership with our sister company, Shipton’s Heating & Cooling, to ensure our clients have the cleanest, most efficient, and effective indoor air quality systems.
Together, we have nearly a century of expertise in the temperature control and indoor air quality industries. We have seen firsthand how temperature control and indoor air quality technology has evolved since Shipton’s first opened its doors in 1924.
Today, as a third-generation family-owned and operated duo of companies, we offer three packages that have been specifically tailored to the needs of our HVAC and air quality clients.
Here is an overview of the three indoor air duct cleaning packages we offer:
- Complete Rotobrush HEPA vacuum service
- Sanitizing and deodorizing service
- Air register cleaning service
- Everything in Bronze, plus:
- Furnace fan compartment cleaning service
- A/C coil cleaning service
- Everything in Bronze and Silver, plus:
- 21-point furnace inspection and maintenance service
So which service do you need? And how will you know?
Here is what we recommend:
When to order Bronze
For pure indoor air quality maintenance purposes, it doesn’t get better than our Bronze air duct cleaning package, which gets right to the heart of keeping your recirculating indoor air as clean and toxin-free as possible.
When to order Silver
The Silver air duct package is a great choice when you have recently (within the last 12 months) had your HVAC/furnace system inspected and maintained, but now you want to have your indoor air duct system inspected and cleaned as well.
When to order Gold
If you have never had your indoor air duct system professionally cleaned, and you have no record of having had your furnace inspected and maintained (for instance, because you just bought a home and the previous homeowner did not know), the Gold package is the perfect choice for you.
Give Us a Call
If you are still not sure which package is the best fit for your needs, we encourage you to reach out to us to schedule your free consultation.
During this consultation, we provide you with a free, no-obligation indoor air duct cleaning service quote. Give us a call at 905-544-2470 to set up your appointment now!
If you think back just five or 10 years ago, most companies used paid advertising nearly exclusively to sell their products and services to customers.
Today, so much has changed.
Of course, companies still invest in advertising. But the companies with the most loyal customer followings and high percentages of new referrals know something the rest do not, which is this: one happy, satisfied customer can do more to ensure the doors stay open for business than any paid ad ever could.
Just one happy customer who tells one friend, who becomes a happy customer who tells two friends, who becomes a happy customer who tells three friends… well, you get the picture.
So in this post, we decided to let our happy customers speak for us to share why they are glad they chose us to help clean and purify their indoor air!
Budget-Friendly Cleaner, Purer Air In Just One Day
Patrick Grochowicz (clean air technician) was very friendly and did an excellent job of cleaning my vents. He also showed me before and after pictures of each vent. He cleaned up after himself and even took off my ceiling vents in both bathrooms so that I could clean them, and he didn't have to do that. I would not hesitate to use him again and his company. Thank you. Temi Dulberg, testimonial via HomeStars
Did you know that Clean Air Solutions Hamilton has a sister company called Shipton’s Heating & Cooling? Shipton’s opened in 1924 (nearly a century ago!).
Dave and Tim Shipton, the third-generation owners of the Shipton’s family business, launched Clean Air Solutions Hamilton to respond to a growing need among Shipton’s customers for customized air quality solutions that could address a rise in health issues like seasonal allergies and asthma.
Currently, Clean Air Solutions Hamilton offers three budget-friendly air duct cleaning packages to meet your needs:
Provide complete vacuum service for air duct system (supply and return ducts), deodorize and sanitize air duct system, and clean the air registers.
All Bronze components plus clean furnace fan compartment and A/C coil.
All Silver components plus 21-point furnace inspection and maintenance service.
Cutting-Edge Air Quality Technology You Can Trust
Brandon arrived to our home at the scheduled time and did a thorough and effective cleaning of our ductwork. The amount of dust appearing on furniture has been noticeably less since the work was done. Dave M., testimonial via HomeStars
When we promise to give you a clean air solution that will purify your indoor air of pollen, allergens, toxins, dust mites, pet dander, mould and mildew spores, dirt, debris, and other respiratory health inhibitors, we really mean it.
Our cutting-edge Rotobrush-based air duct cleaning system is like a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaner on steroids.
If you are not familiar with HEPA, it is currently considered the “gold standard” of air purification. HEPA is also the only system certified to remove 99.97 percent of all airborne toxins (this includes toxic particles as small as 1/100th the width of a single human hair!).
Our 35-foot vacuum hose can handle any residential or commercial space. Within three to five hours (depending on the size of the space), all built-up debris and toxins hiding inside your indoor air ducts will be gone. We then spend 30 to 45 minutes deodorizing and sanitizing your entire air duct system, which eradicates any lingering particles and guards against future toxin buildup.
All this to say: we take cleaning and purifying your indoor air very seriously indeed.
Old-Fashioned End-to-End Courteous Customer Service
Once again CleanAir Solutions has come to my house and done a better job than I imagined. Counting the storefront, I met six or seven happy and hardworking people. I will call again. My air is great! Rob Y., testimonial via HomeStars
In many circles, it is being said that customer service is dead. Live agents are being replaced with automated teleprompters. The phone call, once such a critical part of the service process, has been largely kicked to the curb in favor of online fill-in forms.
But you won’t find any of that here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton. When you pick up the phone to call us, you will hear a warm and welcoming real voice on the other end. If you visit us on Facebook or send us an email, you will get a prompt and detailed response.
From first contact to end result, our entire employee family prides itself on being friendly, courteous, polite, clean-spoken, tobacco-free, prompt, professional, and meticulous.
Our goal is to offer you an exceptional and highly personalized experience in an era when bare bones basics is all most customers can count on these days. We are real people serving real people with real, down-home friendly and courteous customer service, and we plan to keep it that way.
3 Incredible Service Guarantees
CleanAir provided me with everything I needed in a duct cleaning. They were on time, courteous, and went out of their way to make sure my house stayed clean and tidy. Anthony C., testimonial via HomeStars
One-Year Money-Back Installation Guarantee
If we install new equipment and you are not completely satisfied, you have 12 full months to return it for a free replacement or complementary removal with full refund.
Client Courtesy Guarantee
Our technicians will arrive promptly with a smile and ready to get to work. They will lay down drop cloths and safety coverings to ensure all of your possessions and furnishings are fully protected. When the job is finished, they will clean up after themselves before departing.
No Surprises Pricing Guarantee
What we quote you is what you will pay—absolutely no pricing surprises.