Most homeowners in Lorton, VA, know that high efficiency HVAC systems and appliances not only help conserve energy but save them money on their monthly utility bills too. When purchasing products for your household, most experts recommend choosing the item with the highest efficiency rating that you can afford. When it comes to products designed to improve the indoor air quality of your home, however, there is such a thing as too much efficiency. Read on to discover why and to learn when to choose mid-efficiency over high efficiency.

Why Indoor Air Quality Matters

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the air inside the average American home is usually more polluted than the outdoor air in the nation’s largest metropolitan cities. Pollutants come from a variety of sources. They include biological pollutants like animal dander, mold and viruses as well as chemical contaminants emitted from household products like paint, carpeting and building materials. Poor indoor air quality can exacerbate allergy and asthma symptoms and contribute to the development of infections and chronic lung diseases.

HVAC Air Filters: Your First Defense Against Indoor Air Pollution

All of the air that your central heating and cooling systems deliver into your home’s living spaces first passes through the system’s air filter. An air filter’s ability to sift out contaminants is rated on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale and is expressed as a numeral between 1 and 20. MERV ratings for home air filters are calculated based on the percentage of particulates sized between 0.3 and 10 microns that the product can filter out. Upgrading your air filter is a simple and easy way to improve air quality, but it’s critical to select one that won’t negatively impact air flow.

Air filters with a MERV rating over 16 are known as High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. HEPA home filters are popular options for use in vacuum cleaners, but are generally not recommended for HVAC systems. Their dense construction can restrict air flow, and the motors and blowers in some heating and cooling systems don’t have the capacity to accommodate them without professional modification.

HVAC Indoor Air Quality Products

Commonwealth Cooling and Heating offers a broad array of indoor air quality products that are specifically engineered to work in concert with your central HVAC systems. Bryant’s PerfectAir Purifier, for example, not only captures airborne allergens but kills them too. With a MERV rating of 15, the box-like unit fits into your existing ductwork, purifying the air that you breathe as often as eight times each hour.

At Commonwealth Cooling & Heating, we provide a variety of products and services that will improve the quality of your indoor air. Whether it’s whole-home filtration products, duct cleaning services or preventive maintenance that helps keep dust and debris from accumulating on system equipment, our goal is to provide efficient solutions that make your home a safer and more comfortable environment.