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Know Your Options: A Look at the 2 Main Types of Air Filtration

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Whether you have allergies or you're just looking to maintain wellness in your home, an air purifier can help. Running the device neutralizes food, smoke and pet odors and reduces the amount of irritating airborne particles. However, different types of air filtration are more effective for certain needs, so before deciding on a device, it's important to know what you're looking for. 

While scanning through your air purifier options, you'll likely see the term "HEPA," which stands for high efficiency particulate air. This kind of air filter is best for those with allergies, since, according to APEC Water Systems, it uses fiberglass fiber mats to trap irritating airborne allergens that can cause discomfort. The amount of particles it traps is dependent on another subcategory - true HEPA filters, which eliminate 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.2 microns, and HEPA-type, which remove 99 percent of particles 3 microns and larger. With either type of HEPA filter, you'll be able to reduce the amount of pet dander, mold, dust, pollen and other irritants in the air that exacerbate people's allergies.

Activated carbon is another type of filtration system that provides a different kind of air purification than HEPA. Rather than using fiberglass, this filtration uses carbon. According to the Thomas Publishing Company, when carbon is exposed to oxygen, it causes a reaction that makes it extremely absorbent. Using this process, carbon filters reduce airborne particles from harmful fumes and neutralize odors. This makes it a better option for those simply looking to improve the air quality in their home, and not necessarily eliminate particles that contribute to allergies. It would also be a good choice for those with smokers in the household, since this type of filtration is effective in filtering cigarette smoke.