We are the clean air specialists here at Brookaire. Located in Carlstadt, New Jersey, we proudly service the greater NYC area and the NJ metro area as well. But keep in mind that in addition to local service, we also offer the entire nation with the air conditioner supplies that businesses and private residences require. We offer a variety of air filters, V-belts and pulleys, oil filters, coil cleaners, and motors and accessories for that equipment. With all standard size filters and belts in stock, extremely fast turnaround on specialty filters, and job site delivery that is weirdly fast (as early as 7am if you call us in time!), it’s easy to understand why so many people in New York and New Jersey choose Brookaire as their HVAC supplies provider.
Now that we’ve gotten some ceremonial bragging out of the way, let’s talk about today’s topic. We will be discussing some general FAQ today regarding air filtration. Part of that will entail a brief history of air filtration, a deeper explanation of what something like a “MERV” rating actually is, as well as some miscellaneous tidbits that will help you impress your friends the next time air filtration comes up in conversation. Read on if you’re interested in learning some things about air filters that will help you out the next time you need to choose between purchasing a High Efficiency Pleated Merv 11 Filter and a Standard Size Poly Merv 4 Filter, for instance.
Where Did Air Filters Come From?
We are quite glad you asked. But first, let us describe to you, on a basic level, what air filters do. Air filters “filter out” all kinds of contaminants in the air that you don’t want to be breathing in on a daily basis, especially in your home. Such impurities include pollen, dust, dust mites, mold spores, smoke, and other things. For people with asthma and specific allergies to dust and other adulterants, air filters aren’t just a luxury, but are a matter of quality of life.
Air filters, on a very basic level, came about as early as the 1500s during the enlightenment and renaissance, as many discoveries and inventions did during that time. And later on, unsurprisingly it was Leonardo Da Vinci who was the man to construct the first over-the-mouth-and-nose respirator. It was designed for the same use as modern-day masks are, which is to protect the user from dust particles, fumes, gases, and the like. Da Vinci’s concept was to have a cloth-based filter dipped in water, which would theoretically protect someone from airborne toxins that, at the time, were nearly impossible to measure.
Fast forward to the middle of the 19th century and you have Lewis Haslett and his lung protector, which happened to receive the first patent of this new category. It utilized Da Vinci’s precepts to moisten wool with a clapper valve of some sort in order to filter out a significant amount of dust from the air.
High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters came about in the 1900s when the U.S. Army deemed their development necessary to fight against the chemical warfare that was rampant throughout the century. HEPA filters had a minimum of 99.97 percent particle removal efficiency rate, which means they were quite good at filtering compared to anything else that had come previously. After WWII, the U.S. government deemed it permissible for this technology to be made available to the public on a commercial level.
When Did The First Air Purifier Come About?
It wasn’t long after HEPA filters were introduced that the first air purifiers came into existence. In 1963, a German engineer by the name of Klaus Hammes developed a filtration system for the use with coal ovens. Its purpose was to filter out the black dust that was released into the air by the coal. But interestingly enough, those who used the product observed that allergy symptoms and even asthma attacks were significantly reduced when Hammes’ filtration system was put to use.
How Does A HEPA Air Filter Work?
Excellent question, you are full of them today. HEPA filters are comprised of a sort of web of fibers which have been set up in a random design, meant to capture undesirable particles out of the air. Conversely, non-HEPA filters have extremely small pores, so as to not let bigger, contaminating particles through. This is a basic concept. But surprisingly, HEPA air filters don’t adhere to that logical principle. Instead they use a combination of three methods to invoke their impressive 99.97 minimum particle capture rate.
- Impaction – this method deals with particles above .4 microns, if you are trying to get granular with it. Essentially, the contaminant particle collides with the fiber and can’t get free. It is directed to the fiber by the airstream which the HEPA filter has.
- Interception – this method, again, deals with particles above .4 microns. The concept is not too abstract, as it is simply the particle coming into contact with a fiber, upon being ensnared by it.
- Diffusion – this method usually grabs the particles under .1 microns. This method is part of the ingenuity of HEPA filters. The way the fibers are designed causes certain particles collide with other contaminant molecules (or the air) which makes them change trajectory. They’ll bounce around until one of the previously described methods does the job of catching them.
How Effective Are HEPA Air Filters?
HEPA air filters are extremely effective in doing what they were designed to do. They are designed to filter out solid particles in the air, rather than gas particles. In this way, they aren’t the end-all-be-all in terms of air filtration, but they are incredibly proficient at filtering out particles like dust, pollen, and other solid particles. HEPA air filters tend to be more pricey than alternatives, but are worth it if you have a certain objective in mind.
What Is The MERV Rating System?
Known as the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, the MERV rating system is the widely accepted standard for judging the performance of air purifiers. The higher the number, the more effective of an air filtration system a filter is adjudged to be. But there are different standards for different types of buildings. For example, a system that is intended to filter an entire house isn’t evaluated the same way a portable filter might be.
Where Should I Buy My HVAC Equipment And Air Filters From?
That just might be the best question we have yet to answer. And the answer isn’t likely to surprise you, given you are reading a post brought to you by Brookaire. Since 1974, we’ve been providing our customers with a solid line of air filters. Our mission is to prove to you our worth by showing you why others consider us to be the most trusted and reliable HVAC supplier in the entire industry. We are committed to providing you a tailored solution that fits your needs. Shop from Brookaire today!