How To Reduce 2 Types Of Airborne Contaminants In Your HVAC System

Whether your local climate is typically hot or cold, you keep your HVAC system in operation nearly all year long. However, as time has passed, you've noticed that the quality of your indoor air has begun to suffer as a result of constant HVAC system use. Although your HVAC system isn't directly responsible for the reduced quality of your indoor air, it still plays a major role in transmitting various airborne contaminants throughout your home.

Here's how you can remove certain contaminants from your indoor air and improve your overall air quality:

Dust and Large Debris

Dust, pet fur, and other forms of airborne debris are the most obvious contaminants that pollute your HVAC system and home. Your HVAC system's filter—typically located near your furnace—traps these large pieces of debris and prevents them from passing through the rest of your air ducts. However, as your filter becomes clogged by debris, and as sealed parts of your system begin to give way to wear, dust and other large pieces of debris will slip into your system and be blown throughout your home.

The size of the debris that can manage to slip through your filter is determined by your filter's MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating. For example, a filter with a MERV rating of 10 has larger pores than a filter with a MERV rating of 12. However, you can't simply replace your current filter with a filter of the highest MERV rating available since the amount of airflow through your filter significantly affects the performance of your HVAC system.

Instead of going overboard with your filter's MERV rating, factor your blower motor's CFM (cubic feet per minute) into your decision process. If your blower motor has very high CFM measurement, then it won't be as drastically affected by a filter with a higher MERV rating than a blower with a sub-par CFM rating. Additionally, filters with greater MERV ratings must be replaced very often.

Balancing your filter efficiency and airflow can be a very difficult task. If you aren't able to choose a suitable MERV rating on your own, then hire an heating and air conditioning service technician to inspect your system and recommend a specific filter.


Regardless of the time of year, your HVAC system contains allergens—though the amount of allergens in your HVAC system will differ based upon outdoor air quality. If these allergens are allowed to continuously cycle throughout your home in high concentrations, then a day spent at home can be a miserable experience for certain members of your household.

Although your filter's MERV rating plays a factor in trapping allergens throughout your home, extra modifications must be made to eliminate allergens that enter your home.

The most effective way to destroy allergens such as pollen, pet dander, or mold spores is to replace your conventional filter with an electrostatic system. Electrostatic filters (as their name implies) use actively-charged cells to neutralize allergens that enter your HVAC system.

Before you install an electrostatic filtration system in your home, you'll need to consider the extra maintenance that's required to keep the system running smoothly. Although your electrostatic filter system won't require replacement components every other month like your existing filter, it will need to be washed at a regular interval.

Luckily, you can wash the internal components of an electrostatic filter system with a simple mixture of dish soap and warm water. However, the charcoal filters that neutralize odors inside your filtration system cannot be washed and will require periodic replacement.

If these types of airborne contaminants are ruining your home's indoor air quality, then don't wait any longer to upgrade your existing filter or install an electrostatic system. If you have trouble performing either of these tasks, then schedule a consultation with your local HVAC technician.