Depending upon where you live in the US this past week you have seen pollen exploding from the trees, shrubs and plants. Usually the levels of pollen during the Spring range from 90 to 200 parts per million. In some places of the country, especially the southeast, the levels are approaching 4500 ppm! You can actually see the pollen in the air, on cars, outside tables, anywhere there is a flat surface. This greenish, yellowish material is wrecking havoc on both allergy sufferers and non-allergy sufferers alike.
For those who suffer annually from the spring time pollen and ragweed this year is one for the record books. Interestingly many people who have never suffered from pollen are experiencing some respiratory and sinus discomfort. This only proves that the human body can only safely filter out so much airborne particulate before the immune system is affected.
With these levels of pollen you should wear a mask when outside and when inside your home you want to make sure you close all the windows and run your air conditioning whenever possible. This will minimize the entry of the pollen and assuming you have adequate filtration on your HVAC unit you will remove a significant amount of the pollen that is in the house.
With the ever increasing levels of airborne particulates and contaminants in the outside air and coming into homes and buildings, the type and quality of the air filters or air filtration systems you use is more important than ever.
Most home owners use some type of media filter that is placed in the air handler at the entrance of the return air from the home. This removes much of the larger particles and some of the small ones. The more efficient the air filter (higher MERV ratings) the more effective the filter is at removing a larger percentage of the smaller, respirable sized particulate.
One of the best sources of information on filter efficiencies and particulate removal is the web site of Pure Air Systems. PAS has been making HEPA and Carbon based filtration systems since 1985 and has a line of polyester ring panel dual layer commercial grade filters that are very effective when used in your HVAC unit. In addition, the HEPA based units are designed to work with you heating/cooling systems and offer the highest removal efficiency of airborne particulate for residential use on the market today.
The web site has a great resource section that discusses how filters work, what pressure drop means, what MERV ratings really mean and how to apply the correct filter technology for your application. For more information on the complete product line of PAS and to educate yourself on filter technology please go to: www.pureairsystems.com