Deciding Between Air Filtration and Air CleaningEven though pollen counts in Ohio decrease during the winter, it’s still important to take steps to keep your indoor air quality (IAQ) high. Devices are available for air filtration and air cleaning, but knowing which works best for your situation can be confusing.


All forced-air HVAC systems require an air filter to protect the components inside the blower compartment. Dust on its parts reduces energy efficiency and shortens its lifetime. Even if you add an air cleaning system to your home, you’ll still need to use an air filter to keep your HVAC system clean.

Air Cleaning

An air cleaning system attacks the biological contaminants in your air and renders them harmless. Ultraviolet (UV) lights provide effective protection against mold spores, bacteria and viruses, along with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). UV lights won’t remove any particulates through air filtration, including dust mite waste, animal dander and pollen, but do reduce concentrations of offending particles by destroying their ability to reproduce and reduces their toxicity.

Electrostatic filters and ionizers can clean the air, but both present some drawbacks. Ionizers produce ozone, and many public health agencies do not recommend their use. Electrostatic filters work by charging the particles that flow through and trapping them on a plate that carries an opposite charge. These filters work fairly well, but require periodic deep cleaning to remain effective.

How to Choose

As a practical matter, no single system will completely clean indoor air. However, those that combine advanced filtration with UV lights cover the most common allergy and asthma triggers, along with reducing the toxicity of VOCs and other contaminants in the air. Your solution may be as simple as choosing a higher efficiency filter, replacing it when it’s dirty, and using UV lights to keep both your air and HVAC system clean.

The experts at Stack Heating & Cooling can show you how to use air filtration and cleaning technologies with your HVAC system to keep your IAQ high this winter. We’ve provided trusted HVAC services for greater Cleveland area homeowners since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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