Air Quality, Is It Worth the $$?

While doing ac repair, ac maintenance or ac installations, customers often inquire about air quality products and if they are worth the money. In this blog I will review some of the new technologies available to consumers and average costs to get them installed in your home.

UV Bulbs – When UV technology first came out it was being sold more as an air purifier. On a simplistic approach UV-C light does two things; 1 – Kills organic materials, 2 – Breaks down porous non-organic material. UV-C kits are great at keeping the inside of the air handler clean including the coil therefore, that is what we sell them for. They are so good at keeping the coil clean that we recommend them to every customer. The reason they are not as efficient as an air purifier is due to the speed of the air moving through the air handler. A three ton system is rated to move 1200 CFM (cubic feet per minute). At that speed, a lot of organic material will pass through without being destroyed by the light. A typical UV kit installed over the coil should cost around $250 and the ballast should have a lifetime warranty.

Ionization – The way ionizers remove particulates from the air is by sending out lots of negatively charged ions. As they float through the air, they attach themselves to the particulates making them heavy. This causes them to fall to the ground or another surface. After installing an ionizer in a home there will be a sudden accumulation of dust around the house which needs to be cleaned up. The downside of ionizers is that the particulates are not captured until you vacuum up the dust caused by the ionization process. A whole house ionizer installed in your AC system can cost from $600 – $1900.

Media Filtration –  Filtration has long been a great way to take particulates out of the air. One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to have a 4″ media box installed in the return of your AC system. It is however very important to purchase a media box that is matched to you system so the static pressure remains within the recommended ranges of the manufacturer. High end media does a great job of removing particulate from the air and based on individual circumstances only need to be changed semi-annually or annually. A 4″ Media box installed in your system can cost $450 – $750 and includes your first filter. Filters run from $70 – $150.

Air Scrubbers / Purifiers – These products are finally becoming affordable for residential customer and are excellent products for homes struggling with allergies. Based on commercial technologies used in hospitals for many years, they combine multiple technologies that actively eliminate bacteria, spores, allergens, viruses, odors & smoke in the air and on surfaces. They combine Photo-catalytic + Silver Ion Contaminant Oxidation, Ion / Plasma Generation & UV-C Light Technology. They install in the supply plenum and tie into the 24 volt system of the air handler. Some products have a plug-in option for an additional UV light to install over the coil. A typical scrubber / purifier installed in your system will run from $750 – $1250 and should have a lifetime warranty on the ballast.

In summary there are several technologies available to help improve your air quality. We always recommend installing a UV light over the coil and then either your choice of 4″ Media, Air Scrubber / Purifiers or both.

Call us today to schedule a free home air quality inspection (727-329-6696)