Electronic Air Cleaners (EAC's) are sophisticated filtering units that are installed as part of your HVAC system. EACs are effective in eliminating the very smallest particle pollutants from your home, including pollen, bacteria, and viruses. So if you or any of your family members suffer from allergies, investment in an EAC may be just what you need. Here’s more information on how EACs work and why they’re so effective.
How Standard Filters Work
Most furnace filters work by impingement, or “screening” out particles based on the size of the openings through the filter media. It’s the same concept as a kitchen strainer—the finer the openings, the smaller the particle that’s filtered out.
Impingement filters have limitations as finer filters capturing finer particles require more horsepower to push or pull air through them. Typically only large particles (lint and pet dander for example) can be filtered out by basic filters in the 3 to 7 MERV range. Small- to medium-sized particles, including most pollen, can be handled by medium efficiency filters in the 8 to 12 MERV range. But very small particles including mold spores, bacteria, and viruses require an ultra-efficient HEPA filter. However, HEPA filters are not feasible for most homes as residential furnaces do not have enough horsepower to pull adequate airflow through them. That’s where EACs become an option for homeowners.
Why EACs Are So Effective
EACs use a different method to capture particles. It’s called electrostatic attraction. Just like lint that clings to your clothing on a dry winter day, the same principle works on an EAC, but with the added power of an electrified energy field of 5000 volts or more.
An EAC has a wire grid on the intake side that creates a strong positive electrical charge on the particles flowing through it. Then the air flows across a series of plates in a collector cell that is negatively charged. The particles cling to the metal plates and remain stuck there until they’re cleaned off. Cleaning is a simple matter of removing the collector cells and washing them in the dishwasher or with a little spray action in the laundry tub.
There are two big advantages to EACs. First, the wires and plates have large open areas in between them so that air flows through quite easily with a low horsepower blower. The second is that the high performance of the electrostatic process means that any particle of any size, even microscopic particles too small to be seen with the naked eye, are captured by the EAC.
A Cleaner, Fresher, Healthier Home
What all this means for you and your family is that with an EAC, you can rest assured that you’re capturing and eliminating virtually any pollutant or contaminant that enters your home. Not only does that mean that your indoor air quality is the freshest and cleanest possible, it ensures that your family will be breathing the healthiest air possible.
A New Generation of EAC
The latest EAC technology from Carrier is their Infinity® Air Purifier. It has an improved electrostatic process that combines an electrostatic filter with a media filter. The proprietary process used in this air purifier rivals the effectiveness of UV lamps and a HEPA filter combined.