Clean Air is More Important Than Ever

Air quality is always a concern to those with allergies, asthma, and respiratory conditions, but with smoke from the Canadian wildfires hanging in the air for weeks, everyone is thinking about the air they breathe and how it is impacting their health, says Tony Bear, general manager of Rolf Griffin of Fort Wayne.

“People are afraid of what they are seeing out there and the atmosphere is so eerie, people are getting alarmed. If it was just for a day or two, it would be no big deal, but this has been going on for weeks,” he says.

Customers report having headaches, shortness of breath, and other symptoms because of the smoke, he says.

Conditions outside cannot be controlled by individual homeowners, but they can take several steps to improve the inside air they breathe. Bear has several remedies and recommendations to improve indoor air quality, which is typically unhealthier than outside air because homes today are built so airtight.

Rolf Griffin offers people the highest rated furnace filter available, Bear says.

MERV, otherwise known as Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is a measurement scale used to rate the effectiveness of furnace filters at trapping airborne particles. The scale ranges from 1-16, with 16 being most effective, second only to High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air filters. HEPA filters are not MERV rated because they are tested and certified to meet a specific efficiency at a specific particle size, the minimum being 99.97 percent at 0.3 microns.

Bear says the higher-rated filters need to be changed less often, sometimes only once a year if a home in not heavily trafficked and home to many pets. Forgetting to regularly change the furnace filter is one of the biggest problems contributing to poor air quality in the home, he says.

“A dirty air filter reduces the air flow, which causes a lot of problems with cooling and heating because the equipment has to work harder and shortens its life expectancy,” he says.

Bear recommends homeowners schedule a full-service cleaning and maintenance check for their air conditioner every spring, and for their furnace every fall, to increase efficiency and find any problems that might contribute to equipment failure in extreme temperatures.

Bear recalls an increased demand for good furnace filters and air purifiers years ago with the onset of Covid-19. Although air purifiers, when used properly, can reduce airborne contaminants, including viruses, in a home or confined space, it is not enough to protect people from getting sick.

With other pollutants in the air, the concern for how to achieve good air quality in the home continues to be a concern to many, he says.

Portable air cleaners work best if filtering the air with (HEPA) filters because they actually filter the air, rather than emitting ozone, which just covers up odors.

The best air purifiers attach to the inside of the furnace, are maintenance free, and remove fine particles from the air, Bear says. These air purifiers actually break down the smoke that goes through the filter.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (260) 744-2151 or go to ❚