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Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Air Cleaners and Air Filters in the Home

The most effective ways to improve your indoor air are to reduce or remove the sources of pollutants and to ventilate with clean outdoor air. In addition, research shows that filtration can be an effective supplement to source control and ventilation. Using a portable air cleaner and/or upgrading the air filter in your furnace or central heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system can help to improve indoor air quality. Portable air cleaners, also known as air purifiers or air sanitizers, are designed to filter the air in a single room or area. Central furnace or HVAC filters are designed to filter air throughout a home. Portable air cleaners and HVAC filters can reduce indoor air pollution; however, they cannot remove all pollutants from the air.

The following publications provide information on portable air cleaners and on HVAC and furnace filters commonly used in homes.

Cover to Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home

Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home, 2nd edition, August 2018
Portable Air Cleaners, Furnace and HVAC Filters

The short consumer guide covers portable air cleaners and furnace or HVAC filters used in a home. It includes tips for selecting a portable air cleaner, furnace filter, or HVAC filter.

Cover to Residential Air Cleaners Technical Summary

Residential Air Cleaners: A Technical Summary, 3rd edition, August 2018
Portable Air Cleaners, Furnace and HVAC Filters

The longer technical guide focuses on air cleaners for residential use; it does not address air cleaners used in large or commercial structures such as office buildings, schools, large apartment buildings, or public buildings. In addition to providing general information about the types of pollutants affected by air cleaners, this document discusses the types of air-cleaning devices and technologies available, metrics that can be used to compare air-cleaning devices, the effectiveness of air-cleaning devices in removing indoor air pollutants, and information from intervention studies on the effects that air cleaners can have on health and on health markers.

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