In the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, the father of the bride is known to use Windex to clean anything and everything. I’m sure he would solve indoor air quality (IAQ) problems by just spraying more Windex! (Shhh, don’t tell him that he’s adding volatile organic compounds to the air!) In the search for a panacea for all IAQ problems, many people try to clean anything and everything with filtration.
In the coming weeks, I will be adding some blog posts about filtration. But first I want to quickly show you that “filtration” can mean one of many things. Look at all the different categories and sub-categories of filters:
1. Particulate Filtration
A. Fibrous Media Filters
i. Viscous Impingement (e.g. spun fiberglass)
ii. Dry Media (e.g. pleated filters, HEPA filters)
B. Electronic Air Cleaners
ii. Electrostatic Precipitators
2. Gas Phase Filtration
A. Adsorption (e.g. activated carbon)
C. Photocatalytic Oxidation
Each of these categories has its advantages and disadvantages over the others. Some remove particles, some remove gases. Some are expensive, some are economical. Some are efficient, some are inefficient. In other words, we cannot make broad brush statements about filtration because it encompasses so many different technologies.
In fact, I like to use the term “air cleaning” in place of filtration because I think it more accurately describes all the processes above. Enjoy the weekend… and don’t overdo the Windex, ok?