IQAir Perfect 16 – Whole-House Air Cleaning System
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists poor indoor air
quality as one of the top health risks today. What is even more frightening is
that the EPA tells us the air in our homes is often two to five times more
polluted than outdoor air. We as a society tend to think our homes are clean
because we scrub the surfaces of the counters, floors, dust the ceiling fans,
scrub the windows, and wipe down the walls and doors, etc… When we smell
that wonderful clean floor, we feel satisfied that our job is done and our family
The reality is, though, that most homes have a hidden form of grime:
air pollution. The American Lung Association tells us that 50% of all illnesses
are caused by poor indoor air quality. The American Heart Association lists airborne particles as a leading
contributor to heart disease and strokes. It’s the air we breathe in our homes that is making us sick. That’s
where the Perfect 16 comes in.
The Perfect 16 is manufactured by IQAir. We have talked before about IQAir and their room air filtration
products. IQAir’s medical air cleaners are the top systems used in hospitals all over the world to filter particles as
small as the SARS virus, and IQAir’s residential air cleaners won Reviewboard’s 2004 and 2005 Editor’s Choice
Awards. This year they introduced the Perfect 16, their first whole-house cleaning system, and Reviewboard was
given the opportunity to be the very first product review organization to test the system.
IQAir Perfect 16 – The First MERV 16 Rated Whole-House Air Cleaning System
The Perfect 16 is the first MERV 16 rated whole-house air purifier for the home. MERV is a rating system designed
to allow independent testing and establish a universal standard for how well an air filter system works. The higher
the MERV rating, the better the air filter. Those pesky furnace filters we are supposed to change every month, but
most of us forget to do, rate a MERV 1, which means they essentially do not remove any air pollutants. MERV 16
is the highest possible MERV rating. This means that the Perfect 16 is the most effective air cleaning system
available for getting rid of pollutants and allergens (like pollen, pet dander, bacteria, dust, name it).
The Perfect 16 features four separate filters, which are arranged into a double “V” shape for maximum air flow.
IQAir tells us that spread out the filters would cover a surface area of 170 sq. ft, which is about 50 times more
than that of a conventional furnace filter. More surface area and more filter material adds up to more air cleaning
The Perfect 16 can clean the air in any size house from small to large. The systems can accommodate homes as
small as 1,000 square feet or mansions that are over 20,000 square feet. The Perfect 16 is made out of a virtually
indestructible galvanized steel frame with white powder coated panels. It is emblazoned with a red Swiss cross.
All IQAir products are Swiss made.
IQAir Perfect 16 – Installation and Operation
The installation has to be done professionally. We contacted an IQAir authorized installer and arranged to have
the system installed. The Perfect 16 retrofits into your existing furnace, HVAC/ Central Air system. The
installation went smoothly and took the installer team of two HVAC professionals less than a day.
Once installed, the Perfect 16 works silently with your heating and cooling system. It doesn’t require any
electricity to operate since it operates on the airflow generated by the existing furnace blower. With the Perfect
16 installed, it’s recommended to set the thermostat to the “Fan” mode. This keeps the fan on and clean air
moving through the home even when the heating or cooling is off. This saves you money on your electric bill.
IQAir Perfect 16 – Testing Results
The average readings taken inside the home with our Fluke 983 Particle Counter read 535,203 particles 0.3
microns or larger. 0.3 microns is the particle size of something as small as bacteria. One day after the Perfect 16
installation the average mean reading went to 28,150. This was about a 94.7% improvement in indoor air
quality. (IQAir’s marketing literature states that the average home will experience a 90-95% improvement in
indoor air quality after installation of a Perfect 16.) That is a big difference everywhere in the house. And we took
measurements in every room, the bathrooms, the closets – everywhere.