Choosing an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system for your home is more straightforward than most other things you will need to replace in your home - there just aren't too many choices to be made in terms of style, design and the like. But when it comes to choosing a filter for your furnace and air conditioner, well, let the choices begin! It can be confusing at first, as there are so many kinds of filters with so many different purposes. Our goal in this article is to make it simpler for you to understand the ins-and-outs of the different types of filters available and how to choose the right one for your home. Contacting an HVAC contractor to help you choose the best filter for your home is a great way to ensure that you are making the proper selection.
Why are Filters so Important?
Filters are important because your health is important, and having the right filter directly affects your health. This is because filters work to reduce your exposure to unhealthy air particles that are present in your home. There are many types of air particles that we breathe in our homes, from dust from the outdoors to dust from cooking or candles burning, along with hair and skin flakes. It is estimated that indoor air is two and a half times more polluted than outdoor air. The problem with breathing in all of these particles in that they go right into our lungs and can cause viruses that can potentially make us sick.
Aside from that, dust is a major allergen for millions of people, so having an efficient air filter installed by an HVAC contractor can improve the quality of life for both allergy and asthma sufferers. Filters are also designed to protect your furnace and fans, so the better the filter you choose, the better your furnace will hold up. Luckily, with filters, better doesn't necessarily mean more expensive, so you can choose a higher quality filter without emptying out your wallet.
The electrostatic air filter is one of the most common air filters used in home furnace and air conditioner systems. It uses static electricity to remove dust particles from the air and is known for being able to remove up to 97% of allergens. This type of filter is clearly one of the better choices for those who suffer from allergies or asthma, and for those who seek a very high level of air quality. This type of filter needs to be cleaned as often as every month or as seldom as every few months. Because the replacement time varies, it's important that you do a regular check of your filter to see if it needs to be cleaned. You or your HVAC contractor can easily clean the filter by spraying it down with a garden hose. This quick and easy maintenance of your filter can reduce your HVAC costs, as it ensures that your system is working to maximum capacity. Another great feature of the electrostatic filter is that it does not reduce air flow in your system, which is a very important factor to ensure that your system works properly.
Pleated air filters are the most common filters used in homes and do the best job for typical air filtration needs. This type of filter is made with a material that is folded into pleats, and it provides good air flow within your HVAC system. Unless you suffer from severe allergies, a pleated air filter will do a sufficient job filtering your air. There are many different types of panel air filters available, and it's important to keep in mind that you should stay away from disposable fiberglass types. Some people still choose these types of filters because they cost so little and because for many years they were known to do a good job. The options are so much better today that it's almost a waste of money to buy the fiberglass types, as they are not efficient and do not filter your air properly.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) air filters are a special type of pleated filters that are growing in popularity within the clean air industry, as well as with homeowners who seek an even higher level of air quality for their families. This is because HEPA filters can remove almost all allergens that pass through your HVAC system and your air. A HEPA filter can even remove mold, pollen and pet dander. The main difference between the HEPA filter and a regular pleated filter is that there are more pleats per inch of filter.
- The best defense against breathing unhealthy air in your home is to have an efficient air filter.
- When searching for a filter, make sure you know the dimensions you need.
- Take care of maintaining your filter. Just like your car needs an oil change to work properly, your filter needs to be changed to have your HVAC system work properly. A filter left in for too long can reduce air flow to the system, and in the worst case scenario can even cause your system to break. Put a sticker next to the filter with the date of the last time you changed the filter just like your mechanic puts a sticker in your car with the date of the last oil change. Like your car, your HVAC system and filter maintenance is too important to neglect!
- Don't be embarrassed to call a local HVAC contractor to help you with your filter needs. Fill out the form below to find a local expert.