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Importance of HVAC Air Filters

By Cristiana , in Technology , at January 17, 2024

Air filters catch unwanted particles that float freely through HVAC systems and the homes they heat and cool. They trap dirt, dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander.

Keeping up with changing your filter can reduce the wear on your fan, lower your energy bills, and cut the risk of health problems.

Cleaner Air

Air filters catch and trap dirt, dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, hair, carpet fibers, and other particles as they move through your HVAC system. This keeps them from recirculating in your home and irritating everyone. It’s essential for those who suffer from respiratory problems like asthma.

A primary filter will be made from fiberglass strands (for disposable filters) or metal mesh (reusable) that stops large debris. More expensive models, however, are made from a material similar to that found in surgical masks and arranged into wrinkles so they can trap the smallest contaminants.

Generally, replacing an HVAC filter every three months is best. But, of course, it depends on the size and type of filter and the environment in your home and backyard. For example, those with a garden should change the filter more often, and if there are many shedding pets in the house, the filter will clog faster.

Better Indoor Air Quality

A good HVAC filter traps airborne pollution particles and keeps them from recirculating in the indoor space. This helps to keep germs and other hazardous microbes at bay in homes, offices, schools, and hospitals. It also promotes occupant comfort, productivity, and health.

The filters available vary by size, media type, and MERV rating. HVAC air filters Richmond with higher MERV ratings can capture finer particulates, which benefits allergies and respiratory conditions. However, they restrict airflow and tend to clog more easily.

Some of the best filters have a design resembling that of surgical masks with creased pleats to increase surface area and enhance filtration. Some have an electrostatic charge to attract and stick to tiny particles like dust, pet dander, and bacteria. Others contain friendly oxidizers that help destroy volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from cleaning products, paints, and air fresheners before they can circulate. Some specialized filters even trap microscopic spores from mold, mildew, and other harmful organisms.

Lower Energy Bills

Dirty air filters restrict airflow and require HVAC systems to work harder to maintain your preferred temperature. This strain on the system can cause it to break down or consume more energy than necessary.

Air filters come in various sizes, shapes, materials, and MERV ratings. The MERV rating indicates the particle size that will be caught, affecting how quickly a filter clogs and how well a filtering system functions.

Filter types include fiberglass, pleated, electrostatic, reusable, and HEPA filters. Some specialized filters target specific needs, such as removing odors or inhibiting bacteria growth. Regularly replacing your filter based on its MERV rating and household factors like smokers, pets, seasonal changes, and weather can optimize your system’s performance, longevity, and indoor air quality.

Reduced Risk of Allergies

The correct HVAC filter can detect pollutants and particulates, including microorganisms, dust mites, mold spores, etc. They’re rated by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting System or MERV; the higher the number, the better they perform. Those with a high MERV rating can catch the finest particles, reducing your family’s allergy symptoms.

Blocked filters impede airflow and require the fan motor to work harder to keep your home cool or warm. This places undue strain on the unit and raises the likelihood of damage or breakdown.

Keeping your filters clean and changing them regularly reduces the risk of allergies. This is especially important when plants bloom, trees are shedding their leaves, and the pollen count is high. It also helps ensure your system operates at full capacity, saving energy and lowering utility bills. Contact your local HVAC service professional today for one-on-one advice about choosing the best filters for your family’s needs.

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