In a health-conscious world, one health item that often gets overlooked is the air that everyone breathes. However, the air around us often contains harmful substances that aren’t readily visible, such as pollen, dirt, and dust. By replacing an air filter in an HVAC system regularly, it’s easy to remove many of these irritants. (HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.) The result is often noticed immediately with fewer sneezing fits or watery eyes.
Change Out the Filter Regularly for Cleaner Air
Yes, changing an air filter on a set schedule dramatically improves the air quality in a home or office space. Remembering to do so might be the most difficult part of this valuable maintenance routine. To ensure that an air filter isn’t forgotten, consider using a delivery service, such as Filter King. High-quality filters are delivered right to the front door, so there’s no need to worry about swapping out a filter on time. Simply specify the correct filter size, the quantity desired, and how often the filters should be sent. A filter auto-ship service is a convenient way to never run out of this valuable product.
Changing the filter of a heating and air conditioning system on a set schedule can increase its operating efficiency and overall lifespan. Besides improving the indoor air quality, a filter that isn’t clogged has a direct impact on the mechanical efficiency of an HVAC system. The result is fewer repairs and less required running time to reach the desired room temperature.
Why Are Clean Air Filters So Important?
Environmental air quality greatly impacts an individual’s health. Air that is filled with unhealthy substances may cause a person to cough or wheeze without realizing the root cause of the problem. An air filter grabs microscopic particles and removes them from the air. In a sense, it’s much like drinking tap water versus filtered bottled water. The difference is quite noticeable.
When an air filter remains dirty for an extended time, it stresses out the entire unit. Reduced airflow means that the entire system must work overtime to keep up. This can lead to internal damage that may turn into a costly repair. The cost of a new filter is relatively inexpensive when compared to paying a technician to make repairs.
What Exactly is an HVAC Filter?
An HVAC filter is responsible for trapping contaminants before they travel deep into the ductwork of a heating or air conditioning system. When an HVAC system is turned on, it pulls in outside air and forces it through a blower. After the air is cooled or heated, it enters the ductwork and is pushed through the registers of each room. An HVAC filter is responsible for cleaning the air just before it reaches the blower. If the filter is dirty or clogged, the amount of air that can pass through the blower won’t be enough for the system to run smoothly.
HVAC filters remove many particles that aren’t readily seen, including pollen, dust, dirt, smoke, pet dander, and even strands of hair. Anyone who has had a hairdryer that frequently overheats understands that cleaning the filter on the end of the hairdryer often puts an end to the overheating issue. A dirty HVAC filter can cause a similar problem but on a much larger scale. It’s imperative to keep it clean to avoid a major breakdown somewhere in the system.
Choosing the Right Filter Type
There are several types of HVAC filters including electrostatic and regular filters. Electrostatic filters require less maintenance and are washable. To clean an electrostatic filter, simply remove it from the HVAC unit and spray it with a hose. Allow the filter to dry thoroughly before putting it back in place. A regular filter requires frequent maintenance. This type of filter cannot be reused, and it must be replaced when it gets dirty. For many people, a regular filter is easier to deal with, even if there’s a small cost involved.
Electronic filters are not recommended for people with allergies as they only capture about 20% of all airborne particles. On the other hand, regular filters capture more particles, but they tend to restrict quite a bit of the airflow that is forced through them. If unsure of which type is better suited for a particular system, consult with a professional or use the recommendations of the HVAC manufacturer.
Consider the MERV Rating
The MERV rating on an air filter determines what the filter is capable of eliminating from the air. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This can be a valuable tool to use when unsure of what type of filter to buy. The correct filter will improve the air quality in a given space, and a MERV rating can assist with making that determination. For example, a person who lives in an area that generates a lot of dust and pollen will need a higher MERV-rated filter on an HVAC system, one that is designed to remove smaller particles in particular. Areas that have more pollutants require a higher MERV-rated filter to maintain better air quality indoors.
Most homes use a filter that has a MERV rating somewhere between 8 – 12. Anything higher than that may restrict the airflow too much. Moderately rated filters work best for residential use and are quite effective if they are replaced regularly.
The Pros and Cons of Pleated Filters
Pleated filters increase the surface area that the outdoor air flows across as it is pulled inside. This helps to remove more airborne particles before any air passes into the HVAC system to be heated or cooled. Fiberglass filters are flat, so there isn’t as much surface area to trap harmful substances. Fiberglass air filters are not eco-friendly, but they are very cost-effective. On the other hand, pleated filters are biodegradable which makes them an environmentally friendly option. Pleated filters last longer than fiberglass filters, but they are also more expensive.
Set a Reminder So It’s Not Forgotten
Replacing a filter on a set schedule may seem unimportant, but in reality, it’s key to having high-quality air to breathe indoors at all times. A clean filter creates a healthier indoor environment and helps an HVAC system to perform to its maximum potential. A filter subscription service removes the worry of forgetting to change the filter by delivering a new one to the front door on a chosen schedule.