Why Choose High-Quality Air Filters for Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system’s air filters help ensure good indoor air quality. Air circulating in and out of your ventilation ducts and vents pass through filters to remove contaminants and other harmful pollutants such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. As winter is about to approach, it is time to start assessing your HVAC system’s air filtration to prepare for this season’s heavy use.
Different types of air filters
There are different types of high-quality air filters used in residential HVAC systems. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) created a standard rating system for determining the efficiency of HVAC air filters called minimum reporting value (MERV).
Some types of high-quality air filters are considered more effective in improving indoor air quality. If your home currently uses a moderate or less effective filtration system, check with your HVAC contractor for an upgrade.
• Washable air filters. Among all types of HVAC filters, washable air filters are the least efficient with a MERV rating of around 1 to 4. These filters are quite cheap and requires maintenance. Although you can wash these filters, they are more susceptible to contract bacteria, fungus, and other microorganisms. These organisms can contaminate your ventilation system and ultimately indoor air.
• Fiberglass air filters. This type of air filter is effective in removing large particles from the air circulating through your HVAC system. However, these do not help improve air quality. The MERV rating for fiberglass filters is also around 1 to 4 and is not a recommended filter type if you want improved indoor air quality.
• Polyester and pleated air filters. These are more effective in removing dust and other small airborne particles than fiberglass filters. Polyester and pleated air filters can remove about 45% of air pollutants inside your home. The MERV rating for this type of filter is 8 to 13 which means it is suitable for homeowners looking for an excellent air filter option.
• High-efficiency air filters. If you are looking for high-quality air filters which include HEPA filtration, high-efficiency filters have the highest effectiveness in removing indoor air pollutants. With a MERV rating between 14 and 16, high-efficiency filters can remove 85% of airborne pollutants including allergens like dust and pollen. High-efficiency filters are commonly used in HVAC systems for industrial locations as well as hospitals.
Your home’s HVAC system does not require the highest MERV rating to ensure effective filtration and good indoor quality. Another consideration when choosing the right air filters for your HVAC system is its capacity to allow air to pass without restriction. Air filter restrictions will cause your HVAC system to malfunction or work inefficiently.
Why is your HVAC air filtration system important?
The overall health and performance of your HVAC system depend on how you properly maintain each specific component. Professional HVAC technicians recommend air filter replacement at least once a month while in heavy use or at least once every 90 days during off-peak season. Replacing filters regularly prevent excess dirt to build-up in the air filters and cause problems with your HVAC system.
What happens when air filters are dirty?
The main purpose of high-quality air filters is to remove dust, debris, and airborne contaminants from indoor air. If you leave air filters dirty and clogged, your will start to experience the following problems related to your HVAC system:
• Blower or fan motor could break. The fan forces air through your home as it passes through the heating or cooling element of your HVAC unit. Clogged air filters will cause the blower motor to work much harder than normal. Consistent strain on the fan motor could cause it to break down.
• Reduced indoor air quality and comfort. Clogged air filters will also reduce air flow. You will feel discomfort when less air is coming out of your HVAC system. Aside from this, clogged air filters can no longer effectively remove air contaminants; hence, further reducing air quality.
• Higher utility bills. Rising energy bills could mean a number of things. But it can also be due to clogged air filters. If you start noticing an increase in your bills for no apparent reason, check your air filters first before scheduling a maintenance check.
Remembering to check your air filters regularly is an easy task. If you tend to forget doing so, you can always set a regular maintenance schedule with your HVAC contractor.
Benefits of a well-maintained air filtration system
High-quality air filters which can guarantee improved indoor air quality need to have a MERV rating of at least 7. However, even if you have high-quality air filters, if you don’t maintain and change them regularly, they won’t be as effective in removing air pollutants. Here’s how you benefit from regular air filter maintenance.
• Extended HVAC lifespan. Every HVAC system has an expected lifespan. But the only you’re your HVAC system can reach or exceed this lifespan is through proper maintenance. By investing in high-quality air filters and regular maintenance, your heating and cooling system remains in top shape ready for each season.
• Prevent frequent repairs. If you’re properly maintain your HVAC air filters, the entire system runs smoothly. This prevents the occurrence of problems and issues which require repair and replacement.
• Improved air quality. Having good indoor air quality is essential to the health of your family. By frequent maintenance and replacement, you will consistently enjoy good indoor air quality throughout the year. Aside from cleaning the air filters HVAC technicians also advise regarding additional features such as air purifiers that can further improve indoor air quality.
• Increased savings. It only follows that when you maintain and replace air filters regularly, the HVAC system performs according to recommended efficiency. An efficient HVAC system translates to less energy consumption; hence, more savings.
Aside from proper maintenance and routine replacement, high-quality air filters with above average MERV rating make an HVAC system air filtration better than others. If you want to invest in cutting edge filtration technology, HEPA filters are the most effective in terms of particle filtration capacity.
Choosing the right house air filters
Since we have already emphasized the importance of MERV rating in selecting air filters for your HVAC system, it is also essential to understand other factors that help determine which type of filter is best for home use.
• Disposable versus reusable air filters. Reusable or washable air filters have a higher price tag but are cheaper to use over time. One downside to reusable air filters is that you have to thoroughly clean and dry it before reinstallation. Any moisture left on the filter can harbor bacteria and mold growth. Another disadvantage of reusable air filters is that they are ineffective in filtering off small particles. Disposable filters are still more effective in filtering most air pollutants responsible for respiratory problems and allergies. Disposable high-quality air filters
• Air filter size. High-quality air filters that don’t conform to the size requirements of your HVAC system will not function properly. When shopping for replacement filters, always buy the exact dimensions specified for your HVAC system.
Aside from air filters, you can also consider adding a whole-house air purifying system to increase the capacity of high-quality air filters in removing pollen, dust, dust mites, and airborne volatile compounds. Whole-house air purifiers connected to your HVAC system could remove up to 95% of contaminants as little as 0.3 microns. Similar to HEPA filters, air purifiers not only improve air quality but also make indoor air healthier for your family.
Do you have questions about high-quality air filters, and whole-house air purifiers? Contact Fischer Heating today and be on your way to better indoor air quality.
Image Copyright: Oleg Begizov / 123RF Stock Photo