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what to know about air filters

6 Things You May Not Know About Air Filtration

Now more than ever, you’re probably aware of proper air filtration in your home or office building. To keep your families and employees safe, it’s important to regularly monitor your air filters.

Here are a few interesting facts that you might not know about air filters, as well as air filtration in general:

1. Air Filters Are Designed to Have a Short Life

Air filters aren’t actually meant to last forever—in fact, they are designed to be changed regularly and consistently. Although it varies depending on the size and type of space, here are a few general guidelines:

  • Small apartments or single occupant without a pet: at least twice a year
  • Office setting: although variable, every two months on average. If near construction, it will need to be changed more often
  • Single family home with 1 pet: at least every 90 days, and sometimes more often

If you have a pet, young child, or someone with allergies, we recommend changing the air filter out every 20-60 days, or more often; ask us for more details specific to your home or commercial space (1, 2, 3).

2. Not All Air Filters Are the Same

There are multiple different types and sizes of air filters and the reality is they are not all built the same. What you’ll need is dependent upon the type, size, and location of your space.

Generally, air filters can be categorized into two types: mechanical and electrostatic air filters.

  1. Mechanical air filters. As you might have guessed, these are filters that operate without electricity.
  2. Electrostatic air filters. These systems use electricity to create static fields that attract and capture the smallest particles. In many instances, this might be a more effective air filter due to its ability to capture even the smallest particles (1, 2, 3).

3. Prolonged Neglect to Change Your Air Filter Can Result in Health Issues

If you neglect to change your air filters regularly, allergens can build up in your duct system and cause respiratory issues for those inside the home or the workspace (especially those with allergies!) Additionally, a dirty air filter creates an environment susceptible to mold, which can lead to more severe health issues (2). Definitely not worth the risk.

4. Proper Air Filtration Protects Decor, Too

There are so many benefits to changing your air filter (and air filtration in general) beyond your health and safety.

Not only does efficient air filtration protect the people and pets inside the home, it protects the furniture and decor. Filters remove dust particles from the air which in turn prevent surface stains. Who would’ve thought that an air filter could help keep your home or office space looking brand new, too? (1, 2, 3)

5. Air Filters Have Their Own Rating System Based on Effectiveness

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, a.k.a., the MERV system is simply an industry-standard system that ranks the quality and efficiency of different kinds of filters. You can think of it as a way to make sure that standards are met and exceeded for air filtration.

With 16 being most effective, the MERV measuring system ranges from 1-16. The cleaner the air filter, the more efficiently the HVAC system runs in your home. That, in turn, saves you energy costs as well as improves your air quality (3).

6. Air Fresheners & Candles Can Worsen Your Indoor Air Quality

Did you know that excessive use of artificial air fresheners and candles can make your air filters have to work a little too hard? Said another way, synthetic air fresheners contain phthalates, which can react with other chemicals in our air to form harmful substances like formaldehyde and acetone (2). In turn, you might need to change your air filters more frequently because they CAN make your system have to work harder to filter the air.

Although we’re not suggesting that you throw out all of your air fresheners that would fill in this category, at times, it could be a fit to cut back if you’re over-using certain kinds of fresheners and candles, especially if you’re already battling indoor air quality issues (1, 2, 3).

Greater Comfort Is Here to Help You With Indoor Air Quality

As a locally owned and operated team, we’ve served more than 45,000 customers in the last 15 years. Today, our residential heating and cooling team serves Kentucky, Southwest Ohio, and Southeastern Indiana. Our commercial heating and cooling team serves Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee.

We can help you learn how often to change your air filter, and we can provide you with recommendations on which filter would be best for your household.

Call our 24/7 team at 859-491-4915 or contact us here.

Sources:
  1. http://www.lennox.com/lennox-life/comfort-matters/product-highlights/the-furnace-filter-the-forgotten-hero-of-your-heating-and-cooling-system
  2. https://cleanair.camfil.us/2016/09/27/5-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-indoor-air-quality/
  3. https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/what-merv-rating-1
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