Air filters are one of the best ways to keep your HVAC running smoothly. Plus, they help us consistently eliminate mold, pollen, spores and other contaminants throughout your home! When our air filters are changed out regularly and they are working for us, our homes will be cleaner, we can actually breathe easier, and they keep our families healthier.
Are all air filters the same? Here we answer that question.
Changing Your Air Filter for The Health of Your System: The Basics
Changing your air filter—and doing so regularly—protects your heating and cooling system, and it allows it to last longer. If you’re filter is clean, your HVAC can work optimally; on the other hand, if it’s dirty, it restricts the airflow and it makes your HVAC actually have to work harder to get the same amount of work (if it can do that!) done.
Not only does it have to “work harder,” but imagine this scenario: your air filter is restricting the airflow through the return ducts because it’s dirty. That reduced airflow means there’s less pressure across your blower. And, in turn, typically the air pressure can be imbalanced throughout your home as a result! In short, not only is your system working inefficiently and ineffectively, but the actual comfort in your home is impacted.
Types of Air Filters
Not all air filters are created equally! In fact, there’s quite a variety to choose from and not every single air filter will work with every single heating and cooling system!
There are multiple types of air filters, but here are just a few to be aware about:
- Reusable filters: just like it sounds, these are filters that are reusable. These are meant to save money by being reusable (2)
- Disposable filters: these typically use a combination of fiberglass or polyester to remove particles from the air. Once your done, you throw these out!
- Pleated filters: these are going to be more effective at removing particles from the air because they use fiberglass, polyester and/or other materials that have been folded into pleats. The pleats allow for more contaminants to be removed the air than other filters (2).
- Electrostatic filters: Some filters can work without electricity, and they then have a static field that captures materials from the air. On the other hand, electrostatic filters do use electricity, capturing particles as they pass through (2).
- HEPA filters:Out of all those listed, these are often the most effective at removing particles from the air. They require pressure to force air through, and as a result, don’t work for every single HVAC system (2).
If you hear about MERV to use and rate the different types of filters, take note of what you hear! The MERV tells us the minimum efficiency reporting value of that filter, and you can compare it across the board with other filters. Put simply, this helps shows how this air filter removes particles from the air. The MERV can range from 1 to 20, and a higher rating means the air filter performs better (2). That way you can balance cost and effectiveness when you make your decisions.
When Air Filters Are Even More Important Than Normal
If you’re the average home (or building) in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana you greatly depend on your air filter for comfort and for air quality. But there are other situations where your air filter really is important. Here are a few of the factors that make your air filter especially important, and may even mean you change out your air filter more often than you normally would:
- Construction in your home
- Construction outside your home or near your street
- Pets that shed
- Someone with allergies in the home or building
- Someone with asthma in the home or building
- There is a newborn (3)
When there is construction, air quality can be seriously affected—that’s why you want to be sure your air filter is changing out more quickly AND it’s an air filter that’s working effectively to begin with. For those with allergies, asthma or if there is a young one, the extra particles in the air can really make a different for their breathing and quality of life.
Keep Your Home Comfortable: Call the Experts at Greater Comfort Today
The heating and cooling experts at Greater Comfort can help you select an air filter that’s going to be right for your home. We can also help you learn how to change your filter and give you recommendations on which filter would be best for your household.
Remember that we’ve installed, maintained and repaired more than 25,000 HVAC systems in our nearly 30-year history. Give the experts at Greater Comfort a call today at 859-491-4915 for all your heating and cooling needs.