Indoor air quality is more of a problem today than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Newer, more tightly sealed homes are replacing older, draftier homes. Also older windows and doors are being replaced with newer options that keep your heat and air inside the house where it belongs. This makes changing your air filter in your HVAC system even more important. What types of air filters for your HVAC system, often depends on your lifestyle and how you use your system.
Types of Air Filters For Your HVAC System
Flat Panel Fiberglass Filters
These disposable filters have a one-inch thick fiberglass pad held in a metal or cardboard frame. They are usually inexpensive which allows you to change them often. They protect the HVAC system from large airborne particles but they do nothing to improve the air quality of your home. If you smoke, live with pets, or have allergies then there are better filters that ensure better air quality.
Pleated Polyester Filters
These filters are also relatively inexpensive and disposable. The have an increased surface area because of the pleats that allows them to catch and contain more air particles. They filter smaller particles such as dust mites, bacteria, viruses and pet dander.
Electrostatic High Efficiency Pleated Polyester Filters
These filters do a better job at capturing smaller particles. They are great for allergy suffers and pet owners. Because they trap particles so well, they can get dirty quickly and if not changed they can cause your HVAC system to run inefficiently.
Hospitals and medical facilities rely on HEPA filters because they are the most efficient filters. They capture over 99% of all air particles. They can significantly improve the indoor air quality too. These are normally commercial filters that require professional installation form your HVAC company. Because they can reduce the air flow they don’t always work with home HVAC systems. Your HVAC technician can help you determine if there are HEPA filters available for your unit and if you would be wise to use them.
Reusable Air Filters
Air filters that can be washed over and over are made from material that is durable enough to handle washing and use. They are normally not as effective at improving indoor air quality as disposable filters. They are generally more expensive and require regular removing, washing and installing. They should never be installed wet, to prevent mold from growing.
Your Filter Size
Each HVAC unit has a unique filter size. The easiest way to find the right filter is to check on your current filter and get the same one. Once you know the size, you can buy the right filter each time.
Your HVAC technician from Greater Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning can help you learn how to change your filter and give you recommendations on which filter would be best for your household. They can also let you know how often to change the filter, although once a month is recommended as a general rule. Please call Greater Comfort Heating and Air if you have questions or to schedule HVAC maintenance.