Air Filter | Heating and Air Conditioning
If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t give your heating and air conditioning system a lot of thought as long as you are comfortable year round. However, in order to maintain its peak performance, to reduce breakdowns and ensure the expected lifespan; you need to provide filter changes/cleanings on a routine basis. Your system’s air filter is at the center of indoor air quality, and assists in reducing dust and particulates that exacerbate allergies and other respiratory conditions. A Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning technician can assist you in achieving improved indoor air quality.
Changing the filter seems simple enough. However, the reality is selecting a filter that is both safe for and protects your heating and air conditioning system is more complicated than you may think. Especially when you consider that choosing the wrong one can cause damage to the HVAC system. While the proper selection is important, proper filter care is also essential. Depending on the type of filter, care involves either changing the filter, or cleaning it on a routine basis.
What a Furnace Filter Does
The foremost purpose of a furnace filter is to protect the blower fan and coil from all the dust, lint and other debris the return duct pulls in. While it will also help the quality of your inside air, its primary purpose is not to actually clean your air. Cleaning the air that moves through it is an additional benefit consequential of its primary job.
In addition, proper filter maintenance is essential for maintaining clean HVAC ductwork. When dirt accumulates in the ductwork, and if condensation occurs, bacteria and mold may grow. Furthermore, inspect the filter for mold, damage or collapse and change it immediately if any of these occur. Damaged filters allow debris filled air to bypass the filter, soiling the system the filter protects.
When changing the filter, ensure the replacement filter is the correct size and compatible with your system. Using a filter with the incorrect performance value can cause an excessive pressure drop across the filter that grows worse as the filter soils. The greater resistance will reduce the airflow to the unit, adversely affecting the performance, energy efficiency, and lifespan of the heating and air conditioning system.
Furnace filters are rated with the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), and which ranges from 1 to 16. The higher the rating, the more effective the filter is.
The most common type of furnace filter is the disposable pleated kind. These come in a range of standard sizes and ratings. Pleated filters do a good job of filtering most common household particles and allergens. Inspect pleated filters monthly for excessive soiling and replace every 90 days or more frequently if needed.
Disposable fiberglass filters are the cheapest, and the least effective filter on the market. They are typically blue in color. They have lower performance ratings than pleated filters. Due to their inferior quality, disposable fiberglass filters should be checked, and replaced each month or more frequently if needed.
Permanent reusable filters have either a solid aluminum or plastic frame, and are more efficient than a disposable filter. They last an average of 5 years, when properly cleaned at least every 90 days or more often if required. However, due to their density, they may be incompatible with some heating and air conditioning systems.
Electrostatic filters self-charge themselves as air passes through them. This process increases their ability to trap smaller particles, making them ideal for homes with pets or smokers. However, before using you should check the manual to your heating and air conditioning system to ensure they are safe for use with your system. Filters should have an arrow displayed indicating the direction of the airflow. Proper installation is essential to ensure proper filter operation.
HEPA filters are high efficiency filters that are 99% effective in removing air born particulates. A HEPA filter captures allergens such as dust mites, mold, pet dander, bacteria, tobacco smoke, pollen, viruses and other dangerous contaminates from indoor air. This provides cleaner air, reducing the incidence of colds, allergy and asthma attacks, and helps to prevent exacerbation of chronic respiratory conditions.
HEPA filters are so effective they have been in use at hospitals for more than 70 years to assist in preventing the spread of disease. A HEPA filter is a proven source for cleaner air in a home’s heating and air conditioning system.
HEPA filters are one of the most affordable, and efficient air purifying systems available. Replace HEPA filters every 3-5 years.
Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning’s NATE certified HVAC technicians offer experience and expertise for your heating and air conditioning needs. If you have questions regarding your system’s air filter your Cypress technician can provide the answers you need. We serve Katy, Plano and the surrounding areas, and are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.