Air Filters | Heating and Air Conditioning
The majority of homeowners know to change the HVAC filter routinely, though not everyone agrees on the best type of filter for the HVAC system. Before you purchase further air filters for your HVAC system, being aware of the following information can not only save you money, it may prevent inadvertent damage to the heating and air conditioning system.
The purpose of a filter is to protect the heating and air conditioning system. Numerous homeowners purchase low-cost fiberglass filters for the heating and air conditioning system. Some manufacturers recommend them, and while these filters will catch the larger particles that can cause damage, they won’t catch the smaller particles that will over time affect the system, its performance and increase the cost of service and repair.
Heavy duty filters may work too well, and can reduce the airflow across the heat exchanger. Consequently, this will reduce the system’s efficiency, raise the cost of energy bills, and damage the heating and air conditioning system. On the other hand, a high-efficiency filter or a dirty filter can lead to the condensing coils on an air conditioning unit to freeze.
How Dirty Air Filters Affect the System
In our busy lives, it is easy to overlook changing the air filter and scheduling maintenance. Unfortunately, skipping these necessary actions can create serious problems in the heating and air conditioning. The issues caused by a dirty filter include:
- Dirty air ducts. A dirty filter will allow the dust and grime to slip past the filter and on into the system coating everything with a coat of dust and grime, including the air that you breathe.
- Reduced air flow. Air conditioning units are designed to function with a particular amount of air flow. A dirty filter can prevent the air flow the system needs, resulting in it being overworked, and will lead to premature wear, damage and malfunction. The energy cost of operation will become elevated as the system struggles for air.
- Cooling inefficiency. As dust and grime build up on the cooling coils they can freeze. In addition, a dirty coil can cause an increase in condensation, resulting in water leaking from the system onto the floor. A coil in need of a professional cleaning will cause the air conditioning system to struggle in its efforts to cool the home.
- Elevated power bills. A dirty air filter will result in reduced efficiency. Furthermore, a dirty filter causes air conditioner to work harder, placing a strain on the unit, and increasing the energy bill.
Select a day such as the first, or a day easily remembered to change the filter monthly. Pleated filters and others of higher quality may only require changing every three months. Always check the filter monthly. In extremely dusty conditions, even high efficiency filters will require more frequent changing.
With such a large variety of filters available, it can be difficult to select a filter for the heating and air conditioning system. Being informed on different filters helps in making an informed choice. Checking with the manufacturer is another option. If the manufacturer recommends a pleated filter, for example, select this filter. Your certified HVAC technician is the best source for guidance.
Fiberglass Filters provide the least costly filters available. They provide minimal protection to the heating and air conditioning system by removing the largest particles that can damage your unit. Replace a fiberglass filter every month.
Pleated Filters provide an improvement over fiberglass filters. The increased surface area provided by pleated air filters enables them to trap a larger number of airborne particulates without restricting airflow. Pleated filters can last up to 3 months, though you should continue to check the filter monthly and change if necessary.
Electrostatic Air Filters provide the next step up. These filters utilize electronically charged fibers to remove smaller particles, and provide greater efficiency in filtering particulates from the air than pleated or fiberglass filters
Electronic Air Cleaners are a separate appliance installed within the home’s ductwork, providing greater effectiveness than other filters.
Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning’s certified HVAC technicians have the expertise to provide professional heating and air conditioning services each and every time. For service you can depend upon, give us a call.