Installing a Heating,Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system to your home is extremely important especially during the long, bitterly cold winters or the extremely hot summer afternoons. However, while proper & professional installation is critical, the operation and upkeep of that system and its components are also paramount. An HVAC system has many components, but one very important component is the air filter.
What is an Air Filter?
Air filters are the same as air conditioner filters or furnace filters and sometimes these phrases can be used interchangeably. By common sight, they are large, cardboard-like boxes that are full of fibers/pleated material. Air filters have the very crucial function of trapping harmful particles that pass through the system, and in the process ensuring that the air you breath in is clean, crisp and without any foreign particles that may harm you. These particles include; fibers, pollen, hair, mold, bacteria, dust and dirt.
Not all households have the same air filter needs. So all homes cannot use the same standard filters. How will you determine which air filter is right for you? Simple; By answering each the following six questions. By the end of the questions, you will likely have found the type of air filter specific for your needs.
Which Air Filter Do I Need?
When looking for the right air filter for you, consider the following:
1. Which air filters are the cheapest?
The cheapest air filters for HVAC systems out there are Panel filters. Used by most American families, these air filters are square or rectangular in shape. They are really good at filtering dust from the air but not that good for filtering the air you breathe especially if you live in certain areas which suffer from pollutants such as heavy pollen, wildfire smoke, or smog.
2. Can I get washable air filters?
Yes, there are washable air filters for any kind of HVAC system. These are very cost effective as well and can be washed and re-used until a special foam they are made of runs out. However, always make sure after washing the panels, that they are as dry as possible before re-installing.
3. Are there environmentally friendly air filters?
Green filters are energy efficient and Eco-friendly. Most are made from cotton and are a better Earth-friendly option than the fiberglass types. Green filters offer more longevity, produce less waste and thus don’t need to be constantly changed.
4. Which air filters are the best for people with breathing conditions like asthma?
HEPA filters are the best kind of filters for people with breathing concerns. This is because they are highly effective at filtering out dust, pollen and other particulates. HEPA filters are reputed to filter out about 99.9% of all pollutants in the air. Note: thicker, more effective filters like these also cause your system to use more energy to push air past the thicker filters, causing a spike in your energy bill.
5.Which air filters are the most energy-saving?
Electrostatic filters are the most energy saving and cost effective in the long run. This is because they use static electricity to separate dust particles from the air. The electrostatic charge is inherent and produces its own energy so it doesn’t require the same energy output from your system.
6.Can I get extremely large air filters?
Air filters with very large surface areas are available. Pleated filters fit this description perfectly. They can be easily folded like an accordion and thus offer a little more protection and filtration.
Getting the best air filter for your specific needs is very important. Knowledge of what type of filter best suits you aids in making the best choice. Make the best choice today by consulting with the experts here at OK Heating & Air to be sure you’re making the right call for your family.