Home Improvement Knowledge

Keeping Your House in Good Shape: Understanding the Importance of Air Filters

While it is one of the most overlooked components of the HVAC system, air filters are crucial to your home’s heat pump, furnace and air conditioner. Even though they may seem like just big cardboard boxes filled with pleated material or fibres, air filters serve a crucial purpose in an air conditioning system. Besides, they significantly influence the HVAC equipment’s performance and indoor air comfort. This article will help you better understand the importance of air filters in your home’s cooling and heating systems.   

What are the Functions of Air Filters?

Usually, air filters are made from pleated cloth or paper or a spun fibreglass material enclosed in a cardboard frame. Its primary purpose is to clean the air circulating through the cooling and heating system. Air filters trap and hold different types of contaminants and particles that could also affect your comfort and health. These contaminants include: 

  • Pollen
  • Lint and fibre
  • Dust and dirt
  • Mould and mould spores
  • Microorganisms and bacteria
  • Animal fur and hair
  • Wood, plaster and metal particles

Filtration typically happens when expended air is drawn back into the HVAC system for conditioning. This air is forced through the filter, which eliminates contaminants allowing safe air out. For maximum functionality, getting your air filters from a reputable manufacturer like Filter King is crucial. You can check out their amazing 16x20x1 air filters here.

Filter Efficiency and MERV Ratings

Different filters will include varying efficiency when it comes to cleaning your indoor air. While they often cost more, high-quality air filters can eliminate more contaminants from your air. The minimum efficiency reporting value(MERV) indicates the performance and efficiency of a filter. Average MERV values range from 1-16, and the numbers depict the filter’s efficiency in removing contaminants. The higher the MERV number, the higher the filtration rate. 

Nevertheless, filtration systems and filters with a MERV rating above 16 are also available. Such a filter is highly effective in the filtration process. However, their density and thickness can disrupt the airflow inside your HVAC equipment. Also, these filters can lower your cooling and heating effectiveness and cause damage to your AC system from the restricted airflow. It is important you ensure that your cooling or heating equipment can handle high- MERV filters before installing them. 

You could also install separate air purification and filtration units with your existing HVAC system. The air cleaners offer superior air cleaning while using high-quality filters. You can seek professional guidance to ensure you select an appropriate air filter right for your system. 

Maintaining Air Filters

All the air that cools or heats in your space will eventually pass through the HVAC system’s air filter. Therefore, you must keep the air filters clean to guarantee healthy air. Checking your air filter monthly and changing them when need be is advisable. A simple visual inspection lets you know when the filters are clogged or dirty. If you hold the filter to a light source and cannot see the light through, you should change it.

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