If you’ve ever forgotten to change your HVAC air filter for any length of time, you know just how much dust and dirt is collected. Air filters are vitally important to the function of your HVAC system. They not only trap particles that can hinder your breathing, they also help your system run more efficiently. So, it’s important to know the basics of air filters if you’re a homeowner.
Choose the Optimal Filters
First, it’s important to remember that not all filters are created equal. They range dramatically in terms of price, function and durability. The most common type of HVAC air filter is the fiberglass/synthetic type that is commonly found in home-improvement and grocery stores. They are able to catch about 80 percent of particles in the air that are 50 microns or larger. These products can help prevent the buildup of dust and dirt on heat exchangers, fan motors and other surfaces of your HVAC system, but they’re not the most effective type available.
Polyester filters are made with a higher quality material that remove up to 95 percent of particles 5 microns or larger. They’re about five times pricier than fiberglass/synthetic filters, but they are a solid choice if you’re continuously battling dust in your home. Pleated filters offer even greater efficiency by trapping particulates 0.3 microns in size, including viruses and bacteria. Electrostatic filters are another filter option, and they’re available in both disposable and washable models.
If you or other members of your household have allergies, asthma or other respiratory issues, HEPA filters may be the way to go. These capture 99 percent of particles 0.3 microns and larger. Yet, it’s important to remember that these premium filters cost more and slightly reduce the air flow in your HVAC system, which translates into higher utility costs.
Determine the Right Size
HVAC filters come in a variety of sizes. To ensure you get one that fits correctly, measure the air filter cabinet space or your existing filter. The most common filter sizes are:
10 X 20, 14 X 20, 16 X 24, 18 X 30, 12 X 12, 14 X 24, 16 X 25, 20 X 20, 12 X 20, 14 X 25, 18 X 18, 20 X 24, 12 X 24, 14 X 30, 18 X 20, 20 X 25, 12 X 30, 15 X 20, 18 X 24, 20 X 30, 12 X 36, 16 X 20, 18 X 25, 4 X 24 and 25 X 25
Replace Filters Often
In the desert, dust abounds, and it will collect in your HVAC system. This is why it’s vitally important to change out filters at least once a month to ensure your home’s air is clean and your system is functioning optimally.
Have Questions about Filters?
Call the pros at Cool Blew today, and we can help ensure you have the right filter for your HVAC system