If you’ve ever stopped to wonder about the quality of your indoor air, then you’ll also want to think about the type of air filter being used in your home comfort system. Indoor air pollution has been recognized as a major cause for concern in homes across the country, and it can be impacted by your home’s heating and cooling system.
Air quality has to do with airborne particulates that circulate in the air and can pollute a home if not captured or filtered efficiently. That’s where air filters play an important role in capturing particles to control indoor air pollution and improve indoor air quality.
Air filters are typically installed in a furnace if not used in a portable unit instead. When used in central HVAC systems, an air filter has the potential to significantly clean your home’s indoor air, depending on the type of filter and its specific rated efficiency.
There are numerous types of air filters to choose from, ranging from simple and inexpensive to highly efficient and professionally provided. Filters can be purchased at retail outlets and home improvement stores as well as from professional HVAC companies. Generally, HVAC companies offer higher quality products, air filters included, which outperform many others. For controlling indoor air pollution, the efficiency of an air filter can mean the difference between almost total air particulate control and little to no particulate capture capability.
The most basic of air filters tend to only capture large particles, which are the least disconcerting as well as the least prevalent. In fact, 98% of all airborne particulates are 1 micron in size or smaller. This fact has everything to do with an air filter’s efficiency and effectiveness.
Filter Types and Efficiency
Electrostatic air filters are a type of filter that has a greater efficiency at capturing small particles by using a static charge to attract them. However, as electrostatic filters become filled, their efficiency decreases and they can be hard to clean and to maintain.
Any air filter that cannot be cleaned out sufficiently or that continues to run without being cleaned loses its original ability to efficiently filter air particles and is therefore virtually useless in your home.
Another filter type is categorized as extended surface, which are efficient because they have a large surface area due to a pleated filter construction. A high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is a type of extended surface filter that is highly recommended for allergy and asthma sufferers and is also used in hospitals for producing exceptionally clean air.
A professionally installed HEPA filtration system for your home provided by an approved HVAC company may greatly improve the quality of your indoor air. One type of HEPA filtration system available uses three filters in one: a pre-filter, a carbon filter, and a HEPA filter to eliminate or reduce harmful contaminants from your indoor air. This system is highly efficient at capturing and filtering particles of 0.3 microns or less in size.
Another professionally provided and installed filter for your furnace consists of a high efficiency filter pad that uses an electromagnetic field to magnetize and capture the smallest of airborne particles that may be the most harmful to breathe. This filter type is also easy to maintain; it runs at peak effectiveness for about four months until needing to be changed, so you only have to bother with it three times a year.
The efficiency of filters also encompasses different levels of indoor air quality control. Most filters primarily work to fight allergens and particulates in the air, which include dust, pollen, mold, mildew, and pet and insect debris.
These particulates can contribute to allergy and asthma symptoms as well as other respiratory issues. Other indoor air quality products work to fight additional areas of indoor air pollution including toxic compounds and infectious agents.
Here is a video that explains some of the different types of air filters availble:-
Maintaining your Air Filter
Regardless of what kind of air filter you choose to use in your home comfort system, you will need to maintain it in order for it to operate effectively. High efficiency filters typically need to be changed more often because they fill up more quickly. Dirty air filters also can obstruct airflow and weaken the performance of your system as a whole.
It is recommended that air filters be changed anywhere from once a month to every three months for maintaining efficiency and to make sure that your indoor air is kept cleaned as best as your air filter can do so.