What You Need To Know About Air Filters Advice, International Property Guide

What You Need To Know About Air Filters Tips

5 May 2020

Every home has parts that need to function properly to make it comfortable for everyone inside. There are the basic essentials like the roof, walls, and doors. Then there are specialized systems like the plumbing and electricity. Most homes— particularly those in the warmest and coldest states— also have heating and cooling systems that maintain a comfortable temperature indoors when the temperature outside gets too extreme.

What You Need To Know About Air Filters

Aside from temperature regulation, the HVAC system also helps to filter out particulates from the air. These particulates could cause harm to the occupants of the house but they get removed by the air filter of your AC unit. The air filter is one of the unsung heroes of the home and one of the more vital parts of it as well. Without it, the air would become a lot less breathable.

The air filter is a relatively simple device, but there are a few things you need to know about it. Before getting into them, you should find out where you can get a new air filter since they are so important. You can find air filters in many online stores which are guaranteed to have the right filters for you.

What Is An Air FIlter?

An air filter is a flat square or rectangular piece of equipment that sits inside of your HVAC system and filters out particulates like dust, bacteria, pollutants, and more. These particulates can cause respiratory problems in anyone but especially in people who are more prone to respiratory illnesses like young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.

Every air filter has a MERV rating; MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value and is a measure of how effective the air filter is at removing particulates from the air. The higher the rating, the more effective it is. Most homes need an air filter with a MERV rating between seven and twelve. Higher ratings are for specialized buildings like hospitals or laboratories. Even if you wanted an air filter with a high MERV rating, most home systems are not designed to handle them, so they won’t work as well.

Why Is An Air Filter Important?

Aside from making the air cleaner and more breathable for all the occupants of the home, the air filter also has a big impact on the energy usage of the home. That is because the HVAC unit pushes air through the filter and the dirtier and more clogged the filter is, the harder the unit has to work. If the AC unit has to work harder, then it has to use more energy, which can drive up the electric bill.

That is why air filters need to be cleaned or washed regularly since a dirty air filter affects both the air quality and the energy bill. That is also why you should not use an air filter with too high of a MERV rating in your home. The AC unit has to work harder to push air through air filters with very high MERV ratings, which could inflate the energy bill without providing significantly better air quality than a more reasonably rated air filter.

Washable vs Disposable Air Filters

AIr filters come in two types, those that need to be replaced every few months and those that only need to be washed. Disposable filters are usually made from fiberglass or some other synthetic material. The main advantage they have is that they can be easily replaced so you never have to worry about cleaning them. Since they come in a variety of different MERV ratings, you can choose a new one with a higher or lower rating than your current filter, so they give you a lot of flexibility. The downside of disposable filters is that you need to replace them on a regular basis, which does add up.

Washable air filters are made of metal and use an electrostatic charge to remove particulates from the air. The upside of these kinds of filters is that they are very long-lasting, which makes them very cost-effective. The only real downside is that their MERV ratings don’t get as high as they do with disposable filters. However, the MERV ratings of washable filters are usually in the four to ten range, which is highly effective for most homes.

Can I Replace My Air Filter Myself?

Yes you can, regardless of whether you have a disposable or washable air filter. Doing so is easy since all you have to do is turn off the system, locate and remove the access panel for your AC unit, remove the air filter, clean or replace it, close the access panel, turn on the AC again, and you’re done. It only takes about five minutes, unless you’re washing your filter, then you will need to wait for it to dry. No matter the case, it is a very quick and easy process.

Air Filters Are Vital For Your Home

These are the basic facts about air filters, which are one of the most important parts of the home. They do not get much attention but that is fine since they are designed so that they don;t need much attention. As long as you remember to clean or replace your filter every few months you will be breathing easy and clear inside your home.

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