Everything to Know About Air Filters

FAQs About Air Filters

Air filters are easy for homeowners to forget about. They aren’t visible, and they aren’t changed too often. However, filters are essential for the proper function of an HVAC system. Although air filters are not responsible for regulating indoor temperatures, they play a significant role in air quality and proper airflow when replaced on time. This blog post will answer some commonly asked questions about AC filters.  

What Is the Point of an AC Filter?

An air filter is used to remove pollutants and allergens from the air and prevent them from getting into the HVAC system, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. Although they look like simple contraptions, filters are extremely efficient. They work by catching the particles in small fiber openings before they have a chance to circulate throughout the home. Air can pass through the screen while contaminants remain caught inside the filter.

Since these pollutants are essentially trapped, the filter can get dirty and must be cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. Otherwise, the particles will eventually cover the entire screen so air cannot circulate indoors, and the HVAC system will suffer. A dirty air filter can affect the HVAC system’s efficiency and its ability to cool or heat the home.

When Should an AC Air Filter Be Replaced?

filterThe average disposable air filter should typically be replaced at least once every three months. However, different types of AC filters can have different recommendations for how often to replace them. For larger households with many people or pets, homeowners may need to check their air filters every month and replace them more often. 

Pleated air filters are a popular choice for both new and old houses. These filters are contained in a plastic frame and use cotton or paper to catch contaminants. They are especially efficient at capturing microscopic pollutants but can restrict airflow. Foam air filters are much more porous. 

Less filter material is used in a foam filter. Although this is less likely to prevent cool or warm air from circulation, it is also less efficient at capturing airborne contaminants. Foam filters are measured by their pores per inch. A higher measurement of pores per inch will have a lower resistance to airflow. They are also one of the easiest types of reusable filters to clean.

Carbon air filters are ideal for those who smoke indoors. They can remove toxic gasses as well as odors and allergens. Air purifiers usually use carbon air filters with aluminum screens. Though they will not catch all pollutants, they do provide strong filtration.

Although disposable filters are the most commonly used filter, reusables do exist. A reusable filter will last much longer but must also be cleaned regularly. The average reusable filter should be scrubbed once per month.

What Are the Benefits of Air Filter Replacement?

saveReplacing a dirty AC filter when needed has many advantages, including that it helps reduce energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of the HVAC system. If the filter is clogged, the HVAC system must work harder to produce the set temperature. Even though additional energy is used, a home may not be able to stay cool or warm throughout the season with dirty air filters, so replacing them also improves comfort. 

Replacing air filters on time also improves indoor air quality and can reduce the symptoms of allergies. With better indoor air quality, those with certain autoimmune diseases and respiratory illnesses can also breathe easier in the home. If homeowners have more questions about their air filters or filter replacements, they can contact an HVAC technician for answers. 

About PAC Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning

PAC Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning has over four decades of experience serving Staten Island and the surrounding areas. They offer accurate diagnosis, fast turnarounds, and maintenance plans. Call them today for heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality services in Staten Island, NY

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