Once I purchased my first home, I realized that I needed to do my part in caring for my home appliances. In addition to reading the user manuals for my kitchen appliances and state-of-the-art plumbing system, I realized that I also needed to do a little research about HVAC. Because I had no experience with HVAC systems, I called out a professional to teach me a thing or two. It was fascinating to talk with him, and I was able to take notes about all kinds of important topics, such as maintenance, troubleshooting, and even shopping for a new system. This blog is all about understanding HVAC guidelines.
The air filter is a small but essential part of your home's HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. As its name would indicate, your air filter will block out airborne particles and contaminants that can degrade your home's air quality and be blown throughout your home by your HVAC system. While every single type of air filter has this same function, there are several different types of air filters available on the market, each of which performs in a different manner. Understanding some of the most common types of air filters and the differences between them can help you find the best fit for your home's needs.
Fiberglass Air Filters
Fiberglass air filters are the most common type of HVAC air filter found in residential homes, largely because of their low price point. You can easily and cheaply purchase fiberglass air filters from most hardware stores, and they work to keep dust and other types of airborne particles out of your ductwork. However, they are not very efficient at blocking out smaller particles, like pet dander, pollen, and other common allergens. Fiberglass air filters are best suited for homeowners that do not have pets or allergies, or for homes that are not exposed to a lot of airborne particles. Further, fiberglass filters will need to be replaced very often, usually several times over the course of the season depending on how much you use your HVAC system.
Pleated filters, on the other hand, are air filters that are made in a V-pattern to increase the overall surface area of the filter. This, coupled with their fine-woven fabrics, offers a more comprehensive air filtration solution when compared to fiberglass air filters. They are better able to clear out allergens like pet fur and dander from the air, and the larger surface area means that they have a longer lifespan than fiberglass filters do, needing to be replaced about once a season depending on how much you use your HVAC system.
HEPA filters, which stand for high-efficiency particulate air filters, are the final type of air filter that you should consider. They are much more expensive than their counterparts, but for good reason. They work to remove even the smallest of particles from your home's air supply, including smoke and bacteria. Though they come at a higher cost than other filters, they are a must if maintaining high air quality within your home is important to you because of respiratory conditions you or your family has, because your home is in an area prone to wildfires and smoke exposure, or for other related reasons.
For help choosing an air filter for your specific HVAC system, contact an air conditioining service.