All About Air Filters
Air filters: every HVAC system has one. Air conditioners and furnaces rely on them to work at their most efficient, and changing them is a frequent at-home HVAC maintenance routine. But for all the interaction homeowners have with filters, and for as important as they are in an HVAC system’s health, it’s all too common for the average person to know little to nothing about them!
Furnace Doctors is here to shed some light on this topic—what filters are, how they work to deliver clean air, and why it’s important that you keep up with their maintenance.
What Are Air Filters?
Air filters generally are large, white, square pieces of material set beneath a fine mesh, though there are plenty of variations on this appearance. Some look like elongated doughnuts, others come in colors, and still others resemble your standard pool filter more than the conventional image of an HVAC filter. Many of them feature pleats to maximize their surface area and therefore catch as much dirt, grime, and dust as they can.
How Do Air Filters Work?
It’s a pretty simple process, really! Air flows from your home into what’s called an intake vent, which is generally large and located quite near to your HVAC system. Then, that air is forced mechanically through the filter. This filter allows air to pass through, but it is solid enough that it traps contaminants like dust mites, pet dander, and dirt. Following this mechanical “washing,” air is allowed to circulate through your ducts and return to the home.
That’s why it’s important to invest in duct cleaning regularly. If clean air, courtesy of your air filter, just picks up accumulated dust and debris on its way back into your home, this whole filtration system is as good as worthless, and your HVAC will be pulling needless overtime.
Why Proper Air Filtration Maintenance Is Important
Vent cleaning is important to maintain the health of your HVAC system, sure, but so is regularly tending to your filter. Because it mechanically traps and holds contaminants, each filter is finite in its capacity, no matter its MERV rating—how good at trapping those contaminants it is. Eventually, it will become so clogged with debris (gross!) that air has a hard time passing through it, which makes your HVAC system work harder and your energy bills skyrocket.
Moreover, a clogged filter is inefficient at trapping further contaminants, as it’s already fully saturated with them. A dirty filter means a dirty house.
Furnace Doctors: Your Friends in Air Quality Control
We’re a team of HVAC contractors here to help you get the most out of your system. Reach our Saint Paul Park office today at 651-789-3082.