What’s the Big Fuss About Air Filters?
How do you get the highest quality of clean air for your home or building? By having the best HVAC filtration system! This will eliminate pollutants that tend to grow indoors, or are pulled in from the outside through vents, doors and windows. Thus the high standards we see placed today on IAQ (indoor air quality) issues and filters.
In addition to cleanliness and good health, a clogged HVAC filter can cause internal mechanical damage to your HVAC equipment. This happens when dust, dander and debris restrict air flow causing the fans to work harder. Given enough time, the fans burn out, causing the whole blower system to fail, especially if it is aging. This can cost thousands of dollars in repairs or equipment replacement.
The Diamond Certified Organization says; “A clogged furnace air filter is the primary cause of equipment failure.”
MERV Ratings and Filter Technology
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), has developed complex ranges and identifiers for equipment and the filters needed in today’s homes and businesses.
There are a wide variety of particles and pollutants – the smallest being submicron smoke, to the highest being large dust particles.
The pleated air filters we see in today’s HVAC systems are manufactured to meet the needs of the above standards and are made from products like fiberglass, polyester, paper, and synthetic nonwoven materials.
MERV ratings (Minimum efficiency reporting value), range from 1 to 20 – the higher providing the greater filtration. Your service technician can suggest which will work best for your system. Too high a MERV is not necessarily ideal for your system.
Here is an example of a MERV particle breakdown:
- 1 – 4 Pollen, dust mites, cockroach debris, sanding dust, spray paint dust, textile fibers, carpet fibers. (Recommended for Window AC units.)
- 5 – 8 Mold, spores, dust mite debris, cat and dog dander, hair spray, fabric protector, dusting aids, pudding mix. (Recommended for better residential, general commercial, and industrial workspaces.)
- 9 – 12 Legionella, humidifier dust, lead dust, milled flour, auto emission particulates, nebulizer droplets. (Recommended for superior residential, better commercial, hospital laboratories.)
- 13 – 16 Bacteria, droplet nuclei (sneeze), cooking oil, most smoke and insecticide dust, most face powder, most paint pigments. (Suggested for hospital & general surgery rooms.)
- 17 – 20 Virus, carbon dust, sea salt, smoke. (Good for electronics & pharmaceutical manufacturing cleanrooms.)
Surprise! Your HVAC System Isn’t the ONLY Air Filter in Your Home Needing to be Changed!
When an appliance suddenly fails, many homeowners dig out their owner’s manual and are shocked to learn it has a filter. Filter? What filter? Too late now!
Each of these may accumulate enough debris, dust and pet fur to either cause it to perform poorly or to quit completely. What is the biggest reason homeowners and business owners give for this neglect? “I’m so busy I forgot.”
Here is a handy list:
- Coffeemaker – Some coffeemakers have a charcoal filter (not the same as the filter you use daily). They go unnoticed when you’re in a hurry to make that morning Joe. Put a sticky note on the maker to remind yourself to change the filter about every 60 days. One brand claims this will increase the life of your coffeemaker by preventing buildup of minerals.
- Dryer – Most of us are careful to clean the plastic and mesh lint catcher after every load of wash. But if ignored, you can cause a potential fire. Every so often rinse the lint catcher. If it becomes torn, order a new one from the manufacturer.
- Humidifier – Do you have a humidifier or dehumidifier? Most come with disposable pads or filters that absorb mineral deposits and other debris from water. These need to be replaced once or twice a year.
- Refrigerator – Many refrigerators have water filters that service icemakers and in-door water dispensers. Manufacturers generally recommend replacing them every six months.
- Vacuum cleaner – Often hidden out of sight, your vacuum may have either a pleated or a sponge style filter. Read the instructions for your vacuum, locate the filter and keep it cleaned. Otherwise, your vacuum could be dispensing dirty air into your home when in use. Do you notice a burning odor, or does the base feel hot to the touch? If the filter is clogged the motor can eventually burn out.
We always recommend keeping the instruction booklets that come with your new home appliances. Post ‘alerts’ on your calendar as reminders for all filter changes.
Lower Your Energy Bills
A dirty filter can mean longer and harder work for your HVAC system. This added strain can cause your energy bill to skyrocket. Changing your air filter on a regular basis can save you from 5% to 15% in utility costs. The Department of Energy says that the average household spends about $2,200 a year on utility bills, so the savings are worth the effort.
Allergy and Air (www.allergyandair.com) says:
“No matter if you are feeling the effects compared to others in your home, improving poor indoor air quality should be a priority to every homeowner.”
To read more Click Here https://learn.allergyandair.com/checking-indoor-air-quality/
At ABEL Heating and Cooling we have experienced technicians and a CIEC (Council-Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant) on call to check the indoor air-quality of your home, church or commercial building.
The weather is rapidly changing and it’s not too soon to think about scheduling your fall HVAC inspection and maintenance.
We also offer filter sales. Click here to ORDER.
Call us at 952-472-COOL (2665) or Contact Us.
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