How Does the Air Filter in My HVAC System Work?
An air filter is positioned at the point where air enters an HVAC system. Air filters trap particles in the air to avoid blocking the blower or clogging up the coils. Read on to learn how your air filter works in your Fairdale, KY, home and how to keep it performing optimally.
What Is an Air Filter?
A HVAC system sucks air from a room and passes it over the coils to heat or cool it. The air is then distributed to other rooms, thus changing the temperature of your home. Air filters are made of fibrous materials that absorb particles in the air.
Air filters can be fitted with activated charcoal or an adsorbent to remove pollutants. Particulates in the air include dust, pollen and biological contaminants.
Tips for Using an Air Filter
The efficiency of an air filter is based on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). The MERV rating shows the percentage of particles the filter can remove from the air.
A MERV of 1-4 offers minimum filtration to keep dust off your system. A MERV of 5-8 captures smaller particles without restricting airflow. A MERV of 9-12 offers higher efficiency for your home, and a MERV of 13-16 is mostly reserved for hospitals and commercial applications.
It’s important to check your filters regularly and change them when they get dirty. A dense filter makes it harder for your HVAC system to suck in air. A clogged air filter will result in your system running continuously, raising your utility bills.
Changing Your Air Filter
Air filters eventually require replacement, which improves the efficiency of your HVAC system. Carbon filters require replacement after each year of use.
Check whether your air filter fits properly into the holder. This will help you determine whether you should replace the filter. Ensure that the filter is tightly held to prevent air from circulating around it.
Further, your air filter should match your home’s indoor air quality requirements. You can replace your air filter with one that has a higher MERV rating to improve efficiency.
Air filters should be installed in the correct direction of airflow. Ensure that the arrows on your air filters point toward the unit.
Check your rate of air exchange. When your air filter runs shorter cycles, it will not create the ideal rate of air exchange.
Improving the Efficiency of Air Filters
Air filters require space to operate efficiently. You need to choose the best location to prevent obstruction of air entering the system. Avoid turning off your filters, which can lead to accumulation of dust and contaminants that will reduce their efficiency.
Keeping your doors and windows open decreases the efficiency of air filters. Air coming through open doors and windows introduces more pollutants into your home. Fix faulty windows and doors to avoid air leaks.
Benefits of Air Filters
Air filters improve the quality of your indoor air. Air pollutants like dust, pollen and biological contaminants are filtered from the air.
Replacing the filters regularly will extend the life of your HVAC system. Air pollutants accumulated in your HVAC system make it work more, thus increasing wear and tear. Clean air filters help the HVAC system run more efficiently and last longer.
Air filters help reduce seasonal allergens by trapping pollen that may trigger symptoms. They also improve your general health by preventing the spread of germs in your home. Filters can improve the smell of your home by trapping bad odors, too.
Another thing air filters do is improve your home’s comfort by enabling your HVAC system to maintain optimal temperatures. They can also help you save money by reducing your energy bills.
Contact us at One Choice Mechanical, LLC for the best in HVAC services and indoor air quality products. Get in touch soon to hear about our special deals, great products and incomparable service on all things HVAC in Fairdale, KY.
Image provided by iStock
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