Your Indoor Air Quality is directly responsible for the health of your loved ones inside your home. Air filters play a vital role in maintaining the comfort of your home and air quality. They are an important component of your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. HVAC air filters are responsible for keeping the air clean by capturing dust, debris, pet dander, pollen, and other airborne particles from the air. Air Filters also prolong the lifespan of the HVAC System as they save the system from the accumulation of debris.
In this article, we will talk about different kinds of Air Filters and how to choose an air filter for your AC.
Understanding Air Filters
Which is the best AC filter for airflow? You’ve got to understand different types of air filters in order to find the best one for your home. Here are several types of air filters used in HVAC systems, each with its own characteristics and filtration capabilities. Here are some common types:
Fiberglass Filters are one of the most commonly used filters. They are inexpensive and made from layered fiberglass fibers. They are designed to capture larger particles like dust and dirt. They only capture 20% of pollutants ranging from 3 to 10 microns. They are not very effective at capturing smaller particles or improving indoor air quality.
These filters have a larger surface area compared to Fiberglass filters due to their folded design. Their particle capture rate is around 70-90% which means their larger surface area allows them to collect most of the dirt particles including pet dander and pollen. You can find different pleated filters of different MERV ratings according to your filtration efficiencies.
These filters are also known as reusable filters. These filters are made from foam or Mesh and can be cleaned for reuse. These filters are eco-friendly and cost-effective as you don’t have to replace them as frequently as disposable filters. However, these filters don’t provide the same level of filtration as disposable filters.
HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air):
These filters can easily capture very small particles including allergens and viruses. These filters are commonly used in hospitals and laboratories where extra cleanliness is required. However, not all HVAC systems can handle HEPA air filters without modification. These filters severely restrict airflow, which causes the HVAC system to use more energy to push out the air resulting in high energy bills.
Electrostatic filters use static electricity to attract and capture particles from the air. They can be either disposable or washable, and some models are designed to be both electrostatic and pleated for improved performance.
These filters are not your traditional air filters but these filters are ideal for eliminating viruses, or deactivating bacteria or mold. Ultraviolet rays are used in these filters to sterilize the passing air between them.
Now that you understand different types of air filters, you can move on to the next step of choosing the right one for your HVAC system.
Determine your needs:
- Look whether anyone in your home has allergies or respiratory issues. If yes, then you might have to invest in a filter with a higher MERV Rating. A MERV rating of 8-12 is fine for residential buildings. Although, higher ratings can restrict airflow. You have to find the perfect balance between filtration and airflow.
- Determine your living space’s indoor air quality needs before you select any air filters.
Check HVAC System Requirements:
You have to keep in mind that not all HVAC Systems can accommodate the high-MERV filters due to their airflow limitations. You should consult a professional technician to make sure of the right MERV-rated air filter for your system.
Using a filter that is highly MERV rated for your HVAC system can strain your system, reduce its efficiency, and also cause mechanical problems.
Air filters aren’t just a once and for all game. They need regular maintenance in order to work efficiently. Pay attention to the cleanliness of the filters. Disposable filters should be replaced after every 1 to 3 months.
Washable or Reusable Filters should be cleaned thoroughly and regularly as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Neglecting the regular maintenance of your HVAC system can result in major system issues such as:
- Damage to your system’s equipment
- Restricted airflow makes it difficult to blow out air
- Unable to capture pollutants from the air hence releasing them back into the Indoor Air.
- Buildups of contaminants in the ductwork
- High electricity bills due to high consumption of energy
You can consider some air filters that come with additional features like odor removal or antimicrobial treatments to demolish growth of mold and bacteria. If you house with people who have respiratory issues, it could really align with your needs.
In conclusion, selecting the right air filters for your HVAC system involves understanding filter types, determining your specific needs, checking your system’s requirements, and maintaining filters regularly. By making informed choices, you can significantly improve indoor air quality, create a more comfortable environment, and extend the life of your HVAC equipment. If in doubt, consult with HVAC professionals who can provide AC maintenance in Dubai to help you make the best decision for your home or workspace.