If we had to give just one piece of maintenance advice to homeowners, it would be this: change your air filters more often. A dirty air filter restricts the flow of air, causing energy bills to rise. Not to mention, your home and furnace get dirtier if you don’t change your filter regularly. Of course, this brings up another important question: what kind of furnace filter should you use? Here’s a look at the most common types of home air filters, their benefits, and their downfalls.
Fiberglass filters are the least expensive option. You can find them for a couple of dollars at most home improvement stores. A pleated fiberglass filter is better than nothing. It will trap larger dust particles and keep your furnace clean enough to function well. However, it won’t catch all of the smaller allergens like pollen granules, mold spores, and pet dander. If you opt for this kind of filter, make sure you change it monthly for the best results.
Pleated cotton filters are a step up in quality from fiberglass filters, but they are still rather affordable. They do a more complete job of trapping dust, dust mites, and mold spores. Some of the smaller particles, like pet dander and bacteria, may still pass through a pleated cotton filter. This type of filter offers a good balance of function and affordability for most homeowners. Just make sure you change the filter every two or three months, or even monthly if you have pets.
Some modern HVAC systems are designed to hold an electrostatic filter. This is a permanent filter that you will need to remove and wash from time to time. An electrostatic filter has a charge across it, and that charge helps it attract certain particles including dust particles, mold spores, and pet dander particles.
Electrostatic filters can reduce waste, and they do a good job of trapping tiny particles. Allergy sufferers tend to have fewer symptoms with an electrostatic filter in their home. Most home heating companies are happy to install an electrostatic filter alongside a new furnace. However, not all older furnaces are compatible with this type of filter.
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. HEPA filters are considered to be the gold standard of filters, tapping the tiniest of particles that sometimes go through other filters. If you are serious about improving indoor air quality at home, then a HEPA filter is something to look into.
Polarized air cleaners, a cutting-edge advancement in air purification technology, employ an innovative approach to improve indoor air quality. These devices work by introducing an electrostatic charge to airborne particles, a process known as polarization. When air passes through the cleaner, particles such as dust, pollen, and even microscopic contaminants like viruses and bacteria, become polarized. This charge causes them to stick together, forming larger clusters that are more easily captured by the cleaner’s filter. Furthermore, some models of polarized air cleaners are designed to specifically target and neutralize harmful pathogens, making them an effective tool in maintaining a healthier living environment. Their efficiency in trapping a wide range of contaminants, coupled with low energy consumption and quiet operation, makes polarized air cleaners a popular choice for homes, offices, and healthcare settings seeking to enhance air quality and safeguard against airborne health risks.
Are you changing your filter regularly, and do you have the right kind of air filter to suit your family’s needs? If you need assistance with this matter, don’t hesitate to contact H & H Heating & Air Conditioning. Our HVAC repair technicians can look over your furnace and filters, recommend a good filter, and show you how to change your filter during a fall HVAC maintenance visit.