The air filter is the component in a typical HVAC system that works to improve the indoor air quality in your home. No other part is designed solely to safeguard every breath you and your family take. When the system’s running, the HVAC blower in an average residence circulates at least 1,000 cubic feet of heated or cooled indoor air through the filter every minute.
What’s In Your Air?
Within today’s tightly sealed, energy-efficient home, a miscellany of airborne particulates accumulate, including dirt particles, fibers, microscopic mold spores, invisible insects, human skin cells, and pet fur. It’s no surprise that many people may experience sensitivities to at least one of these particulates.
The HVAC Filtration Cycle
Air pulled through the HVAC filter is heated or cooled, then circulated throughout the house’s ductwork by the system blower. Airflow returning to the air handler passes through the system filter again and is reheated or cooled. Clean, healthy air thus continuously recirculates throughout the home.
Or not. If the filter’s not the correct type, not efficient enough, or not replaced regularly per the manufacturer’s recommendations, filtration effectiveness declines and air quality degrades.
Air Filter Material Matters
Filtration is directly related to the type of filter media. Spun fiberglass is common in the most inexpensive filters. It’s also generally the least efficient filter and captures only the largest airborne particulates like dirt particles and lint. Most everything else slips through and continues to circulate in your air.
Filter effectiveness is rated by the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value) numeral. For residential applications, the scale rises from 1 — the most inexpensive fiberglass media — up to 13.
Air filters in the MERV range between 8 and 13 utilize pleated cotton or polyester media that capture particulates down to a size of 0.3 microns. This represents the most efficient choice, balancing optimum filtration with maximum airflow.
For the best system efficiency and indoor air quality, follow the recommendation of the filter manufacturer, as well as that of your HVAC contractor regarding regular filter replacements.
Consult the professionals at Jackson & Sons about the most efficient and effective air filter for your system and your household.xxse3