Regardless of your type of residence, the air filter is one of the essential components that you need to check for maintenance if you have heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). An air filter is a central part of your HVAC system, the main task of which is to improve the indoor air quality of your house or office.
Although an air filter is relatively small than your heating or air conditioning system, it plays an important role in ensuring that the entire machine works properly. It can even cause your HVAC system to fail if you don't take good care of it and dust and dirt clog the screens. When thinking about buying an air filter, consider the following factors:
The type of air filter you buy determines the indoor air quality of your home. The central role of this HVAC component is that you and your household cannot breathe allergens and other airborne irritants, which can lead to significant health problems. Pollen, mold, dust, mites, bacteria, smoke and even viruses are some of the allergens that keep most air filters at bay. Trusted brands like Filter King have a comprehensive list of air filter products to ensure you get the type you need.
These are the four main types of filtration technology that you can find on the market today:
- HEPA – HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration technology captures and traps contaminants in the air so that they do not flow back into the air. Certified HEPA filters can remove almost 100 percent of the microscopic particles. In addition to removing pollen, dust, hair and smoke, mold spores and fungi can also be removed.
- Ionic – This type of filtration releases charged ions into the air, which adhere to impurities and drop them on the floor or on nearby surfaces. You will find filtering devices that come with an electrostatic collector plate that sucks in the waste to clean the room.
- carbon – In carbon filtration, activated carbon is used to absorb impurities. It's great for trapping vapors, gases, and odors to make your home or office smell fresh and clean, but it's not so good for removing allergens that cause health problems.
- UV light – In contrast to the first three types, which act as physical filters, UV filtering emits an invisible light that dissolves pollutants. But you don't have to worry because UV radiation is safe for humans. In addition, the light is not emitted into the room, so it has no adverse effects on your skin.
The second factor to consider is the size of the air filter. Not all systems and components have the same dimensions. You must therefore read the user manual before ordering online or going to the store. You need to know the difference between the nominal size and the actual size of the filter. The former includes rounded numbers that identify the filter, while the latter is the exact measure of the component.
If you have a nominal filter size of 10 x 10 x 1 inches, the actual size can be 9.5 x 9.5 x 0.75 inches. However, please note that this can vary depending on the manufacturer and model. The nominal size offers space for the actual filter measurements in the device. Make sure you know the filter size you actually need before installing or replacing one in your bedroom, living room, or kitchen.
Some air filters snap into your existing HVAC system while others use electrical energy. If you choose the latter, you should think about how much electricity it consumes as it increases your electricity bills. Nonetheless, air filters or air cleaners typically use minimal watts.
Think further about your budget and consider the maintenance costs for your air filters. Pick one that gives you easy access to parts and repairs so you don't have to crawl around when you need to replace or repair them.
When talking about repairs, you should also consider the warranty that the manufacturer grants on its product. A guarantee is a sign of the trust that the company has in its goods. If the air filter has a long warranty, you can be sure that it is of high quality.
Your air filter is an integral part of your HVAC system. Regardless of whether you want to buy a new one for installation or replacement, you should think about the type of filtration you want, as well as the size, energy consumption, and maintenance costs. Don't forget to buy one that comes with a long warranty as this is a sign of the manufacturer's confidence in their product.