An air filter comes standard with any forced-air home air conditioning system, as you (hopefully) already know. However, few people are clear on how their air filters actually clean the air—and whether they are getting the filtration they really need from their home air conditioning systems. We want to answer some of the most common questions we hear about air filters and air filtration systems, starting with the basics.
How often do I need to change the air filter?
You should change the air filter about once a month, although some homeowners (those who use the AC sparingly) can get away with changing the air filter every three months.
Whatever you do, don’t wait until you experience negative effects of a dirty filter before changing it. A dirty filter can cause a lot of trouble for an air conditioner. It can block air from flowing through the system, which means it cannot perform the way it’s supposed to. Check on the filter from time to time, and replace yours if you notice any signs of a dirty buildup.
How can I tell how effective my filter is?
We get this question from people wondering why their air filter doesn’t seem to be filtering dust and allergens as well as they’d like. The fact of the matter is that most standard air filters cannot eliminate every particle that hurts your air quality, but they can remove a large percentage of them.
When you’re purchasing a new air filter, you’ll know if it’s effective by checking the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value). The MERV rating lets you know where a new air filter ranks. While the standard air purifier might be in the MERV range of 1-4, but you can upgrade to a higher rating. However, if it’s too effective, it could block air from moving through the air conditioner.
Is my air filter also an air purifier?
Your air filter is not as effective as most electronic air purifiers. It cannot charge particulate in the air; it only stops them from moving any further, damaging the air conditioner, and moving back through the airstream. Your air filter is limited in its effectiveness, as the smallest of particles can still move through the air. However, there are systems that combine air filtration and air sterilization to keep your home’s air even cleaner.
Where can I find the air filter?
An air filter is typically found right by the air conditioning unit. Though the indoor air unit may be difficult to access, you usually have an access point to the filter through a register located near the unit, such as on the ceiling. It will be a larger register, which you can simply open up to easily pull out the dirty filter.
What kinds of air filtration updates are available?
Air filters are only as effective as the air conditioner itself, as it relies on airflow to work. But an electronic air purifier is different. It uses ionization to give allergens a charge. They are attracted to a surface of the opposite charge, which you need to clean off from time to time.
Air filtration systems with a larger media surface area are also available to supplement the standard air filter. Many systems are paired with electronic air purifier technology. They may even use UV lights to kill off and sterilize germs.
AAction Air Conditioning & Heating Co. Inc. offers air filtration services in Savannah, GA. Get quality work for a fair price today!