How to Choose the Right AC Air Filter

With summer on the horizon it is time to prepare your AC unit to take on the extra demand of keeping your home cool. To prepare your AC unit will need to be cleaned, and your air filter also might need to be replaced. With a wide variety of air filters on the market, it can be difficult to pick which one is the right for your home. So here are some different things to consider about choosing the right AC air filter for your home.

Fiberglass Filters

Fiberglass filters are made of fiberglass mesh that is woven together in order to attract particles. They cost less than most models on the market, but they often need to be replaced on a routine basis. Generally, a fiberglass filter needs to be replaced every 30 days for larger systems. Since they are designed to be relatively cheap, they only really capture larger particles like small insects, lint, and dust, these filters are not considered one of the most effective options.

HEPA Filters

HEPA filters are designed to reach higher standards of air filtration and are produced out of a variety of materials. A HEPA filter is found in many applications, including medical facilities, automobiles, homes, and manufacturing. These filters must remove at least 99.97 percent of all particles in the air that measure less than 0.3 um. Most of these filters are made of fiberglass fibers that are randomly arranged, polymer plastics, and various other woven materials. While these models cost a little bit more than most air filters, they are worth the cost for the level of indoor air quality they offer.

Pleated Filters

Pleated filters are considered the next step up from fiberglass filters because they are made with a wire backing and synthetic filters that can be used to get rid of smaller particles. Pleated filters are great for removing bacteria, dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen. Since they last longer, the cost difference between using this model over a fiberglass filter actually cancels out over time. While replacing a fiberglass filter is cheap, the cost can add up over time. This added up cost can easily be put in a longer lasting pleated filter instead.

Washable Air Filters

In an attempt to reduce costs and waste made by using disposable air filter again and again, washable air filters were designed to cut down on waste and cost. These models are made for longer term use, and they are able to maintain their performance over time without breaking down as much as other filter models. Some washable filters are also available with HEPA certification.

Why Air Filters are Important

Air filters are important for two reasons, to maintain healthy indoor air quality, and to keep your HVAC system healthy and running for years to come. Because air circulates in your HVAC system rather than being replenished from the outdoor air it is crucial to prevent the buildup of dangerous airborne particles. Many people have allergies, sinus problems, or breathing conditions like asthma and COPD and circulating dirty air can cause health issues.Air filters are also your first line of defense against harmful dust and dirt build up in your HVAC system. Coils, blowers, motors, and air compressors can be damaged by improper air filtration. Dust and grime can build up on important components which will lessen your HVAC system's efficiency and can cause components to break.There are several types of filters to pick from, and they are a necessity for some people to breathe easier. Picking the right one depends on cost and functionality, so making a decision on which one to use needs to be made carefully.

If you need help finding the right air filter, Stan's Heating and Cooling can help. Contact us today to schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment or learn more about our HVAC maintenance services in Austin!

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