Written by: Your Filter Connection
Every home and commercial HVAC system relies on an air or heater filter to clean the air flowing through the system. Be sure that you have chosen the right kind of filter for your home, depending on the specific particulates you hope to filter out. These filters can play a significant role in the energy costs of your home, costing you up to 15% of your total bill from lost efficiency.
How Filters Work
Air filters are small devices that fit into air conditioning units and furnaces. They are composed of tightly fibrous materials, and designed to trap particulate matter as it flows through the air of your home. Filters can be made from a variety of materials, and are most commonly found in areas that have a strong need for good air quality. Filters can trap anything from allergens and bacteria, to dust particles.
If you plan to replace your air filter, be sure that you do so after the HVAC unit has been turned off. There may also be special care or installation instructions from the manufacturer, so be sure to follow those to the letter.
Filters come in two basic varieties. Reusable filters are the more expensive kind of filter, but they have a few benefits. The filter itself is both environmentally friendly, and often cost efficient. The high cost upfront eventually pays for itself within a few months or years depending on the quality of filter you buy. Reusable filters are also great for people with pets in the home. Pet dander accumulates quickly, and it’s helpful to be able to wash your filter every three months instead of replacing it.
When you clean these filters, be gentle. Do not bend the filter, and use only non-toxic cleaners to finish the job.
Filtrete air filters are commonly sold as disposable units. These filters are typically constructed of fiberglass, or may contain metal fibers as well. When you replace a disposable filter, your biggest concern is size. Don’t be afraid to take the filter with you to the hardware store so that you can compare filters by size. It’s also a good idea to look for filters that will block allergens and bacteria from your airflow.
Checking and replacing your HVAC filtration system is fairly easy to do, and it can save on your energy bill if you stay diligent. One idea is to set a reminder in your smart phone every three months so that you can remember to check up on the system.