Indoor air quality has a significant effect on the physical health of a home’s occupants. HVAC filters can help improve your IAQ if you have the right one and they are installed and used correctly. There are two kinds you can use, namely, disposable and reusable filters. Disposable HVAC filters need to be replaced monthly or quarterly, depending on several factors. As its name suggests, a washable HVAC air filter can be cleaned and reused several times.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about washable HVAC filters.
Indoor air pollution can cause problems as much as outdoor pollution. We might think that the air inside our homes is always clean and pristine. However, it could be what is causing you and your family to get sick without you knowing. The air could be mixed with dirt, pollen, mold spores, and other contaminants. HVAC systems are equipped with an air filtration system to trap these particles, as a result, they prevent them from circulating throughout your home. High-quality HVAC filters can block pollutants more effectively than cheaper ones. Therefore, you can be sure that you are protected well from illnesses and your system is highly efficient.
Electrostatic filters work by attracting the air contaminants through their opposite charges. More particles are captured as air passes through the filters. The filters can get thick with pollutants as time passes, and this can affect their performance. When this happens, replace the disposable filter or clean it if it is washable. Otherwise, the air that flows through these dirty filters can result in poor indoor air quality.
Some of the pros of having washable filters include:
If you want to be eco-friendlier, go for reusable filters as they can last for five years or more. This means that one washable filter is equal to around 20 to 60 filters, which lasts you about one to three months each. Therefore, washing and reusing the same filter is an environmentally conscious move you should consider.
Washable filters are a worthy investment. They might be more expensive at the onset, but they are guaranteed to save you money in the long run. You only need to purchase it once every 5 to 10 years instead of monthly.
When you have washable filters, you do not need to go out and buy a replacement every time you have a dirty filter. You need to remove, wash, and dry it, and it is good as new. The cleaning process also gets easier and faster the more you get used to the task.
Filters are available in various types, sizes, and ratings. This means you need to know the right one that will best fit your HVAC system. Otherwise, the filter might not work as effectively. Using electrostatic filters means you do not have to worry about this problem as this type of filter has a lifespan as long as your furnace or AC.
Listed below are a few of the cons of using washable filters:
If you are on a tight budget, you might opt to purchase disposable filters instead because the cost per filter is cheaper than washable units. Having electrostatic filters provides long-term savings, but it might not be apparent immediately.
The MERV rating measures how effective a filter is in catching air particulates. The higher the rating, the better its performance. Unfortunately, the highest MERV rating that washable filters have is MERV 4. Disposable ones can reach up to MERV 12 rating.
Since you need to use water to wash reusable filters, you need to dry them properly. If you get impatient and install them without properly drying them, mold can grow. As a result, you will have poor indoor air quality.
Electrostatic filters are a good defense against dust, pollen, and carpet fibers. However, they are not as effective in attracting smaller particles like bacteria and mold spores. These particles can be detrimental to you and your family’s health.
The filter you choose for your HVAC system should be maintained regularly and accurately. This is an easier task when you have disposable filters, as all you need to do is throw the clogged filters away and install a new one. You have to be more careful when you utilize washable filters so that you can use them longer. Place it under running water to remove dirt and other residues. Use a sprayer if possible, as this is a more effective way to clean it. Make sure you let the filter air dry thoroughly to prevent mold from growing in it.
There are other filters aside from the ones discussed earlier. For instance, you might want to consider using an electronic air filter or a high-efficiency media filter if you think electrostatic units are not enough. They work differently, but both are considered to be premium filters. When you use these high-performing filters, you lower the risks of having poor IAQ, such as asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses. These units also have reasonable rates and a long lifespan.
There are a lot of filters a homeowner can choose from. The most suitable one for your HVAC system depends on various things, including your budget, air quality, unit longevity, and ease of use. Contact your local, trusted HVAC technician to help you find the best air filter for your home and system.
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The survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association states that about 85 million families in the United States own a pet. Pets are known to help manage stress and keep people company. Numerous studies confirm how pets boost both mental and physical health.
Pets are oftentimes treated as part of the family, roaming wherever they want throughout the house. Unfortunately, fur and dander also spread around the house this way. This can result in poor indoor air quality, which can trigger allergies, colds, and other respiratory problems. A simple solution to this issue is to find the right HVAC air filter for homes with pets.
An air filter blocks airborne particles, such as pollen, dirt, fur, and dust before they can enter through your HVAC system. Air passes through easily, and only the contaminants are left behind. This way, the system remains clean and longer and will have a longer lifespan as well. Reducing air pollutants also means that indoor air quality improves. It is suggested that the air filters be replaced at least once a month so that the unit will remain operating at a high-efficiency level.
The minimum efficiency rating value or MERV is used to gauge an air filter’s ability to block contaminants. The higher the MERV rating is, the better the filter. However, increased performance also means that it is more expensive.
MERV ratings 1-4 filters can block fibers, pollen, and dust mites at best. These are at the lowest level and has the lowest amount of protection. On the other hand, MERV 5-8 filters can also block dust and mold spores, making them more useful. There is also the MERV 9-12
At the lowest level as MERV 1-4 filters provide the lowest amount of protection. They can block dust mites, fibers, and pollen, but not much else. MERV 5-8 filters can catch all these while also stopping dust and mold spores, so they are much more useful. Whereas, MERV 9-12 can capture smaller allergens like pet dander. This will help people suffering from mild allergies to breathe better. The highest rating is MERV 13-16. These air filters can capture bacteria and viruses. Therefore, they are best to use for people who have severe respiratory issues.
All homes tackle their own indoor pollution problems. However, households that have pets have more problems in their hands. The more pets there are, the more it affects the home’s indoor air quality. Pet parents should vacuum as much of the fur as possible – off the sofas, beds, and other surfaces.
They should also replace the air filters more often than what the manufacturer recommends. The high number of contaminants in the air means that the filter will get dirty faster. This is especially the case if you have long-haired dogs at home as these breeds tend to shed more.
It is also vital to understand the various types of air filters used for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Being able to distinguish their strengths and weaknesses will help you know which ones will work best for pet owners. This way, you can improve your indoor air quality as well as ensure your system’s longevity.
If you have no other choice but to buy the cheapest filter in the market, then disposable ones are the way to go. However, this kind usually has low MERV ratings. This means that they aren’t as effective at capturing airborne contaminants. It might not be the best, but if you have no choice but to make do, just keep in mind that you need to replace disposable filters at a more frequent rate than usual to ensure its effectivity. Thus, the high maintenance cost negates the initial low cost of disposable air filters.
High-efficiency particulate air filters, abbreviated as HEPA filters, have passed through a strict process to ensure quality standards. These can block up to 99.7 percent of debris that’s the size of 0.3 microns in width or larger. This means that pet hair and other common pollutants can be blocked easily. If someone in your household has respiratory problems, it is a good idea to use HEPA filters. Make sure to replace it regularly to prevent any blockages.
If you are looking for something that offers more protection than HEPA filters, look into electronic air filters. This kind can capture particles that are 0/1 microns or larger. However, these filters can create low-level noise when pet hair gets entangled in them. They are also more expensive compared to HEPA filters, so be prepared to spend more to get your hands on these.
Pet parents need to take care of themselves. This way, they can also effectively take care of their beloved pets. Any issues arising from pet fur or dander might lead to sickness that might get in the way of taking care of others, much more their pets. You can prevent these from happening by using the right air filters on your HVAC unit. Ensure that you use ones that can capture most airborne contaminants. It is best to avoid using disposable filters unless you have a limited budget. Also, make sure that the filters you buy have high MERV ratings to provide you with more protection from contaminants.
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Tower Energy provides the most competitive heating and cooling service prices in the area. Our tune-up services help increase your home’s comfort level as well as your unit’s energy efficiency. We can also help you find a replacement system that is within your budget. All our work is guaranteed to ensure your satisfaction. Book an appointment by calling Tower Client today. We provide free, in-home estimates.