Reasons to Change Your Air Filters Regularly

There are many benefits to cleaning, as well as changing, your air conditioning filters regularly.

Technology has made possible the development of sophisticated models of air conditioners. Yet, how did the air conditioning appliance start?

Modern air-conditioning was invented by Willis H. Carrier in 1902 while on a smoggy train platform in Pittsburgh. The American engineer realized that it was possible to produce air with specific volumes of air. Carrier finished his invention to regulate humidity in one year. This turned out as the main element for contemporary air conditioning. Carrier also found out that it is possible to preserve appropriate moisture in an enclosed space. The air can be freed from too much dampness during specific seasons. The apparatus can supply sufficient and continuous amount of ventilation inside a building. More so, this piece of equipment is not costly in terms of acquisition and upkeep.

Basic Functions of an Air Conditioner

The main purpose of a home air conditioner is to transfer heat from the inside to the outside. This household appliance blows cool air above a cluster of cold pipes referred to as the evaporator coil. The parallel tubes cool and take away moisture by transforming the liquid refrigerant into gas while absorbing heat from the air. The cooling substance is pumped outside to another coil where it yields heat and is converted into a liquid once again.

External coils are described as condensers since it precipitates the gas or vapor to liquid similar to wetness on cold windows. The pump or compressor transfers the refrigerant between the two coils. It modifies the pressure so the refrigerant can evaporate in the appropriate tubes. A motor that operates the compressor provides the energy needed for this specific function. Compared to heating systems, the air conditioning unit is a complex mechanical system that relies on multiple conditions to function properly.

These are calculated and adjusted to endure the load or electrical power. There is also the matter of air surge across the coils. You can expect some issues in the system if there are changes. The unit may not be able to provide sufficient cooling if there is more heat inside due to the number of people inside. At the same time, leaking refrigerants can reduce the system’s capability. Cooling is reduced with a possibility of system failure once the load becomes excessively high.

Moreover, if airflow across the condenser coil is reduced, the unit is unable to reject heat outdoors. The system has the tendency to break down with higher outdoor temperature.

In the case of dry climate, the same problems occur with regard to the indoor evaporator coil. The principle is high airflow is a boon while lower airflow becomes a bane. The situation gets to be more complicated in clammy climates. There will be less dehumidification if air flow is higher. It eventually leads to high indoor humidity. Once airflow is too low, it is possible for the evaporator coil to freeze up. This will hamper functionality and potentially damage the compressor until it stops working. You will surely be left with a costly repair bill.

How AC Filters Work

Air Conditioner Filters

Air conditioning systems are fitted with filtering systems. The filter can be found in the return grille or special duct slots. The device can look like a folded piece of paper. It takes away particles from the air stream to keep the air conditioner unit clean. The strainer is loaded with additional sediments as it continues to function. Said process makes filtration more effective and efficient. However, the procedure also amplifies resistance and reduces airflow.

This is an indication that you need to replace the filter once this situation occurs. Of course, this is dependent on the dirty air and size of your AC filter. The system is bound to fail and air movement is adversely affected if the filthy filter is not changed immediately. As a matter of fact, the sieve itself can become a source of air contamination. Removing the filter does not solve the problem since more dirt can build up and stick to the evaporator coil. Purchasing a new filter will be much cheaper.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) suggests that consumers get a filter with Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV 6) or even higher.

Why Change Air Filters on Schedule

Check the air filter’s status on a regular basis. This is very crucial particularly during the spring and winter seasons. Find out the numerous benefits that you can obtain in replacing the air filter often.

  • You extend the life of the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System. Always remember that a grimy filter remains as one of the main reasons that air cannot pass through. The HVAC needs to be tougher so there is the propensity for the mechanism to overheat and crash. You can only prolong the HVAC’s life span by replacing the filter frequently.
  • You can look forward to reduced electric bills. Most likely, air conditioning and heating consume more electrical energy compared to any other domestic device. Congested AC strainers force the system and leads to higher power bills. Cut down on electricity by up to 15 percent by getting rid of the dirty air conditioning filter.
  • The quality of air is enriched. The purpose of this tool is to keep the air inside the house free from dust, molds, pollen powders, and other impurities. Airborne particles aggravate allergies as well as respiratory ailments. You can prevent the dispersal of allergens and fungi from circulating inside the house by replacing worn-out filters.
  • It is one way of taking care of the environment. Remember that wasted energy will generate more pollution. More greenhouse gases and carbon monoxide will be emitted if you use up more electricity. AC manufacturers can provide detailed recommendations regarding cleaning, maintenance and replacement of air filters.
  • Save money on Air conditioner workload can increase significantly if it attempts to ventilate air through a congested filter. This can damage vital components. Inspect the device once a month and change once it is covered by muck to avoid repairs or replacement of the unit.

Upkeep Tips

Replacement of filters is part of regular servicing. This can be a do-it-yourself process that can be managed by many consumers. Nevertheless, it may be necessary to hire an experienced technician if requirements are too complicated. It is advisable to brush away the dirt from the AC coils and drain mechanisms. If the unit does not produce sufficient cold air, there may be problems with air flow or the cooling substance. This issue may entail the services of specialists right away.

Duct outflow or seepage can be another serious concern. This is one of the causes of inadequate cold air. The truth is that duct leakage can drain from 20 to as much as 40 percent of energy from an AC unit that operates properly. This happens when the ducts pass outside of the cooled area. This includes upper floors (attics), crawl spaces and garage areas. Pipes or tubes must have the proper insulation. Incidentally, there are materials for insulating these channels which can be set up by professional contractors. You get an extra ½ ton of capacity without extra expenses by sealing the ducts very well.

Increasing Energy Efficiency

In case you want to be energy-efficient, close up those leaks. Make sure that you change the dirty filters, maintain the correct charge, ensure airflow, and clean your coils well. The outdoor condenser unit should be free from any blockage. Efficiency ratings are normally known as Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating or SEER 13 is the minimum rate that you should consider but higher efficiencies will be more cost-effective. Other numbers will depend on the weather in your place. The key is to replace HVAC filters once every month. Research conducted by the ASHRAE in 2009 pointed out that polluted filtrations systems can lessen efficiency by more than 10 percent.

Options for Filters

What are your choices when it comes to filters?

  • The first category is the fiber glass air filter. The material is not popular. It is threadlike and has a simple flat panel to trap air particles. This variety was manufactured for HVAC protection and not for the improvement of air quality. It has a MERV ranking of one to four and can only get rid of below 10 percent of air toxins in your home.
  • Pleated and polyester filters are like the fiber glass model. However, this filter is more superior in terms of the capacity to trap dirt. The HVAC mechanism can remove a maximum of 45 percent of noxious waste in your house. MERV rating is said to be between eight and 13.
  • The washable air filter is probably the most inefficient with relatively low MERV grade of one up to four. Besides, it calls for a lot of maintenance. It can gather fungus and germs that can escape and easily circulate around the house. As much as possible, refrain from using these washable filters.
  • High efficiency filters are able to eliminate 85 percent of pollutants from any building. The efficiency rating is from 14 up to 16. These are fabricated from artificial polyester or polymer fibers or creased filter paper. It can catch even the smallest particles of dust, molds and pollen. The drawback is that it is not really made for residential units. It is more ideal for hospitals, clinics and clean room environments. A tip that you should always remember is that very high MERV rating does not necessarily mean that it is the most superior filter. The highly restraining filter can impede air circulation which is one of the causes of breakdown. Appropriate filters are those with minimal effect on airflow and capable of removing the most quantity of air pollutants. MERV ratings of 9 until 12 can be the excellent choice of homeowners opting for effective dust control.

Electrostatic Filters

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Electrostatic filters are quite common. It works through charging of dust particles in the air and snares unwanted particles. These are trapped by the device just like a magnet does. These filters make use of electrically-charged metal rods which can be used again. The filter is friendly to the environment as against the other varieties which are disposed of once it gets damaged or dirty.
Consumers can look forward to saving a lot by using this filter.

The filtration system is based on the tenet of static electricity. The filter medium has a negative charge on the entire surface. It is further augmented by the air that passes through it. The furnace filter entraps foreign particles that can harm residents of the house. You can get several benefits from electrostatic air filters.

One is efficiency. This device has the capability to strain a maximum of 95 percent of all smidgens that go through the sieve. In contrast, other similar products can only filter a maximum of 10 percent of filtrate. It is also known as being highly resilient and made to last for a long time. You need not change the filters or purchase and replace disposable AC filters from time to time.
One more advantage of an electrostatic filter is the reduction of electricity bills. It upholds the heating components and ensures that coils are kept free from unwanted particles. Keep in mind that dirty coils are unable to perform efficiently. It can remove filth which is one of the primary causes of HVAC system failure. Households can save money from spur of the moment repairs. This filter can readily control dust while the air conditioning unit is running. Thus, you do not have to worry that dust will penetrate other components of the appliance.

There will be no problem about contracting respiratory ailments since the electrostatic filter can prevent the entry of spores, insects and micro organisms, pollen of flowers, and impurities that come from animal fur (dogs, rabbits and cats). Electrostatic filters are fairly easy to maintain. It only calls for regular washing with water and soap.