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Why is it important to have air filters in your home?

By Jamie Richardson | May 27, 2020

Filters remove small particles from the air before it is distributed throughout your home. Depending on the type of filter that you have, more microscopic materials will be filtered out than when using other types of filters. 

Your initial reaction might be to reach for the filters that block out the most microscopic particles. After all, if the filter is able to keep out viruses, mold spores, and bacteria, then why not choose that one? The reason why the most filtration doesn’t always mean that a filter is the best is that they are so good at filtering that they increase your energy costs from making your air conditioner work that much harder. Fiberglass filters, which are looser, don’t filter out these microscopic particles, but they do allow for increased airflow.

Different Types Of Filters

The most common type of air filters are:

  • Fiberglass filters (least filtration)
  • Pleated filters (better filtration)
  • High-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters (best filtration)
  • Washable air filters

The way your air conditioner works is that air comes in from outside and particulates get trapped in the filter before it reaches the air in your home. When the filter fills up with contaminants, it gets blocked, which means that it is harder for air to get through. This will cause a homeowner to change the thermostat to lower or increase the temperature in hopes of cooling down or heating the room enough. Instead, what will happen is that more cold air will be blowing that can’t pass the filter, which could lead to the air conditioning unit freezing and breaking down. Furnaces, likewise, can also break down if filters are left in for too long and become clogged.  So, if you have a better filter that is going to collect a lot more contaminants, then you’ll need to replace it more often to ensure better airflow. But for homeowners with health conditions this is hardly a trade-off because a better filter ensures the cleanest air possible in their home. 

Choosing The Right Filter

So what type of customer will benefit from what type of filter? It depends on whether or not you are trying to avoid a health issue and want to save money. If you have no allergies and you want to save on energy costs, then fiberglass filters are a great option for you, and you can replace them every six months. If you have any pets, however, then you will want to replace them more often, such as every three months or 60 days.

If you or someone in your home has severe allergies or other health conditions then you will want to get one of the pleated filters and you will want to change it every 30 to 60 days. Be aware that your energy costs will increase compared to using a fiberglass filter, but the benefit will be better filtration. 
It's best to speak to a licensed technician about which filter is best for your unit. If a filter doesn't fit your unit properly then it could interfere with the proper functioning of the unit. If you are looking for specific sizes, such as furnace filters 16x25x1, then you will want to speak to a representative from the manufacturer of your unit before making that purchase. You can also ask about which filter is best for the blower capacity of your unit so you can reduce your energy costs as much as possible through the use of a smart thermostat in your home.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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