Air conditioner

A buyer’s guide – Air conditioning filters

Air conditioning system is an inseparable part of a lot of modern houses and air filtration system is essential to the accurate and smooth functioning of the AC unit. The air filtration system is needed since because it keeps dust out of the house and provide you with clean, cold air. The coil in the air conditioning unit is designed with closely spaced fins which are pressed on the refrigerant tubes. The fins collect dust and dirt. An air conditioning filters prevent dust and grime from building up on the coils and also improve the indoor air quality. Filters come in different sizes, and they are either permanent or washable. Old and dirty air conditioning filters of an HVAC unit will affect the performance of the system negatively. It will result in cooling inefficiently and poor air quality inside the house or room. This will not only put people who suffer from asthma and allergies on the line but also it wastes money and energy.

Here is information on how air filtration system can help both the environment and one’s health while saving time, money, effort, cost.


Benefits for the environment


Dirty and clogged air filtration system lower the energy efficiency of an HVAC system. The wasted energy will pollute nature and add to greenhouse gas emissions. It will make the problems caused by global warming more seriously. In addition to that, clogged air filters will make the AC unit consume more energy while delivering less cooling. This disequilibrium will harm the entire nature. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, cleaning the air filters monthly will assist to increase the energy efficiency of a house air conditioner.



Benefits for your wallet


According to the Consumer Energy Center of the California Energy Commission, the average homeowner spends around $1900 a year on energy bills. Cleaning air conditioning filters regularly is not going only to increase the energy efficiency, but also speed up the cooling process and thus decrease the need to have the AC unit on for long periods. This is going to help householders to reduce the energy bill and enable them to save on power and AC unit maintenance as well. According to the Consumer Energy Center, cleaned air filtration system can help to save 1-2 percent of energy costs.



Benefits for your health


Regularly cleaned air conditioner filters mean high quality of indoor air. It decreases the proportion and occurrence of lung and breathing disorders such as allergies, asthma, and related illnesses. According to the statement of the University of Maryland Medical Center, indoor air quality has a significant role in respiratory health. The Center indicates that EPA -Environmental Protection Agency takes into consideration indoor air pollution to be one of the five most immediate environmental issues in the USA. Keeping the air conditioning filters clean and dust-free will help you to improve the indoor air quality and keep the house allergen-free.


Low cost, time and effort


Some homeowners find cleaning air conditioning filters time-consuming task and complicated, and it is not hard at all as they expect. It will take your maximum ten minutes to clean the air filters. One can select between disposable and permanent filters and perform them easy and quick steps to maintain them. Purchase disposable filters in bulk to save time, effort and cost and replace them each month. You can quickly wash permanent filters and reuse them. In either case, effort, expenses and the time involved are minimal, and health benefits and savings on energy costs can easily compensate it.



How to change the AC unit filters


It is easy to clean air conditioning filters, and all you need is a vacuum and broom, a hose attached to a water tap and if it is required, a replacement filter. People should determine the type of the AC unit system being used – furnace or forced air. In the former, the air filter is attached to the AC unit while in the latter the filter will be over a vent. Turn off the unit before touching any component of the filter. Clean the area that is near the filter with a vacuum and broom. Then, remove the panel door by popping or sliding it open.

Remove the air filter from the AC unit. For permanent and washable filters, you should take the filter to where the hose is and spray it to wash off the dust and dirt. Disposable filters will need to be purchased from the hardware store after measuring the size carefully (width and length). Replace the clean and dry or disposable filter making sure that the arrows line up accurately.


Types of air conditioning filters


When the ASHRAE – American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air conditioning Engineers presented IAQ standards, it signaled an essential change in the air filtration industry. ASHRAE has been encouraging the adoption of the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) system to standardize definitions of efficiencies.

MERV performs measurement an arrestance of a filter. A filter’s performance is evaluated by removing large and small airborne particles from the air, dust-spot efficiency. It assigns a number based on the filter’s ability. Different types of air filters are general in HVAC systems:



Fiberglass filter 

This disposable filter is the most widespread type. Layered fiberglass fibers are laid over each other to form the filter media and usually are strengthened with a metal grating that supports the fiberglass to avoid collapse and failure.

Polyester and pleated firms 

These filters and fiberglass filters have similarities. However, Polyester and pleated firms have an extraordinary dust-stopping ability and higher resistance to airflow.

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) filters

These units filtrate the air passing through them at an excellent scale. The United States DOE (Department of Energy) and its contractors use HEPA filters that match DOE standard STD-3020-97. HEPA filters used by DOE contractors can filter 99.97 percent of all airborne particles 0.3 microns or larger.

Washable air filters

Washable filters are not common and rely on the build-up of dust and dirt along the cloth to improve filter efficiency. Industrial operations including high volumes of thick dust are general applications.



Plastic mesh filters 

They are usually installed at the return air of most indoor unit of the window or room air conditioner. They have to trap larger particles of dust and dirt, and you should clean every two weeks and more frequent the space being conditioned is dirty.

If you are looking at the manual, it is quick and easy to take out from the air conditioner. Wash thoroughly with water and washing liquid to remove dirt that stuck to it. Rinse, leave to dry and put it back.

These easy steps of cleaning help to make sure the air conditioning efficiency and hence save energy as well as besides providing cleaner air space for you.

Electrostatic air conditioning filters – are generally installed in the return air of the AC unit where the air is subjected to high voltage up to 12 kV between two plates. The ionized particle is drawn to the grounded plates. The electronic circuit used to generate the voltage is typically embedded on the control printed circuit board or a separate module.