Do Home Air Filters Make a Difference?

Are home air filters necessary? This is a question that many people ask, especially those with allergies or respiratory problems. The answer is yes, air filters are necessary for a healthy home environment. Air filters don't remove all particles from the air and won't prevent people from getting sick, but they can help reduce the amount of contaminants in the air. Portable air cleaners can help in a room, but they don't help the whole house.

To get the most out of your air filters, you need to use as many as your HVAC system can support, and sometimes even fewer. This is partly because placing a filter in every room is not an easy or cheap task. Another reason is that it is enough to put a filter in a large room with a lot of traffic, because it is likely that most of the particles and contaminants will come from there. What about air purifiers? Do you also need a motorized air purifier or a UV air purifier? It depends on your home. Air purifiers are useful for removing the smallest particles that can slip through a filter. Because filters have an upper limit of resistance in a residential HVAC system, air purifiers can help provide more thorough air cleaning, removing more than 98% of contaminants when combined with the right set of filters.

Once again, professionals can make sure you have the right type of air purifier (such as a UV air purifier) combined with the filters. One type that can be particularly difficult to find at the local store is the whole house air filter. These are very different from the more common one-inch filters. You might have heard them called whole-house air purifiers, which is a misnomer. An air purifier is an addition to your HVAC system, not part of it.

Although air filters clean the air, they are part of your system and are not optional. Bringing expert knowledge of a wide range of home air filtration topics, including HVAC filters, filtration efficiency, and indoor air quality, if you want to do your best there are units with multiple filters to capture particles in the air, plus an activated carbon filter to eliminate odors. However, this filter is not there to improve indoor air quality, so if you are looking for better indoor air quality, yes, you may need an air cleaner or an air purifier in Houston, TX. A tall MERV filter with a very tight mesh can be too much for some units, resulting in a situation much like a clogged air filter, even right after changing it. Assuming your home has forced air, hire a trained professional to inspect your entire system, including equipment and ducts, says Travis Jackson, an expert in heating, cooling and air purification in Warrenton, Virginia. This is because these types of filters are extremely efficient at removing even microscopic particles from the air. Some air filters trap a greater amount of particles and contaminants than others, so if there are people in the home who need the air to be as clean and pure as possible then those are the types of filters that need to be achieved.

The ideal is to change your air filter every three months; however there are certain factors to consider when determining when to change an old filter. When you consider how useful air filters are for everyone in a home or office you might start to think that the more air filters there are the better the air will be for everyone. As air moves through the filter contaminants and particles are captured and clean air is expelled into the living space. If other people aren't as diligent as you are about tidying up the mess or if they're tracking dust dirt pet hair and pollen from outside the house an air purifier can help carry the burden of filtering and removing those contaminants. Normal air filters should be changed approximately every six months while HEPA filters should be changed every two to three months. There is a standard cutout on one-inch filters, which means that all one-inch filters are ¼ to ½ smaller than their nominal size but there is no standard bias cut on whole-house filters.

We want to spend a little more time talking about the air filter in your HVAC systems because it's extremely important to know what it does and why it's there.

Hannah Sawatzki
Hannah Sawatzki

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