Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Air Filters Aren’t Magic. There’s a Science to Them.

Your air filter is important to your family’s health, as well as to the health of your HVAC system. Like magic, it filters out all sorts of allergens and other contaminants, providing you with clean, breathable air. Only it’s not magic; it’s air filter science. Here’s how it works and how you can use that air filter science to improve your indoor air quality.

HVAC Air Filters

Both your furnace and AC have a slot for an air filter, near the return air duct. They’re often made of fiberglass, but they can also be made of foam, cotton, or similar materials. They’re porous, allowing air to pass through, while capturing dust and other contaminants.

The denser the material, the smaller the particles they can capture. The best filters are pleated. This gives them more surface area, which, according to air filter science, makes them more efficient at capturing contaminants.

As more particles are captured, the pores become clogged. This restricts the airflow through your system, wasting energy and ultimately wearing the system out more quickly. Therefore, your filter needs to be replaced periodically to maintain airflow. As a rule, check it every month and replace it every three to six months, when the filter becomes gray and opaque rather than white and translucent.

HEPA Filters

HVAC filters protect your system. If stray particles get into your AC or furnace, they cause damage. The improvement to the air you breathe is just a side benefit. Because of this, if you really want to improve your IAQ, you may need a higher grade of air filter science.

HEPA filters are thicker than regular air filters and capture much smaller particles. Designed for hospitals and laboratories, they eliminate 99.97% of contaminants, including viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, they’re too thick to go into your HVAC system without damaging it. Therefore, you’ll need a separate air purifier for your home so you can enjoy the air filter science behind HEPA filtration.

To learn more about air filter science and how it affects you, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We provide Yuma with quality home-comfort solutions.