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A Guide To Home Filters And How To Use Them To Improve Air Quality

Posted in Air Quality, on July 23, 2015

Are you struggling with pollutants such as mold and dust mites? Perhaps you should consider investing in a home filter. The air-filtration industry has witnessed various changes over the past decade. Currently, manufacturers have developed new products that not only improve indoor air quality but also decrease the cost of operating and installing air-filtration equipment in institutional and commercial facilities. It's imperative you understand the various air filter types in order to choose the suitable one for your needs. Here's a guide on home filters and how to use them to enhance air quality.

Types of Air Filters

HEPA Filters

The original development of High Efficiency Particulate Air filtrations systems occurred throughout WWII to eliminate radioactive air dust particles to guard soldiers' respiratory systems. These days, they function to filter household air. Furthermore, they can trap 99.97% of airborne particles. When you inhale air contaminants, your body's defense system is susceptible to particles below 0.5 microns. For this reasons, doctors and allergists recommend these filters because of their capacity to eliminate most of the air contaminants and improve indoor air quality. Common air contaminants include pollen, pet dander, and mold. On their own, these filters can't capture fumes and chemicals. Therefore, it's important you purchase a HEPA filter that comprises an activated carbon filter.

HVAC Filters

These filters comprise highly porous beds of plastic fibers with diameters that range from 1-40 micrometers. The fibers function as targets for gathering airborne dust. They function widely in mechanical ventilation systems. HVAC filters include:

  • Fiberglass filter

This type is the most common and features layered fiberglass to create the filter media. Their reinforcement typically involves a metal grating to prevent collapse and failure. It's usage is common in most HVAC applications.

  • Electrostatic filter

Electrostatic filter types produce a self-generated charge that aids with the collection of dust particles. Their manufacture typically involves numerous polypropylene media layers.

  • Polyester filter

Polyester filters resemble fiberglass types but usually have a higher airflow resistance and a superior ability to stop dust.

Improve Air Quality with Filters

You can improve your home's air quality in the following ways:

Using a high quality filter

A vacuum with a HEPA filter can help decrease concentrations of pollutants such as lead. Furthermore, it ensures dirt and dust isn't blown back in the exhaust. These filtration systems are ideal because they filter air at a fine scale. Ensure you purchase the right unit size.

Proper Maintenance

If you clean and maintain your filtration system, you'll not only improve your home's comfort but also save on energy costs. However, if you neglect it you'll spend considerable money while creating various problems for air quality and comfort.

Changing the Filter Regularly

In the case of home filters, "regularly" implies checking your filter monthly and changing it every three months unless the instructions on your filter indicate otherwise. You should change the filters regularly to improve indoor air quality:

  • Dirty filters result in early failure

Dirty filters obstruct airflow, placing additional strain on the fan motor. Eventually, the motor might burn out and overheat your system, resulting in premature failure.

  • Dirty filters increase the consumption of energy

An over-worked fan motor typically consumes more energy compared to one that allows sufficient airflow through the system.

Increasing energy costs

Dirty filters yield high energy bills, so changing your filter is an investment.

  • Reduction of Air Quality

A blocked filter cannot trap more contaminants and particles begin passing through. If you live with people experiencing sensitivities, this could increase their allergies and asthma symptoms.

  • Increase in carbon footprint

Decreasing your home's energy consumption by sustaining sufficient airflow in the system is a step towards promoting a healthier environment. Air filters play a key role in promoting air quality. However, ensure you understand the various types before purchasing a unit. If you are experiencing air quality issues, please contact us so we can provide indoor air quality testing services (416) 414-5690.

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