HVAC Filters: Your Solution to Dirty Air!
Indoor air pollution can pose a severe risk to your home, especially to elderly residents and very young children. Exposure to natural pollutants may cause irritation, such as excessive coughing and sneezing. People with lung conditions, such as asthma and allergies, will have a difficulty breathing in the dirty air of your home.
In fact, air pollution has become one of the world’s most significant environmental health risk, linked to around 7 million deaths in 2012 according to a recent report from the World Health Organisation, which found air contaminants may cause strokes and some forms of cancer.
What can you do to protect yourself? Don’t panic. Just take simple steps to maintain the air quality of your HVAC system. Schedule a yearly maintenance appointment for your home or business. If you notice any strange smells or sounds from your vents, give us a call right away. We can access the situation and offer a free quote that day.
Beyond that, changing your air filter every 1-3 months is the most critical thing you can do to keep your indoor air clean and fresh year round.
Usually, filters come in standard sizes that match most residential and commercial HVAC units.
Before you order any new replacement filters, double check the size you need. Usually, you can find the dimensions labeled on the box or manual from the manufacturer. If you need to, get a ruler out and check the old fashioned way! Otherwise, give us a quick call and let us determine what you need.
There are many different kinds of air filters. Depending on the MERV rating, they can range anywhere from $2 to over $100.
You’ll need a custom sized filter if you have an unusually large or small HVAC unit. Most manufacturers only make standard sizes, though some will create custom fitted ones at higher prices.
Essentially, every building has a unique layout, meaning you can expect all kinds of oddly shaped filters across the market.
How Do HVAC Filters Work?
Air filters are sheets of foam and special perforated paper that works by trapping microscopic dust particles. Normally, you slide it in under a slot below the furnace unit inside what’s known as the return grille. They serve to keep your air conditioning system clean by preventing particles from polluting the indoors atmosphere.
However, most filters just block the dust and bacteria. They don’t destroy them. Over time, the screens will become clogged and become hazards themselves by building up an overload of particles. This clog of dirt can lower the effectiveness of your overall system and increase your heating and cooling bill each month. Eventually, the dust will begin to collect on the coils deep within the HVAC system. It’s much more expensive to clean or replace the coils instead of just changing the filter.
Depending on the size of your building, how many people reside in it, and the filter type, you must change your filter every 1-3 months. Use good judgment and check for clear signs of buildup on the filter.
What are the Different Types of HVAC Filters?
There are four main types of HVAC Air Filters:
1 – Fiberglass
Fiberglass is a term used to describe threaded man-made glass material. Used in filters, it’s the cheapest and has the shortest lifespan compared to others. They are often called “disposable” filters because experts recommend you trash them after a month. They are most effective it blocking larger particles, like bugs and dust mites. However, they aren’t very durable. Even with a reinforced metal frame, they won’t last longer than 30 days. They usually cost about $2.
2 – Pleated or Polyester
These are similar to fiberglass filters. However, they have an added wired back for increased durability and ability to capture even smaller particles. Typically, they last up to 90 days. So while they might cost twice as much as their fiberglass counterparts, you’ll save more yearly using them.
3 – Electrostatic Washable
These rely on static electricity to collect the dust, rather than filtered cloth or foam. While a relatively expensive option (around $30-100), it’s considered permanent, since all you need to do is wash it once a month, rather than replace the whole thing.
4 – HEPA
High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance filters (better known as simply HEPA) are the most efficient commercially available air filters on the market. With the ability to block and eliminate 99.97% of particles up to 0.3 microns in size, they will guarantee you the cleanest indoor air possible. These are commonly used in powerful air purifiers for offices, medical labs, and in disaster recovery. Most quality HEPA units are over $100.
What are Standard HVAC Filter Sizes?
While they might vary by the manufacturer, most filters in the industry come in set dimensions measured by inches, including:
- 10 x 20
- 12 x 12
- 12 x 20
- 12 x 24
- 12 x 30
- 12 x 36
- 14 x 20
- 14 x 24
- 14 x 25
- 14 x 30
- 15 x 20
- 16 x 20
- 16 x 25
- 18 x 18
- 18 x 20
- 18 x 25
- 18 x 30
- 20 x 20
- 20 x 24
- 20 x 25
- 20 x 30
- 24 x 24
- 25 x 25
Where Do You Find Custom Filters?
If none of the above sizes match perfectly, you’ll want to order a custom-made filter to fit your furnace.
If you attempt to use a filter in the slot that is too small, air will just flow around it and render it useless. On the other hand, if you try to jam in a filter too large, the edges will become crushed in the tight space, and it won’t last very long.
There are plenty of companies that sell air filters of different sizes and materials, both offline and online. There are even companies out there that can design, engineer, and manufacture custom air filters according to your specifications.
However, you should know that custom sized filters tend to cost more and may take 5-10 days to manufacturer.
Call us first before you commit to any investment in a custom air filter. We can give you the exact measurements you’ll need and recommend the right brand.
Sig Cox Augusta Air Conditioning is here to serve you for all your heating and air quality needs. From simple fixes to new installations, we cover it all! We’re open 24/7 to handle any residential or commercial job.
Call us today for a free quote on your needs: (706)-722-5304