The Truth About Home Air Filters: 5 Facts You Need To Know

Having high indoor air quality is essential for maintaining a healthy home environment. Using an air filter is considered the most available method for improving air quality. But, it is necessary to know the truth about home air filters as these facts highly affect the air filtration process.

Generally, there are some factors that impact the mechanism of the air filters. And you have to maintain a proper air handling system according to different air conditions. Besides, the maintenance process of each type of air filter also varies depending on your home’s HVAC system.

In this article, some important truths and facts about air filters are discussed briefly. You will also learn about the proper maintenance methods of air filters so that choosing the right one for your home gets easier.

5 Essential Facts About Air Filters

Closed spaces like homes, offices, and various indoor centers have their own HVAC system for maintaining the temperature, airflow, humidity, and several other environmental factors.

Air filters are a part of the HVAC system, and there are some key factors that you need to know to ensure proper air handling in your house.

  • Air Filter Is Not a Complete Air Filtration System

The air filter of a house cannot remove all types of pollutants and act as a complete air filtration system. Because it is just a part of the HVAC system, and the main responsibility of an air filter is to maintain the equipment of the HVAC.

It may remove pet hair from your house and large particles from the environment and ensure better indoor air circulation.

But if you think it will always help to maintain high air quality, it is partially wrong because you will get a cleaner airflow inside the house with an air filter, but only for a short time.

An air filter will prevent dust particles from gathering up inside the AC, furnace, and HVAC system. As a result, these systems will work well for a long time, and the possibility of breakdown will be reduced.

  • The Capacity of Air Filters Varies Depending on Several Features

Air filters are not constant-sized devices to fit in the air handler. The capacity and strength of an air filter differ on the type of pollutant it can remove.

If you want air filters to reduce dust particles in the indoor air, you do not need one that is too strong. Otherwise, it can affect the airflow inside your house.

So, you have to choose filters depending on your requirements regarding the air quality of your house. You might also follow an air filter guide so that choosing the perfect one gets easier.

Besides, air filters can be of several sizes, and you have to choose according to the air filter slot in the HVAC system. The size is printed on the frame in most of the air filters.

  • Pleated Filters Impact Air Quality More than Washable Filters

Washable air filters are cost-effective solutions as they can be reused, and as a result, they last for several months and years. But they are unable to filter small dust particles and other pollutants.

Generally, washable air filters have lower assistance, and they can remove 75% of the pollutants in indoor air.

Pleated air filters consist of several pleats of filter material, which provides a larger surface for trapping pollutants.

Though you have to change pleated filters every 3 months, they are worth it. They can remove small contaminants up to 99.97%, which is much higher than the washable filters.

  • Regular Replacement of Air Filters Is Necessary

Replacing the air filters of your house is essential for ensuring clean and fresh air circulation inside the house.

If you wonder how to improve air quality today, you may consider replacing the filter if necessary.

Generally, pleated filters do not last long, and you have to replace them every 90 days. Otherwise, they can get clogged by the trapped dirt particles and lower the indoor air quality.

In the case of washable filters, it is better to wash them once a month. As these air filters are eco-friendly, they can last for up to 10 years, and you may change them after a year or two if necessary.

  • Air Filter Ratings Are Based on Their Effectiveness

The air filter ratings define the effectiveness and efficiency of removing pollutants from the indoor air. It is expressed as MREV, which defines the minimum efficiency reporting values.

Generally, the range of the MERV rating is 1 to 16. A higher rating for air filters defines that they can handle thicker filters and can remove a large number of pollutants from the air.

MERV 13 is considered the optimum rating for efficient air circulation inside any house. Such air filters clean the indoor air without impacting the regular airflow.

For large offices and industrial spaces, higher MERV ratings are necessary for better performance of air filters.

How to Maintain Air Filters Properly

If you have air filters at home, proper maintenance is necessary to ensure a better home environment. Because dirty and clogged filters can cause huge health risks along with a sudden breakdown of your house’s HVAC system.

The following tips and tricks might be helpful for you in maintaining your air filters along with preventing possible risks and consequences.

  • Clean the exterior panel of the air filter regularly. You can use a soft and damp cloth or a vacuum to remove the dust outside the filter panel.
  • While cleaning the washable filters, remove the trapped particles in such a way that they do not release into the indoor air.
  • Remember to switch OFF the power before changing the air filter. Always follow proper guidelines for installing new filters.
  • Replace your air filter regularly, as clogged filters might degrade the air quality of your house and release harmful pollutants.
  • If you are not familiar with the components and function of air filters, do not hesitate to take the help of a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do air filters really make a difference?

Though air filters are not so effective for microorganisms and smaller particles; yet, they can help to provide clean and fresh air by removing harmful pollutants from the air. Besides, they can make a difference by improving the performance of the HVAC system of your house.

  • What are the 3 main functions of an air filter?

An air filter removes dust particles, fumes, smoke, and other pollutants from indoor air. Besides, it maintains and regulates the overall function of the equipment related to the HVAC system. As air filters impact air circulation, you can have a healthy environment inside your house by using them.

  • Are home air filters worth it?

Home filters are really essential for maintaining the indoor air quality of your house. Because indoor air often carries much more pollutants compared to outdoor air. If you have respiratory issues and have children and pets at home, air filters are a must to provide healthy air conditioning inside the house.

Final Words

You might think of home air filters as a complete air purification system for your house. But actually, they are a part of the HVAC system to maintain healthy and fresh air flow inside the house.

The truth about home air filters is all about the myths that revolve around the mechanism of these filters. Hopefully, this article has cleared up your idea about maintaining your air filters by following the 5 facts mentioned above.

Last Updated on May 8, 2023

Photo of author

Billy J. Weber

Hi. It’s Weber, founder and author of this site Currently you are reading. I am dedicated to provide valuable insights and practical tips to air enthusiasts and anyone interested in improving their indoor air quality.

Leave a Comment