Research has proven that the small, microscopic, nearly invisible particulates that float around in our indoor air are not good for our health. The American Lung Association reports that airborne particles 2.5 microns or less (called fine particles) are an inhalation hazard as they are “easily inhaled deeply into the lungs where they can be absorbed into the bloodstream or remain embedded for long periods of time.” A recent study also showed that the mortality risk showed 17% increase in areas with high concentrations of fine particles. These small particles also greatly affect anyone that has asthma problems. They can trigger asthma attacks, respiratory irritation, coughing and wheezing.
What is the best way to make sure your indoor air is as clean as possible? The first thing to do is filter the particulates out of the indoor air. This is primarily done when the air is pushed through filter in a forced air HVAC system. However, even if an air filter is changed regularly, it may not be helping your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ).
Air Filter Issues That Reduce Indoor Air Quality
No Air Filter Present
You may thing this never happens, but it does. If you don’t have an air filter in place, it definitely isn’t going to filter any of the air that circulates in your home. This usually happens if the filter is removed because it’s hard to reach – like in a crawl space. Other times it may be taken out and then forgot to be put back in. Many things can happen if an air filter isn’t in place: reduced indoor air quality and potential damage to the HVAC equipment as it builds up with dirt, dust, and debris.
Bypass happens when a filter is installed incorrectly allowing air to pass right by the filter instead of through the filter. When this happens, air is not cleaned as nearly well as it should be. The type of filter doesn’t matter – bypass can happen any time a filter is improperly installed.
Filters only clean indoor air when the system is running, pushing air through them. No filtering happens when an HVAC system is off. The mathematical equation for this is Filtration volume = Air flow x Runtime. Many times, homeowners may switch the fan to “on” instead of “auto” and this may work sometimes in certain areas, but higher energy bills are a result. Having the fan run constantly may also worsen indoor air quality by raising the humidity levels, especially in humid climates during the cooling season. Those in a dry climate, keeping the fan set to “on” can help.
Your best bet is to make sure you have the right sized HVAC system for your home to get as much filtering as possible. Also, minimize indoor air pollutants that need to be filtered out with source control, ventilation, and air sealing.
Inadequate Indoor Air Flow
As stated above, air flow and runtime go together. If returned ducts and filters are too small, the pressure in the system increases therefore reducing air flow. This can also happen if an air filter is dirty and not changed regularly resulting in high pressure and low air flow.
Ranging from 1-16, MERV ratings score the performance level of a filter related to the removal of airborne particles from 0.3-10 microns in size. Microns are used as the measurement for airborne particles and a micron is 1/1000th mm…equal to 1/25,000ths of an inch. Logic would make it seem that you would want to buy a filter with the highest MERV rating possible, right? Oddly, that is not necessarily the case.
Air filters with high MERV ratings mean the filter is highly effective in preventing harmful airborne particles from circulating throughout your home. However, a high MERV rating filter could also be overly effective which, in turn, can prevent the air itself from being to circulate. This is a bad thing and the result may be poorer air quality in your home. Also, if the air is unable to circulate due to more resistance, your HVAC is doing more work than it should be. The result is an inefficient HVAC system, high energy bills, and it can even lead to costly repairs in the long run. Too low of a MERV rating doesn’t filter out enough particulates to keep your indoor air clean.
US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units
No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly to keep your indoor air quality clean and your heat running at its maximum efficiency. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!
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Selecting the filters that are right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.