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Air Conditioner vs. Air Purifiers: How They Differ and Why Do You Need Air Purifiers

Air-Conditioner-vs.-Air-Purifier

Air conditioners are often actually lifesavers in areas of the country where record-breaking heat waves sometimes are raging. But did you know aside from providing us with cooling power, air conditioners can also negatively impact the air quality inside your home sometime Let’s understand how this can happen.

How Does An Air Conditioner Work?

Household air conditioners come in three main types: central units, window units, and portable units. You may choose one or more of these based on the design of your home or business, and the climate where you live or work.

A central air conditioning system is a part of your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC). All the rooms in your home are cooled by just one large condensing unit, typically located outside. The air conditioner also contains a fan that moves cool air into your home through your air ducts and into vents installed on the ceiling, walls, or floors.

Window air conditioning units use the same cooling components as central air conditioners, but the entire system is self-contained in the window unit.  Air conditioner units that are installed in windows are generally the most efficient and the cheapest. You can use them in any room with unobstructed slide-to-open windows, plus you can move them around as needed.

Portable air conditioners are freestanding units that are easy to move from room to room. Although the units contain an outdoor exhaust hose, you still need to place them near a window to allow that exhaust to escape.  A hose that’s not vented outside will let hot air into your house and the air conditioner will not have the capacity be able to cool it effectively.

How Do Air Conditioners Affect You?

Using air conditioners can cool your indoor air, which will make it feel fresh while decreasing humidity levels. However, they aren’t intended to catch all of the airborne pollutants that may exist in your home.

Indoor air pollution can come from many sources. The most common contaminants are pollen, mold, wildfire smoke, pet dander, cleaning chemicals, and cooking byproducts. Depending on their nature, these pollutants can be particles and gases, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since many people spend most of their time indoors, they should know how to protect their indoor air quality and, thus, protect themselves from possible harm.

No matter if the air conditioner is built into the HVAC system or installed separately, it should always incorporate filtration. There are ready to incorporate filters or custom filters you can order that can trap larger airborne pollutants, including dust and pet hair. Filters have different MERV ratings, which determine how much, and which kind of pollutants are trapped. 

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value indicates how well a filter can capture particles in the range of 0.3 to 10 microns. To decrease the risk of allergies, replace your HVAC filter each month using a MERV 13 filter or the highest rating your HVAC system can support, as recommended by the United States  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The ideal usage of these filters would be to trap viruses and even smaller particles if possible.

What is the Difference Between Air Conditioners and Air Purifiers? 

Despite the fact that air purifiers and air conditioners have similar features, like fans, filters, and vents, they serve very different purposes. Air conditioners let you cool the air in your home and maintain a certain temperature within. Air purifiers improve indoor air quality, but they do not regulate your home’s temperature.

Unlike air conditioners, air purifiers are intended to run constantly. This allows them to change the air in the room on a regular basis, eliminating contaminants as they travel through the filters. Whether your air purifier’s filter can remove particulate matter, gaseous pollutants, or both depends on the type of filter you choose.

Air purifiers may also use HEPA filters to trap airborne particle pollution, like some HVAC systems. Nevertheless, they may not be effective against gaseous pollutants. Carbon filters are another common technology used in air purifiers, and they produce the opposite result. The filtration systems can capture harmful gases, but they are powerless to capture fine particles.

Why Should You Upgrade Your HVAC Filter?

Normally, an air filter is made of a spun fiberglass material or pleated paper or cloth enclosed in a cardboard frame. A filter’s basic function is to keep the air circulating through your heating and cooling system clean. Filters are designed to capture and hold a variety of contaminants that can affect your health and comfort, including:

  • Dust and dirt
  • Pollen
  • Mold and mold spores
  • Fibers and lint
  • Metal, plaster, or wood particles
  • Hair and animal fur
  • Bacteria and microorganisms

Upgrading your HVAC filter will prevent debris from building up in your system. Thus, the air inside your home is also clean and healthy to breathe.

The reason your home is full of pollutants is commonly because of dirty air filters. They not only contaminate the surrounding air, but also allow bacteria to grow inside your HVAC system. This leads to ever-increasing levels of dangerous pollution in the air that you and your family breathe in your home.

So be sure your filters are changed regularly/monthly. You can inspect the filters visually yourself to determine whether they are dirty or clogged. Try holding the filter up to a light source. If it can’t be seen through, it probably needs to be replaced.

What’s more, the team at US Home Filter specializes in providing quality air filters and filtration solutions for homes. We offer both standard-size air filters and custom-size air filters. Our high-quality products and excellent service will ensure that you will become one of our many satisfied customers! Get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more about air filters for your HVAC system or if you’re having trouble choosing the right filter. We are happy to help.

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Air Filter Misconceptions

Air Filters MisconceptionsThe use of forced heating and cooling systems (HVACs) is the most common way to stay comfortable indoors in the United States. The most crucial component of the HVAC system’s overall function is the air filter. It is extremely important to replace home air filters regularly to keep your heating and air conditioning units working efficiently and effectively. Purchasing the right air filter for your system is also important. When shopping for the right replacement filters, there are several things to look for. The brand of the filter doesn’t necessarily matter, it’s finding a filter that removes the most pollutants (MERV rating) from the air AND one that allows your HVAC system to perform efficiently. Here are some common misconceptions about air filters to help further educate you on their importance.

7 Misconceptions About Air Filters

Air Filters Just Keep Dust off HVAC Equipment

Although this was the original purpose of air filters, their role has expanded. Now they serve the even more important purpose of filtering out airborne contaminants and particulates from the indoor air we breathe. In other words, air filters improve your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)!

Air Filters Don’t Need to be Replaced as Often as Recommended

Air filters become ineffective if they are not cleaned or replaced regularly and this can lead to a multitude of problems. If air filters are not replaced on a regular basis, they become clogged with the airborne particulates they are trying to filter out of the air. Eventually, the filter becomes completely blocked and the dust/mold is pushed back into our indoor air. Airflow also becomes restricted putting strain on your HVAC equipment and increasing your energy bills. Check the filter monthly and clean or replace it according to the manufacturer’s directions. For the best results, change your air filter every 30-90 days!

Pet Owners Don’t Need to Change Filters More Often

Air filters may need to be changed up to twice as often if you own a pet, especially long-haired breeds. Pet hair and dander can build up quickly on the filter, reducing its efficiency. Use high-efficiency pleated air filters and free-standing room air cleaners for extra filtration in the rooms your pet spends the most time in to keep your indoor air as clean as possible.

All Filters are the Same

The first thing to understand when it comes to the different air filters are MERV ratings. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiently Reporting Value. This number tells you the effectiveness of the air filter and is calculated by measuring the number of particles a filter can trap and comparing that to the number the particles it’s trying to filter. In other words, if there are two filters in the same room, the one that traps fewer particles has a lower MERV rating. This doesn’t always mean you should just buy the filter with the highest MERV rating. If you purchase a filter with too high a MERV rating it can make your HVAC system less efficient as it blocks too much of the airflow and eventually causes equipment damage and higher energy bills. The best choice is to go with a filter that removes the most pollutants (MERV rating) and still allows your HVAC system to perform as efficiently as possible.

High-Efficiency Filters Can be Used in any HVAC System

Using high-efficiency air filters may require HVAC system modifications to increase the fan output and compensate for the restricted airflow. As mentioned above, choosing a filter with the highest MERV rating (meaning the highest efficiency) that isn’t meant for your HVAC system can make it less efficient as it blocks too much of the airflow. Modifications would be needed for a MERV 8 filter in a system that only allows for a MERV 4 or lower filter.

All Filters are the Same Size

HVAC units have a very specific area where the air filter resides, and it needs to fit correctly in order to perform efficiently. Filters don’t need to have an “airtight” seal, but they should be easy to install and uninstall without a struggle. For most systems, you can use a standard-sized filter within 5/8 of an inch smaller than the air filter housing allowing the filter to slide in and out with ease. Most HVAC units use standard-sized filters; however, some do require a custom size air filter. According to EPA.gov, incorrectly designed or installed filter frames can cause air seepage, which significantly decreases filter effectiveness. Airflow resistance caused by using the incorrect size filter results in unnecessary stress on your HVAC unit, potential damage to the equipment, and increase energy bills.

Buying One Air Filter at a Time

Having air filters in stock at your house makes it easier to stick with changing them monthly. Buying a whole box of air filters means you have them available when the time comes to change the filter and a trip to the store isn’t necessary.

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 filtersgrille filters, and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!

Order now from US Home Filter and receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!

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.