Indoor air quality or IAQ plays an important role in overall physical health, which is why it is critical to ensure that it is maintained. The most common tool to keep indoor air clean is the HVAC filter. However, there is a catch – it has to be the right type and must be utilized correctly. HVAC filters are often available as disposable and reusable types. Disposable filters are the type that may be replaced and thrown away when an HVAC air filter replacement is necessary. Reusable filters, on the other hand, last longer since these can be washed, dried, and reinstalled many times over. Let’s take a look at the benefits and limitations of washable HVAC filters.
Why High-Quality HVAC Filters Are Better
- 1 Why High-Quality HVAC Filters Are Better
- 2 A Look At Washable/Reusable Electrostatic Air Filters
- 3 Benefits Of Washable HVAC Filters
- 4 Limitations Of Washable/Reusable HVAC Filters
- 5 How To Care For And Maintain Washable HVAC Filters
- 6 Call Point Bay Fuel To Improve Your Home Indoor Air Quality
The thing about indoor pollution is that it can be as bad or even worse than outdoor pollution. The air inside most homes is not always safe and pure. In fact, it is possible for people to get sick because of the quality of the air they are exposed to day after day. Indoor air could be filled with pollutants such as dust, dander, pollen, mold spores, and other tiny particulates that could affect the lungs. Thankfully, heating and cooling systems come equipped with air filters that trap these particulates effectively. With high-quality HVAC filters, the efficacy level is even higher, since these types of filters can trap very tiny particles better than cheaper options. As such, high-quality filters are far better at protecting household members from potential health risks and in maintaining excellent HVAC efficiency.
A Look At Washable/Reusable Electrostatic Air Filters
Electrostatic filters are similar to magnets. These filters attract contaminants due to opposite charges. When polluted air flows through the filter, the particles are captured so that air that is distributed through the system is cleaner. Since these filters continuously collect particulates, they become oversaturated after some time, which means they will no longer perform efficiently. When this happens, indoor air quality is severely reduced. If you happen to be using a disposable filter, check to see if it is clogged and replace it. If your system uses a washable or reusable filter, take out the media, clean it, and re-install it each time it becomes clogged.
Benefits Of Washable HVAC Filters
Reusable HVAC filters do not require a replacement until after about five years or so. One reusable filter can take the place of 20-60 disposable filters which often have a lifespan of only 1-3 months. This helps reduce the amount of trash disposed of in landfills.
2. Cost Saving
Washable filters come with higher price tags but they will actually save you more money over the long term. You will only have to buy one washable filter every 5-10 years, depending on the number of particulates it collects.
Washable filters will only require replacement after several years, so there is no need to order a replacement or head off to the store to buy one. With a washable filter, simply remove the unit, clean and dry it, then re-install it.
There are different types, sizes, and ratings for filters. It is important that you use the correct size to ensure that it fits into the slot properly. If it doesn’t, it will be useless. With electrostatic filters, you do not have to contend with this issue and they also last longer.
Limitations Of Washable/Reusable HVAC Filters
1. More Expensive
If you have a budget to stick to, washable filters, particularly electrostatic ones, may not be an option. However, consider carefully the long-term savings washable filters can offer.
2. Not Always Effective In Maintaining IAQ
Not all washable filters come with a high MERV rating. This is the measure of the effectiveness of the filter in trapping airborne particulates. The highest MERV rating that most reusable filters come with is 4 while some disposable filters go as high as 12.
3. Mold Growth
After washing a reusable filter, it is important that you let it dry. If the filter is not completely dry when you reinstall it, the moisture left in the unit could attract mold, which in turn will cause poor IAQ.
4. Electrostatic Filters May Fail To Work Against Certain Contaminants
Electrostatic filters work well in trapping dust, pollen, and carpet fibers. However, they may not work as well with smaller particles. Certain types of bacteria and mold spores, for example, are way too small to be trapped using electrostatic energy and could still pass through the filter.
How To Care For And Maintain Washable HVAC Filters
Regardless of whether you choose a washable or a disposable filter, it is important to care for it. If the filter is clean, it will remain effective. It will also last longer and keep indoor air quality safe. Disposable filters are often easier to manage because you simply throw them away when they become clogged. With washable filters, you have to be careful to check them from time to time to ensure a longer lifespan for each unit. To remove dirt and debris, use running water. Better yet, use a pressurized sprayer to eliminate trapped particles more effectively. Air-dry the filter to remove all moisture. This will help prevent the growth of mold.
Other HVAC Air Filter Options
There are other high-performing heating and cooling filter types that you can use instead of electrostatic ones. Two of the better options are electronic filters and high-efficiency media filters. Their method of removing particulates and debris from the air differ but they both provide excellent air pollution control. They have a high-efficiency performance in removing most of the contaminants found in indoor air. Using these filter options, you can actively reduce risks associated with indoor air pollution such as allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues. These options are also reasonably priced and have a long lifespan.
There are actually a number of air filter options available to ensure indoor air quality. Your best choice will depend on your priorities, indoor air quality issues, budget, convenience, and preferred unit lifespan. If you are unsure, talk to a certified HVAC technician to find the best option for your home.
Call Point Bay Fuel To Improve Your Home Indoor Air Quality
Point Bay Fuel is one of the leading heating and cooling service providers in Monmouth and Ocean County, New Jersey. Our professionally certified technicians are trained in ensuring that they offer the best services for your needs, including the safety and comfort of your home. From tune-ups and installations to repairs and replacement, we offer top-notch service that puts your needs and requirements first and foremost. We offer the best and most competitive HVAC service costs in Monmouth and Ocean County, New Jersey. You can rest assured of 100% satisfaction with every job we perform. We do this while keeping your home design, indoor living space requirements, and budget in mind. Call Point Bay Fuel today and let us discuss how you can improve your indoor air quality. We offer in-home estimates free of cost.