In order to keep a home heating and cooling system running smoothly, most professionals recommend changing air filters every months. The air filter prevents dust and particles from making their way into the air ducts and being deposited on the inner workings of the air handler. If there were no filter, then massive amounts of dust, dirt, and other irritants would accumulate causing a decrease in efficiency and greatly shortening the life span of the HVAC equipment.
Not changing the filter periodically results in a slow build up of dust in the ducts. This build up reduces the airflow throughout the home and increases allergens being blown into the interior of the home. Allergens in the air cause respiratory problems and sometimes eye and skin irritation. Some air filters are specifically designed to remove more allergens and provided better air quality for allergy sufferers.
Other considerations for filters are size and type. The size should fit well, and most sizes are commercially available. Types to choose from include pleated, electrostatic, and HEPA. Pleated filters are inexpensive and may be manufactured from charcoal to help with odor control. Pleated types are typically disposable. Electrostatic types usually have a lifetime guarantee, but require the homeowner to periodically clean the filter to provide maximum efficiency. HEPA filters are designed to reduce allergens by up to 97 percent and may be a good choice for allergy prone individuals. Using a combination of pleated and electrostatic filters is quite possible and recommended by many professionals.
Most HVAC systems use multiple user replaceable filters. One filter is always placed at the air return which is located at the air intake or return vent. This filter is almost always easily changed out by the homeowner. The other filter, if present, is usually found behind a panel at or in the air handler itself. This filter can be easily accessed if the air handler is located at ground level inside a garage or utility room. Often times, air handlers are installed in an attic recess above the garage. This last location can prove to be a hassle, but the good news is this particular filter need not be changed every month as the air filter at the return.
To ensure the best air quality possible, hiring a professional HVAC service technician to clean the ducts and remove all of the dust bunnies and fur will not only benefit the health of the family, but allow the air conditioning and heating system to last longer. Clean ducts will also reduce or eliminate the possibility of a fire hazard that dirty ducts can cause.
Consulting a professional to determine the proper type of filter for the home is always a good idea. A qualified heating and air company will guide the homeowner to the proper brand, style and size, as well as inspect the air ducts for cleanliness. By beginning with clean air ducts, the unit will run more efficiently and the filter will be able to work as well as possible.Charcoal Odor
For more information and guidance about air conditioning and heating installation and repair service, visit http://www.comfortzonepa.com. Comfort Zone has a great maintenance plan guide when having a professional, qualified technician service your heating and cooling system.
Daniel Elliott is an independent contractor who authors articles and media on a variety of topics for diverse audiences. WebDrafter.com, Inc. ( http://www.webdrafter.com ) produces Website design, hosting, and search engine marketing services for many of the clients, industries and markets related to the articles and media authored by Dan Elliott.