Which A/C Filter is Right for Your home?

Welcome to Our Brand New Website
August 7, 2012
Cutting Energy Costs: Efficient Air Conditioner Habits
August 7, 2012
Show all

Which A/C Filter is Right for Your home?

Changing the air filters in your home air conditioning unit will extend the life of your air conditioner and keep it working at peak efficiency; and it is one the least expensive things you can do to maintain your cooling system. Dirt and air pollutants can affect your family’s health and damage the equipment requiring expensive repair or replacement of the system. We recommend that you change your A/C system’s air filter every three to six months and include filters as part of our maintenance plans.

There are several factors that determine how often air filters should be changed: the local climate, the amount of foreign particles in your home’s air (like pet dander or dust mites), and the type of system installed in your home.

If you wait too long between filter changes, equipment efficiency declines and operating costs increase. Replacing your air conditioner filter too often can be a waste of your hard earned money, especially if you are using an expensive type of filter. A possible solution to this is to use electrostatic filters which you can clean and reuse.

Keep in mind that the more efficient your air conditioner filter is, then it will have to be cleaned or replaced more frequently. For most people, pleated filters will do an adequate job. These filters are about ten to sixty percent efficient and some manufacturers claim even higher efficiencies. This is usually our recommendation for most homes in Pickerington and surrounding communities.

Pleated air conditioner filters should be changed every three to six months, depending on how dusty it is where you live. If you live in an area with lots of dust (like the southwest US) then your filter may need to be changed every couple of months. In Pickerington, Reynoldsburg, Canal Winchester and other southeast Columbus-area suburbs, you’re safe to stick with the 3-6 month time frame.

If you require more efficient air filtration you may want an electrostatic, electronic or even a HEPA filter. The more efficient the filter is, the more frequently it will have to be cleaned or replaced.

Electrostatic filters offer the greatest value. They cost 2 to 6 times more than a disposable filter, but they are reusable. You simply rinse them with water, let them dry, and they are ready to use again.

Electronic filters will never become dirty enough to effect airflow. They just become inefficient and their ability to remove dust from the air diminishes over time. To clean these filters you have to remove the electronic cells and soak them in something like HVAC cleaner, rinse them and let them dry. We do not generally recommend electronic filters.

HEPA filters are the most efficient filters available but become clogged very quickly. They need to be checked at least monthly and often cause too much restriction to airflow to be used at all. A tech from Pickerington Heating & Cooling will be able to tell you if it is worth trying one of these in your system. However, people with severe allergies to pet dander and dust mites may benefit from using a HEPA filter.

Economy panel filters that you can get from your local hardware store are probably the worst type of filters that you could possibly use in your air conditioner. These are the ones that you could almost read a book through. When it comes to efficiency and effectiveness, these filters are at the bottom of the list. They do such a poor job you could leave one in your air conditioner for a year and it might not collect enough dust to require changing. The unfortunate thing is the evaporator coil of your air conditioner would need to be cleaned every year to remove the dirt that should have been stopped by the filter.

For a complete analysis of your air conditioning system and which air filter is best, contact our office at 614-837-4026 to arrange a consultation over the phone or on-site, and take advantage of our dollar saving specials. Our office is open 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday for regular service calls.

If you have an emergency, feel free to call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and one of our on-call service techs will respond.