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Do I Need To Change My Furnace Air Filter?

Jun 28, 2008
Air conditioners are a valuable and common means of ensuring that a building has fresh, clean air being circulated around it, reducing pollutants and increasing the wellbeing of those enjoying the clean air. In order for your air conditioner to work correctly and effectively it is very important that it is regularly maintained and repaired if it becomes damaged. By maintaining your air conditioner you will not only get longer use from it but you will also ensure that it is extracting as much of the old stale air from a building as possible with no reduction in effectiveness.

One are that many people fail to think about within their air conditioning system is the furnace air filter. This is a filter that is fitted over the air intake of the furnace and ensures that the furnace heats clean air. If the filter is left to become blocked with dust and debris the furnace will not be able to draw as much air into it and will not be as efficient. Some filters can be so dirty that they are totally blocked and this will result in little or no hot air being expelled from the furnace, something which you will definitely notice.

Another problem with having a furnace air filter that needs changing is that there will be an increase of pollutants in the building. This can then lead to respiratory problems and other symptoms that are associated with a poor air supply such as runny and itchy eyes and noses, headaches, nausea and dizziness.

As with any type of filter there are different types of furnace filter and as rule the cheaper the filter the less effective it will be in eliminating pollutants from the air. This is something that should be thought about, especially if you suffer from allergies or other airborne illnesses. If you are thinking about getting a new furnace air filter here is what to expect:

-Disposable filters made from fiberglass: These are at the lower end of the scale, and as they are designed to be disposable don't offer the standard of protection that say a HEPA filter would provide you with. Such filters are only really made with blocking large particles in mind and are of little use if you are looking for protection from pollen, mould and dust.

-Washable electrostatic furnace air filters: These offer more protection from airborne particles than disposable filters. But still only trap 15-20% of these particles with their static charge.

-Pleated allergy furnace air filters: These may sound like a good idea, especially if you think that HEPA filters are expensive. However they still only trap around 20-50% or particles due to their denser fibres and increased surface area, so cannot be seen as totally efficient.

-HEPA filters are the best at trapping airborne particles with an efficiency or around 99.995% which means that they are the best choice if you are looking to protect yourself and others from the effects of pollutants.

To get the best from your furnace air filter make sure that you change it when recommended as this will prolong the life of your air conditioner and improve the air it circulates. If you need to find out which is the best furnace air filter for you and your needs, contact a local HVAC technician.
About the Author
Giant Mechanical is a leading Chicago area company that provides Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and a variety of other services. Find out how Giant Mechanical can help you with your commercial, residential, or institutional needs by visiting http://www.giantmechanical.com.
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