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Electrostatic Air Filters Vs Regular AC Filters

Can you imagine living in a new house without HVAC systems? For the last decades, insulation, windows and doors have become more energy effective. It means they keep outside air from entering your home and inside air from leaving your home. In case it is great for your budget, this can be bad for your indoor air quality if you do not have a good quality HVAC system that is well maintained along with regular air duct cleaning.

Can you imagine living in a new house without HVAC systems? For the last decades, insulation, windows and doors have become more energy effective. It means they keep outside air from entering your home and inside air from leaving your home. In case it is great for your budget, this can be bad for your indoor air quality if you do not have a good quality HVAC system that is well maintained along with regular air duct cleaning.

HVAC System Operation

Your HVAC system heats or cools your inside air to the temperature set in your thermostat.  When you turn your unit on, it instantly starts pulling air from inside your home into the unit.  That air first passes through the air filter where small particles and dust are removed and caught in the filter.  Then, it is heated or cooled.  On the whole, your blower forces the air out of the unit, through your ducts and into your home.

If your ducts are dirty, this moving air picks up dust, dirt and debris, causing them to become airborne.  When small particles become airborne, they are more likely to be inhaled, which can increase breathing difficulties in individuals with allergies and asthma.  The small particles that come out of your ducts can also decrease your filter’s expected life.  To decrease breathing problems and to ensure your unit is working properly, it is important to schedule regular air duct cleaning services and change your air filter frequently.

Why is it so important?

Very significant part of your HVAC system is the air filter. Homes are being built with more energy efficient features, such as blow in insulation, high-efficiency doors and triple pane windows. All of these features not only help save you money on your heating and cooling costs, but they also prevent indoor/outdoor air circulation, which can lead to indoor air pollution if you do not regularly perform air filter maintenance.

Electrostatic VS Standard Air Filters

With an eye to improve your indoor air quality, you need to choose the right filter for your family’s needs, which means choosing between an electrostatic air filter and a standard air filter. Generally speaking, electrostatic air filters are washable while standard air filters are disposable.

Electrostatic Air Filters

Electrostatic air filters are constructed from electrically self-charging cotton fibers. The electrostatic works similar to the way static charged clothing attracts other clothes, and it is this static charge that allows the filters to attract and trap very small particles. Electrostatic air filters are typically given a MERV rating of between 1 and 3, which means they do well to remove large particles, dust, dust mites, pollen and wood dust, but they may not capture smaller particles.

If you choose to use an electrostatic air filter in your HVAC unit, it is important to clean the filter once a month and schedule regular air duct cleaning services.  Cleaning your ducts ensures that small particles, dust and pet dander are not being blown through your home and into your air filter, and cleaning your electrostatic air filter regularly helps remove air pollutants while improving the efficiency of your unit.

Pros

  • Better for Households Because They Can Be Washed and Reused
  • Filters Do Not Impact Air Flow
  • Less Expensive in the Long-Term

Cons

  • Must Be Cleaned Once a Month
  • More Expensive Up-Front

Regular AC Filters

Regular AC filters vary greatly in their ability to remove particles and clean your air. Standard fiberglass filters that are replaced every one to three months typically have a MERV rating between 1 and 4. This means they filter out large particles like dust, lint and dirt.

If you choose a standard pleated version over a fiberglass version, your air quality will be slightly better because some mold spores and smaller dust particles are removed from your indoor air and trapped in the filter, but the filter itself can reduce the amount of air flow your furnace or AC unit receiving.

Choosing a high-quality HEPA filter removes most allergens, pet dander and other small particles, which can help individuals with breathing problems experience less symptoms.  HEPA filters are generally given MERV ratings of between 12 and 14.

Pros

  • Available in a Variety of Sizes
  • Easy to Find and Purchase
  • Can Be Purchased with High MERV Ratings
  • Inexpensive Filters Are Available

Cons

  • Cannot be Cleaned and Reused
  • High-Quality Standard Filters Can Be Expensive
  • May Impact Air Flow if Not Replaced Regularly

When it comes to choosing the right air filter for your home, consider the quality of the filter and the long and short term costs. If you have allergies, asthma or breathing problems, you may want to go with a high-quality HEPA filter. If up-front cost is an issue, you may want to choose a standard fiberglass filter.  If long-term cost concerns you, you may want to choose an electrostatic air filter that can be cleaned and reused.  In addition to maintaining your air filter, you may want to consider regular air duct cleaning services. HVAC duct cleaning helps prevent dirt, dust and mold spores from spreading throughout your home.

HSE is a professional services company serving in Canada. Because we are a licensed HVAC contractor, we can go above just cleaning ducts and clean your entire system, including the furnace/air handling unit. Contact HSE today !