Why There's More to Your AC Filter Than You Might Think
An air conditioning system is quite a complex piece of equipment. Many different parts work together in harmony in an attempt to keep you cool on a blazing hot Australian summer day. Yet, while you rely on all of these interconnected pieces to keep going with some reliability, you may not realise how important it is to focus on the simplest part, the filter. Do you really understand what this does and do you realise that you may be using the wrong type?
What Is the Real Purpose?
Many people seem to think that the primary purpose of the air conditioning filter is to make the air that the inhabitants breathe less polluted or to somehow improve its quality. Actually, the key role of this component is to protect the HVAC equipment. If the air filter did not do its job properly, dirty particles would attach themselves to the coil and other crucial parts, leading to failure down the road.
Listen to the Manufacturer?
Originally, filter designs were fairly straightforward, but with rapidly improving technology, updates were soon called for. At the same time, some health experts began to push for filters that had a very fine mesh to trap miniature particles, because it was felt that they were harmful to the people in the house.
The equipment manufacturers disagreed, however. They felt that such a filter would slow the airflow through the heat exchanger, leading to inefficiencies and causing a risk of overheating. This would in turn elevate energy bills, because the unit would need to keep running longer to achieve the same outcome.
Where Is the Dirtiest Air?
It's also important to realise just what these air filters are able to achieve. Certain studies suggest that the airborne particles that scientists are so afraid of tend to be concentrated very close to where humans are active. They are not necessarily adjacent to the intake position, where they could be captured and processed through the filters. In other words, there may be no need for those ultrafine filters in any case.
So, What's the Best Type?
You may think that this is conflicting information and be even less sure about what type of filter you should purchase for your system. As a good compromise, it's probably best to select a reusable and washable filter and preferably one that is electrostatic. As the air moves through, the electrostatic charge is created, enabling the filter to capture positively charged particles to the negatively charged surface.
Just remember to thoroughly wash and dry the filters at least once every month. This should ensure ongoing efficiency, as well as helping to protect the equipment.