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All about Central Air and Heat Filters

written by: Asheesh • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 10/27/2010

Filters are used to protect air conditioning systems and people from dirt and dust present in the air. This article describes the various types and ratings for filter media, along with cleaning and installation tips.

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    Introduction

    In the air conditioning system, the air conditioning filter is an important and essential air conditioning part. It is important due to its work of filtering any pollutant to make the conditioned air breathable and clean. However, cleaning these air conditioning filters is also very essential in order to get the best efficiency from a central air conditioning.

    Most air conditioning filters are able to remove dirt particles of sizes from 3 to 10 microns such as animal dander, pollen, dust, mold, radioactive particles, and other most toxic particles.

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    Why cleaning of air conditioning filters is important

    • All air conditioning parts are closely inter-related with each other. If the filters are dirty, it will reduce the service life of the air conditioner and increases its maintenance cost.
    • Dirty filters also cause higher energy costs.
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    What to do for maintenance of air conditioning filters?

    Changing of filters should be done periodically. For homes, a period of one month during the heating or cooling seasons is adequate, but commercially used air conditioning filters may need replacement as often as every couple of weeks.

    Many of us don’t change them until we see dust and dirt on them. You cannot see dust particles all the time. Therefore time your filter changes to protect your family or co-workers from any breathing disorders.

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    What is the size of the air conditioning filters?

    Air conditioning filters are available of size in between 1 ½ to 2 square feet for each ton capacity of air conditioner for both home and commercial usage. How quickly one gets blocked is basically depends upon their brand and construction.

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    What is MERV rating?

    Air conditioning filter   The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV is the rating used to judge the ability of the air conditioning filter. Filters will be more effective if their MERV value is high. The range of air conditioning filters is from 1 to 12 in terms of MERV rating.

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    What are the types of air conditioning filters?

    HEPA filters

    • These filters have best efficiency among all types of filters.
    • The efficiency is more than 99.97%.
    • They can restrict dirt particles of sizes 0.3 micrometer at 85 liters per minute.
    • They can work also for highly hazardous aerosols such as radioactive and highly toxic particles.
    • They are used in hospitals, isolation rooms, and computer chip manufacturing areas. Actually, they are used where absolute filtration is required.
    • You can use them in your home if cost is not a big issue.

    Aluminum air filters

    • Aluminum foil mesh is used in this filter.
    • It has a high capability to absorb oil smoke particles.
    • They are used homes and industries located on the sides of busy roads.
    • They are available in different sizes according to your requirement.

    Conventional fiberglass disposable filters

    • They are mostly used as filters for homes and small industries.
    • Disposable and adhesive coating is used in this type of filter to restrict any dust.
    • They are comparatively cheap.
    • Filtering ability of these filters is very low.

    Pleated fiberglass disposable filters

    • They are made using different materials having different effectiveness.
    • They have better filtering ability because of their densely woven structure.
    • They have larger surface area than conventional filters so that to increase dust removing capability.

    Electrostatic filters

    • They are allergy-free air conditioning filters.
    • They use electrostatic charge to collect any dust particles.
    • Efficiency of these filters is high; however, they require more frequent cleaning and maintenance.

    Electronic filters

    • They are usually mounted on the wall.
    • Electric power source is used for these filters.
    • They require cleaning every six months.

    Carbon filters: central air filters with fragrance

    • These filters contain carbon.
    • They have the capability to restrict dirty particles and offer a pleasant smell.
    • They are useful for any dirty smell problem.
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    Important tips regarding installation

    • Use the most appropriate air conditioning filter for your system.
    • The filter must be positioned in the right direction. The direction is present on the side of the filter indicated by an arrow.
    • Air should be flow in the direction indicated on the filter. By doing this, you will get best efficiency of the filter.
    • They should be fitted tightly. This is due to restrict unfiltered air coming from outside.
    • The appropriate sizing and perfect seal is very important, otherwise there is no use for air conditioning filters.
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    References

    Reference-about.com

    Reference-airconditioning-filter.com

    Reference-prlog.org

    Image- Air conditioning filter-wikimedia.org

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