Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I clean or change the air filters in my furnace?
Many manufacturers recommend that you change your air filters every three months. If you own pets, smoke cigarettes, or frequently burn candles, you may want to replace your filters more frequently. Certain activities such as welding, woodworking, or spray painting can prematurely clog air filters. If you recently built or remodeled, change the filter immediately. Construction and drywall dust can quickly clog your filters and, if unchecked, can damage your heating and cooling system.
Which air filter should I use?
You can choose from many types and makes of air filters depending on your needs and your budget. Better filters will capture tiny, bacteria-sized particles that can irritate your airways, and can do so while minimizing resistance to airflow. Restricted airflow can reduce the effectiveness or even the service life of your heating system.
Disposable filters cost the least to purchase, and range in quality from cheap fiberglass mesh filters to more expensive pleated media filters. One such pleated filter, the 3M Filtrete brand, received top ratings from a leading consumer magazine. You can purchase the Filtrete from most large retailers of home-building supplies.
Cleanable electrostatic filters cost more than disposables, but can be reused after you vacuum or rinse them free of accumulated dust. Most disposable filters rely on the fineness of their mesh to trap dust and particles. However, the tighter their mesh, the more they restrict airflow as well. In contrast, electrostatic filters work well without excessively restricting airflow because they apply an electrostatic charge to incoming particles, which then stick to a charged collector pad. Another advantage of electrostatic filters is that they will normally slide into your existing filter rack.
Electronic air cleaners also apply a charge to incoming particles. However, this type of filter uses high voltage rather than static electricity to do its job. As with the electrostatic filter, its collector pad can normally be washed and reused. Manufacturers of these products claim that they can remove virus-sized particles from your air. Because electronic air cleaners are contained in their own cabinets and have dedicated power supplies, they are the most costly filtration option. You will likely need to modify your ductwork to install an electronic air cleaner in an existing furnace.
No matter which filter you choose, make sure that it fits snugly into its filter rack. Many filter racks are cheaply made and prone to leakage, robbing your filter of its effectiveness. Green Mechanical can help you choose and install a filtration system that best meets your needs… call us today!