Air Filtration in Clarksville, IN, Jeffersonville, IN, Louisville, KY and the Metro Region
CHANGE YOUR FURNACE FILTER!!! That can really not be said too often and is critical to the performance of your system. We ask that question whenever we get a service call and probably half of the time the answer is that it needs changing. The filter sits in the air stream and all of the return air passes through the filter before the blower moves the air across the evaporator coil. If the filter is dirty then the air will not move fast enough, the blower motor will have to strain and the heat transfer process at the coil will not be efficient.
A dirty filter will cause a system to operate as badly as being low on refrigerant and will cause the failure of multiple components. The vast majority of homes use a 1” throwaway filter (located in a filter rack on the side of the furnace). Check this filter monthly! If it does not need changing then do not change it, but check it monthly. With regular checking you will learn how often you need to change your filter based upon environmental conditions. For some reason society is trying to move to changing filters every three months. This laziness is not good for anyone except the heating & air service industry.
If you are buying one of the 1” pleated filters that claim to be good for three months, then either check them in between changes or stop using them and use a quality monthly filter. If you want to move to a lower maintenance filter, then consider an annual filter. DO NOT USE THE 1” FIBERGLASS FILTERS! These filters do not capture enough particulates and will cause your blower motor and evaporator coil to become clogged.
We sell a very good 1” throwaway poly fiber filter that we (obviously) highly recommend. If you have one of the boxed 3”, 4” or 5” filters, these are good filters but they are not once a year filters, some need to be changed every three months. Once again, check it, if it does not need to be changed then do not change it. The brand that we really like is an Aprilaire SpaceGard filter. There are three different styles but they all use a once a year filter (though some home situations will require changes more or less often).
The replacement filters are either 11 or 13 MERV (MERV is the rating system used for filters, 13 is a good number) and extremely efficient at removing micron-sized particulates, pet dander, mold, fungi, and, pollen spores. These filters are great in virtually every application and ideal for allergy sufferers. Changing the filters on the new models is extremely easy. Aprilaire also makes conversion kits to upgrade their older models with the newer, easier to change, 13 MERV models, and, to convert the 4” box style filters to the SpaceGard filter. Unrestricted air flow is more critical in cooling season. If you use an annual filter then try and change it in the spring before cooling season.
Electrostatic air cleaners are somewhat common, though we no longer think as highly of them as we once did. Aside from being less efficient than a quality annual filter, repair issues are a major drawback: it is more expensive to repair an electronic air cleaner than to replace it – one of the more common sights in a home with an electronic air cleaner is to see the cartridge removed and a 4” box filter in its place.
Washable filters are not recommended simply because they do not filter the air effectively. Many older systems feature a coconut fiber, plastic like filter that wraps around a cage. You can try replacing that with a polyfiber filter media that you cut to fit (which we have) or upgrading your older furnace and getting a quality filter system at that time.
Many older systems have a metal screen pre-filter that is washable. Be extremely careful with that because replacements are not readily available or inexpensive.