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How To Pick the Right Air Conditioner Filter

Air conditioning is critical for keeping a home comfortable through hot and humid summers, but it also serves several secondary purposes. A good air conditioner is designed to dehumidify and remove particles from the air as it operates. For homes with occupants plagued with respiratory problems, this is an essential function that can be used to their advantage and health. 

Keeping a clean filter in an air conditioner is the first and most important step in AC maintenance. It is also the most critical step in keeping people healthy, but choosing the air conditioner that is right for a particular home can be confusing. Read on for some helpful tips.

Fiberglass and Pleated Air Filters

Choosing the Right AC Filter

Fiberglass air filters are different from pleated air filters, but often the terms are used interchangeably. Fiberglass air filters generally refer to filters that only remove the largest particles from the air to protect the air conditioner. This can still leave large amounts of dust and allergens in the air that can aggravate respiratory problems. 

Pleated air filters are more efficient at removing particles from the air as a result of their material and design. Pleated air filters are given a MERV rating to help customers distinguish their filtration capacity. The MERV scale goes from 1-16, and the higher the number, the more effective the filter is. Generally, for allergy sufferers, a rating of at least 13 is desirable. 

Washable AC Filters

The environment around the home can dictate the frequency that AC filters are replaced. Homes in dusty and windy environments generally need replacements more often. When pets and indoor plants are around the house, filters may need to be changed as often as monthly. For higher-rated filters, this can get expensive. 

Instead of changing filters on a frequency of monthly to quarterly, washable filters can be used instead. The initial cost of a reusable AC filter is high, but they are expected to last as long as the unit, around 15-20 years. 

Washable AC filters use a special plastic that holds an electric charge. As dust and pollen flow over the filter, particles stick to the filter. Washing the filter is as simple as removing it and running it under warm water. This can allow homeowners to have greater control over the cleanliness and healthfulness of their homes. 

HEPA Filtration in the Home

Choosing the Right AC Filter

HEPA filters are the highest-rated filtration devices around. The benefit of a regular filter is that it will remove particles on each cycle of the air conditioner. With HEPA filters, 99.3% of all particles are removed from the air in a single pass. HEPA filters are generally not installed on residential AC systems because they inhibit airflow. 

However, HEPA devices can be employed as standalone units that purify rooms individually. Whole-home air filtration devices are also available that work together with an air conditioner to purify the air around the home. 

About Polestar Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

Polestar Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has served Merriam, KS since 1984. Their decades of expertise in air quality and filter replacement can help homeowners free themselves from suffering from allergies. Flat-rate pricing and membership programs mean that their customers can always have the right filter at a reliably low price.