Clean air is very important for you and your family’s overall health and well being. That is why having an air filter installed in your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is quite an advantage as it ensures the quality of the air you breathe inside your home. This is especially important if you have asthma, allergies, or breathing problems as it removes dust, germs, odor, and other pollutants. Are you planning to add or replace an air filter yourself anytime soon?
Check out these major factors that you should consider first before proceeding!
1. Type of Air Filter To Use
The first thing you need to do when installing an air filter on your own is to determine the type of filter that your HVAC requires. There are several types of air filters to choose from, but the best model for your home depends on your preference, needs, and budget. When choosing an air filter, the most important factor you need to consider is your level of comfort. Each type of filter has different price points, materials, and functional features.
In general, there are 5 types of air filters that you can choose from. If you are looking for a more affordable option, you can start with a flat panel air filter. This type of filter is typically made of fiberglass and is relatively easy to install. However, it only lasts for up to one to two months, so you have to replace it regularly. Disposable flat panel fiberglass filters are not usually the best in terms of quality, so if you need a slight upgrade, you can go for disposable pleated filters made of cotton or plastic fibers. On the other hand, if you want a more eco-friendly option, washable flat panels or pleated filters are the best way to go. However, you also need to remember that over time, the efficiency of these washable filters can also decline. Lastly, if you have severe allergies or respiratory problems, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters would be your best option as they can remove almost 100% of particles in the air. However, before you choose a HEPA filter, you need to first confirm that your HVAC system can handle the thickness of the HEPA filter.
Once you have identified the type of filter you want, you should also compare the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) and the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of the filters you can find in the market. The MEDR is a scale from 1 to 16, which measures the ability of an air filter to remove pollutants and other particles in the air. Meanwhile, the CADR is a scale that measures the efficiency performance of an air filter based on the manufacturer’s product claims.
2. The Right Size of the Air Filter
Air filters come in different shapes and sizes. If you want to avoid facing the consequences of size problems, you need to know the width, length, and thickness of the filter that your HVAC requires. Noting these elements of size is particularly important, as it will help you avoid additional charges and inconvenient returns to various shops. If you can find the dimensions of your old filter printed In its manual, it is best to follow these exact dimensions. If nominal dimensions are printed, simply round up to the nearest inch measurement when reviewing filters in store. On the other hand, if no dimensions are printed, simply measure the opening yourself and round up the measurements to the nearest inch.
3. Direction of Airflow
Lastly, when installing an air filter, you need to take note of the direction of the airflow. You can easily find this if you follow the arrow that indicates the correct airflow direction. The trick is to always place the arrow towards the HVAC unit. Knowing the proper direction is very crucial, as it can affect your air filter’s performance and efficiency. If it’s installed in the wrong direction, airflow will be restricted, which will force your HVAC system to work harder and will eventually damage your furnace and require more energy consumption. This is bad news, as it may require you to pay extra for utility bills and may lead to the eventual replacement or repair of the unit.
An air filter plays a huge role in the quality of air that flows inside your home. If you want to ensure its efficiency and performance, you have to install it properly. Knowing the right type and size as well as the airflow direction IS key to correct installation. If you’re still unsure what to do, consider watching online tutorials.