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A Few Important Facts about Your HVAC System’s Filter

Replacing or cleaning the air filter in your home’s HVAC system is the most important maintenance job you need to do during the year. (Most of the other maintenance jobs are ones professionals handle during spring and fall inspections and tune-ups.) We previously blogged about how often you need to change the filter, but in this post we’d like closer examine the air filter itself and the job it does.

Here are three important facts about the HVAC filter:

1. The air filter is not for cleaning your home’s air

This is a major misunderstanding many people have about HVAC air filters. The filter’s media traps dust, dirt, and other debris that flows through the return air ducts from the house, but not for the purpose of improving the air that people in the house breathe. Its job is to protect in the interior of the HVAC cabinet from damage due to those debris. To properly filter the air in a home requires special air filtration devices or air purifiers, which is a different job altogether. (And one we’re happy to do for you.)

2. Permanent filters aren’t always a better choice

You can have either a permanent filter or a temporary filter for your HVAC system. A permanent filter doesn’t need to be changed regularly, although it does require routine cleaning. But even though a permanent filter may sound like a more cost-effective option compared to buying new filters, it has some drawbacks: it isn’t as effective a filter, and over time bacteria and mold can start to grow in it. Many HVAC technicians don’t recommend using permanent filters.

3. Not all temporary filters are the same

If you use a temporary filter, make sure that you have one that matches your system. Higher efficiency filters can choke off airflow, and less expensive filters will need to be changed more often (usually once a month). One of the best options is a pleated filter made of polyester. However, ask a technician for advice if you aren’t sure.

Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration is here for all your AC an indoor air quality needs in Springfield, VA.

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