Understanding air filters is an easy enough concept, air comes into a system from the outside of a home and is cleaned as it goes through the filter. The cleaning is done by the tight mesh weaving that the air filters contain that both trap and absorb passing particles. Dirty particles that are blocked include pathogens, contagions, dust, dirt, sand, mold, bacteria, viruses, allergens or pollutants. The air filters are working from the moment they are installed to when they are so dirty that they need replacement.
So long as the air filters are installed and working fine they will continue to raise the indoor air quality. The extent of their ability to clean incoming airflow is actually shown on a rating system known as the MERV scale. The system is detailed enough so that you can tell just how capable an air filter is and how quickly it will become dirty. This is because the tighter a filter is, the more particles it stops and the quicker they become dirtier.
Filters and Replacement
Air filters become dirtier as they clean up incoming airflow, how many particles it blocks depends on the MERV rating. The tighter the air filter, the more particles it blocks, and the faster that filter becomes dirty. The best air filters are the ones where the MERV rating is adequately balanced enough to match the air system they are installed in. The problem comes from the issue where the air filter’s mesh weaving is so effective that even air has trouble going through. This makes it important to have more average rated air filters installed in a system so that air can pass through without any problem.
If you want to make sure the filters you purchase for your home will work well, take a look at your air systems owner’s manual. The manual will tell you how to install the filter and the correct air filters sizes needed to fit into a system. The correct sizes will fit in smoothly while also easily coming out, letting you swap out dirty air filters for clean ones quickly. The average air filters you buy will have MERV ratings that are in the average range so that they do not create issues with blocked airflow at an inconvenient rate.
Problems with Blocked Airflow
The issue with a dirty air filter is similar to one with mesh weaving that it too tight, air is just not going to come through. This means that the system will expend energy, and raise billing, in an attempt to push the airflow through. The system may also become strained and damaged over time which will lead to repair costs as well. Skip the hassle and replace your air filter regularly to avoid paying anything extra over time.