There are many different kinds of air filtration products on the market. There are standard filters that have a mesh material in between cardboard edges that must be changed once a month. Some filters are even washable and reusable, and they can last a lifetime if maintained properly. HEPA filters offer a way to trap more particles, thereby reducing the amount of dust, pollen, and dander in your HVAC system. Today’s blog post from Air Authority is your guide to HEPA air filtration products.
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HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. Rather than the flimsy green mesh you see on ordinary filters, HEPA filters have statically charged paper media in an accordion pattern. Not only does this design increase the surface area to trap dust and smaller particles, but the static charge actually attracts and holds particles against the fibers so they don’t go anywhere.
HEPA filters trap 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns across. By comparison, a human hair is about 60 microns in diameter. A single piece of ash from the burning of wood is about 2.5 microns in diameter. Smoke particles are about 1 micron. Some types of bacteria are about 0.3 microns in diameter, but HEPA filters aren’t designed to keep microorganisms out of your home’s HVAC system.
Manufacturers even have varying levels of filtration capabilities. Some offer basic filtration to keep out dust particles and pollen. Thicker media on HEPA filters can trap pet dander, dust mites, and even smoke particles. You should look at the packaging to see what rating your filter has.
Standard HEPA filters are 1 inch thick, much like ordinary air filtration products. Manufacturers have thicker sizes, but that may require your HVAC repair specialist to cut a wider gap in your ductwork so the filter can fit. HEPA filters can get as thick as 5 inches for maximum effectiveness. Thicker filters may also mean the blower motor on your furnace or air conditioner must blow harder to get the same amount of air through the ductwork.
Some HEPA filters recommend replacement every three months. Others can last a year. If you have a smoker or asthmatic living in your home, you might consider replacing the HEPA filter once per month rather than once every three months for improved indoor air quality.
As you may expect, HEPA air filtration products cost more per item. The least expensive ones are around $20, while larger and thicker ones are $80 each. Keep in mind that you replace a HEPA filter every three months rather than once per month, so the annual costs of a HEPA filter aren’t as much as it may seem. Standard air filters are around $5. Over three months, that’s $15. Compare that to $20 for three months for a HEPA filter. You also get a discount when buying filters in bulk, so you might consider purchasing air filtration for a year at a time to lower your costs even more.
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The HVAC repair and installation experts at Air Authority can recommend the right type of air filtration based on your system. Our technician can come to your residence, perform regular maintenance, and make sure your HVAC equipment runs at peak efficiency. Contact Air Authority or call (513) 229-0789 for more details.
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October 20, 2020
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