Houston Heating, Cooling, and Electrical

The Importance of High Quality Air Filters and Annual HVAC Maintenance

The air filters of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system are fairly basic implements that may not look like much at first glance, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of high-quality air filters and annual HVAC service.

What Do Air Filters Do?

Air filters are lightweight, box or rectangle-shaped implements that are designed to clean the air circulating in homes and businesses. These filters are typically made from materials such as pleated paper or a spun fiberglass material that helps trap undesirable particles in the air.

Even the most fanatical cleaners cannot avoid the need for air filters as they catch more air pollutants than most would think. In fact, some studies have shown the air inside our homes and businesses can be even more polluted than that which we find outside.

Some of the contaminants and particles air filters are designed to catch include:

  • Bacteria
  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Fibers
  • Hair (human and pet)
  • Lint
  • Microorganisms
  • Mold
  • Particles of plaster, wood, or metal
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen

The Importance of High-Quality Air Filters

Air filters are designed to clean circulating air, but the quality of air filters can vary from product to product. While it may be tempting to use the least expensive air filter on the market, remember the saying that you usually get what you pay for.

A high-quality air filter should offer good filtration for your specific space, whether it be residential or commercial. Once those boxes have been checked, consumers should consider the strength of the filtration:

Low End Models:

Low end filters can be more inexpensive but typically only have the most basic levels of filtration.

Mid-Range Models:

These filters can be made from paper or pleated cloth and are usually designed to catch particles as small as one micron.

High End Models:

These filters are considered to be high efficiency and are designed to catch even smaller particles of 0.3 microns or larger.

The importance of high-quality air filters is especially significant if you or someone in your home suffers from seasonal or environmental allergies. Using these filters and regularly replacing them as instructed by an industry professional may help to minimize exposure to offending indoor allergens and pollutants. Less allergens and pollutants in the home via air filters may also mean a higher quality of life for those inside.

How Air Filters Can Affect The Overall Health Of An HVAC System

When particles become trapped in air filters, it helps keep them from floating around in the air you breathe. The problem? If too many air particles get trapped in a filter, it is not able to filter the air appropriately and can in turn make an HVAC worker harder than it is intended to.

For this reason, it is crucial to change out air filters frequently, particularly during the hot summer months in Houston. The more the air is running, the higher the impact is on air filters. It is best to ask an industry expert who has a firsthand look at your system about the appropriate timeline for changing air filters for optimum performance. In general, the life of a high-quality air filter can be longer and therefore will need to generally be replaced less often than their lower quality counterparts.

Some common problems that clogged air filters can cause with HVAC maintenance are:

  • Reduced air flow
  • Decreased ability to minimize presence of contaminants and pollutants in the air
  • Wearing out of system equipment
  • Increased energy usage and monthly energy costs

How Annual HVAC Maintenance Can Help

It is recommended that HVAC systems receive professional maintenance at least twice a year, typically in the spring and again in the fall. These system check-ups by an HVAC expert are not limited to but generally include the below checkpoints:

  • Air filters
  • Bearings and bearing lubrication
  • Condenser coil
  • Drain flushing and cleaning
  • Ductwork inspections and cleaning
  • Electrical contacts
  • Fan
  • Fan motor
  • Thermostat calibration

Maintaining the health of your system by having it checked several times a year may also offer several long-term benefits such as:

System Efficiency

A technician can make sure a system is working at optimum efficiency. Checking and updating any of the above checkpoints may ensure a more smoothly operating system.

Warranty Protection

For clients that have warranty protection on their systems, periodic maintenance checks may be required. Without them, a broken part may no longer be under warranty and therefore cost more out of pocket to fix.

Life Span of the System

If a system looks like it is in danger of dying, a technician may be able to alert a business or home owner before the unit gives out.

If you would like to make an appointment for HVAC maintenance or to have your air filter system inspected, give American Services a call today.

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