If a disposable one-inch-thick furnace filter is good, then a six-inch deep-media filter is six times better, right? Wrong. Substituting the wrong furnace filters can damage your HVAC system and your Phoenix-area home’s indoor air quality (IAQ). Your system was carefully balanced by trained technicians, and the rate of airflow is part of that balance. Throw in a thicker filter, and you upset the balance.
Air Filtration 101
A furnace air filter is not in your system to improve your home’s air; its job is to protect your furnace. Small bits of debris and pollutants in the air stream can damage the interior of your furnace. Furnace air filters stop particulates before they hit the heating element and other parts.
A side benefit of a good furnace air filter is improved IAQ, which means your whole family breathes easier. Good air filters can stop biological contaminants, pet dander, dirt, mold spores and other pollutants. Cheap air filters can stop the largest particles only (sand and grit, hair, dust bunnies).
Pay for It
With air filters, you get what you pay for. Disposable filters should be swapped out every month during heating season and at least every two months during cooling season. Because the manufacturers do not expect their products to work for more than around 60 days, they do not invest a lot of money in quality materials.
Step up to permanent or deep-media filters expertly installed by trained HVAC technicians if you want to ensure the best performance from your HVAC system. Better quality – more expensive – filters trap more particles and can improve furnace performance.
You absolutely must have these filters installed by trained professionals, though, because a deep media filter will require changes to your ductwork and blower. A permanent filter, too, requires adjustments to airflow.
If your family enjoys your home without worry about allergies or respiratory ailments, disposable (and cheap) filters may work for you. If you have any concerns about allergens, pets that shed a lot of fur or indoor odors, consider more expensive disposable – or professionally installed permanent air filters.
A permanent filter must be removed and cleaned regularly. Instead of throwing it out, you wash it out. A deep-media filter requires special handling. Contact Day & Night Air, your local, professional HVAC company today for a consultation about indoor air quality services in the Phoenix metro area.