What is the best air filter?

Air filters

What is the best air filter? Should I use disposable or a reusable type of filter? Is there any way I can actually get CLEANER air?
This is a subject that is talked about widely in the HVAC industry. Between the experience and endless hours of training that my family has gone through, I believe we have a great grasp on air filtration. One of the common misconceptions that we see is when people think that buying more expensive filters means they do a better job. Unfortunately, all this does is hurt your wallet as well as your heating and cooling system. The more restrictive (and expensive) some brand name filters are, especially ones bought at home improvement stores,the more they can hurt components in your system. The RIGHT filter and or filtration, is the one your system can handle. We see most systems struggling to return air, and then when someone wants cleaner air due to dust or construction debris, they may buy more expensive filters. This not only can damage your Blower, but it can also hurt other parts of the system like your blower wheel, heat exchanger, or outdoor AC compressor! The true way to find out what filter you need is by having a trained technician perform a static pressure test. It’s kind of like blood pressure, if it’s too high, it will make companents run harder and in time prematurely fail.

Reusable filter or disposable?

Again, there isn’t just one easy answer for this. If there was, everyone would use the same filtration. Personally, in my house, I use a disposable filter, but with added IAQ instruments. I added an ionizer to mine to weigh down particles in the air and it actually works. I know this because I can see the difference in both cleaning my house and when I change my filters. On the other hand, my brother has an electronically charged filter. It is more expensive, but in the right set up like his, more effective and efficient. Then there is the outdated technology of Electronic Air Cleaners, in which you would use static electricity which would dirty up bulky metal cells that you would remove and have to clean in a bathtub or outside with a garden hose; not ideal in the busy lives we live. I would steer away from those and lean towards disposable media.

How do you actually get CLEANER air?

This is a sensitive subject to me for multiple reasons. One reason is because duct cleaning is a great start to get cleaner air in your house. But unfortunately, there are a lot of “duct cleaners” in our industry that just don’t do justice when doing this procedure. The best way to clean the duct work is to create a large negative pressure with a duct cleaning unit, which would be a truck mounted unit or trailer unit. if someone is bringing in a “duct cleaning machine” into your house, it’s just a glorified shop vac. In the past year, I’ve seen a handful of systems fail because the customer had recently just had the “ducts cleaned ”. We scope out the system with long cameras and see how they did a very poor job or flat out didn’t try. In some cases we’ve seen the furnace and indoor AC coil get dirtier due to this and it’s frustrating. Once the duct cleaning process is done right, there are different pieces of equipment to add onto your system that can definitely help. Personally, we steer away from UV lights because they just don’t get used to their full potential in our desert-like Colorado climate. They are more useful in humid climates in my opinion, so I prefer ionizers.

With all that being said, I hope you gained some knowledge on air quality options and if you ever have questions or would like us to access your air filtration in your home or business, please call us at 970-482-7520

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