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Changing air filters regularly is an important part of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) maintenance. Without a clean AC filter, the efficiency of your HVAC system can be greatly reduced, and you may even suffer from problems from allergens like excessive dust, pollen, and more.

Unfortunately, many people don’t change their AC filters often enough in Phoenix, even though they know they should. This may be because there are a lot of AC filter types, and it can be incredibly confusing and difficult to pick the best HVAC filters for your home.

With a few pointers, however, anyone can become adept at making good choices about AC filters, based on their AC unit and environment. Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

When to Replace an AC Filter

Most AC filters should be replaced at least four times a year, but can be replaced as often as every month, depending on the filter type. Filters that have become clogged are ineffective and should be replaced, regardless of their age. HVAC system filters are helpful in keeping the air in your home cleaner because they remove small particles of dust and other allergens from the air as it passes through the system. Keeping your HVAC filters clean helps improve your indoor air quality, while also helping to maintain proper functioning of your HVAC system, no matter the season.

Different Types of AC Filters

There are several different kinds of AC filters, each with different filtering capabilities. The four basic types of filters are mechanical filters, pleated filters, electrostatic filters, and HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters.

Mechanical filters use threadlike materials to capture tiny particles of dust and other debris. Mechanical filters may contain charcoal to remove contaminants from the air inside your home. They are disposable and should be replaced at least four times every year.

Pleated filters are more effective than mechanical filters, removing about 40% of the small fragments in the air in your home. These filters are made with a crimped (pleated) material and are generally more expensive than their mechanical counterparts; they should be changed at least four times a year.

Electrostatic AC filters work by employing static electricity to attract particles from the air, and can even help prevent odors from common sources like pets, mildew, smoke, and mold. Electrostatic filters can last as long as six months without being cleaned, and have the ability to remove as much as 90% of airborne pollutants from indoor air. Electrostatic filters are permanent filters, meaning they can be washed, but should be replaced on a regular basis because they deteriorate over time.

A HEPA filter for your AC unit can remove nearly all the airborne pollutants from your home, with up to 99.97% effectiveness on particles 0.3 micrometers or larger. A micrometer is about the thickness of a strand of your hair. HEPA filters for your HVAC system can even be crimped or pleated to increase the surface area for catching pollutants. They’re so effective that they’re the go-to filters for hospital HVAC systems.

Getting a Professional Opinion

At ACE Home Services, we’ll be glad to help you choose the best HVAC filter for your home. If you run into problems, we’re standing by to help, 24 hours a day, every day of the week. There are no extra changes for overtime, nights, or holidays, and we proudly offer free service calls.

No matter the problem, our knowledgeable professionals are ready to help you stay cool, even on the hottest day. Contact us today for your next AC service in Phoenix!

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