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Understanding How Sandy HVAC Filters Operate

There are a few components that play an absolutely vital role in your HVAC system, and one of the single most important and well-known is the HVAC filter. This filter has multiple responsibilities, from trapping and removing contaminants to ensuring quality airflow through the system, and knowing how it works and how to maintain it is vital for your system’s daily operations. 

At Thompson’s Comfort Connection, we’re happy to assist Sandy and nearby Utah clients with all their air filtration needs, whether we’re talking about your system’s basic filters or additional forms of filtration you consider for your home or building. For those who aren’t too familiar with them, just learning a bit about your system’s filters can be very helpful for long-term maintenance and system upkeep. Here are some basics on how HVAC filters work, how their efficiency is measured, and why they have to be cleaned or replaced regularly.

How HVAC Filters Work

At their core, HVAC filters are designed to act as a physical barrier between the air entering your HVAC system and the components inside. They work by trapping dirt, dust and other particles that would otherwise damage or pollute your indoor air quality. The filters also help maintain an optimal temperature balance, ensuring that the right amount of conditioned air is circulated throughout your home or building.

They do this by working in two different ways; mechanical and electrostatic. Mechanical filtration involves the use of a mesh-like material that physically traps particles as air passes through it. Electrostatic filters, on the other hand, utilize static electricity to trap particles on their surface. Both types of filter create a physical barrier between your system’s components and the incoming air, helping to ensure the air is clean and your system is running optimally.

Key Benefits of HVAC Filters

There are multiple benefits that HVAC filters provide, including:

  • System maintenance: By trapping pollutants before they enter your system, HVAC filters can help protect the components of your system from damage and wear.
  • Air quality: By removing contaminants such as dust, pollen and bacteria, HVAC filters play an important role in improving indoor air quality for everyone inside a building or home.
  • Heat exchange efficiency: Filters also help to keep your system’s coils and other components clean, which can improve the efficiency of heat exchange and overall energy costs.
  • Energy savings: By protecting the system from harm, HVAC filters can help reduce energy costs by allowing your system to run smoothly and efficiently.

Filter Efficiency Ratings

In order to determine how effective a filter is, manufacturers use what’s called a MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale from 1-20 – though most filters in common structures will only go up to 16 on this scale. Higher MERV ratings meant that finer and finer particles can be trapped by the filter, which is great in terms of air quality but can also mean that the filter needs to be replaced more often.

In most situations, residential filters come with MERV ratings from 4-10 or so, depending on your system. Commercial filters, on the other hand, can go up to MERV 16 for better air filtration and removal of finer particles such as bacteria and viruses.

Keeping Up With Regular Maintenance

Proper HVAC filter maintenance is key for a number of reasons; it helps keep your system running smoothly and efficiently, prevents any damage to the components, and of course keeps your indoor air clean. How often you need to change or clean your filter depends on several factors:

  • Type of filter being used: Some filters, such as electrostatic types, need to be cleaned more regularly (every couple months) than mechanical filters (which can last up to 6 months).
  • Level of airborne pollutants: If you’re in an area with higher levels of air pollution or dust, you may have to change your filter more often than normal.
  • Number of people in the building: The more people in a space, the more contaminants that will be circulating through the air, so you may have to change your filter more often.
  • Any pets present: If you have pets, their dander and fur can quickly build up in your filter, so you’ll need to change it more frequently.

Keeping up with regular maintenance of your HVAC filters is vital for the overall health and efficiency of your system. By regularly changing or cleaning your filters, you’re ensuring that the air being circulated throughout your building or home is clean, and that your system is functioning at its optimal level. Doing so can also help save money on energy costs in the long run, as a well-maintained system operates more efficiently than an unmaintained one.

For help with any kind of air filtration need, or to learn about any of our HVAC services for Sandy and nearby clients, speak to our staff at Thompson’s Comfort Connection today.


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