Do You Need an Air Filter in Your Home?

Do you feel like you need an air cleaner in every room of your home? It's understandable to want to feel secure, but in reality, one or two air purifiers in the entire HVAC system are more than enough for most homes. One type that can be particularly difficult to find at the local store is the whole house air filter. These are very different from the more common one-inch filters. You might have heard them called whole-house air purifiers, which is a misnomer. An air purifier is an addition to your HVAC system, not part of it.

Air filters, on the other hand, are part of your system and are not optional. If you decide to go ahead with an air purifier, your first decision is whether you need a portable or whole-house model. If you have a duct network and a forced air system, a whole-house system will work. Homes with radiant heat and without air conditioning will have to resort to portable autonomous models. To cool your home, the air conditioner draws air from your home into the system.

The air cleaner is normally placed at this entry point. The air passes through the filter and passes through the cold coil of the indoor evaporator. This cools the air and the ducts redistribute this cold air back to the house. You can hear it: Your HVAC technician is giving you lessons on how to make sure you change your air filter. Some air purifiers use ionizers to help attract particles such as static negative ions that bind to dust and allergens and cause them to be deposited out of the air. Air filters are designed to capture large particles, dust and debris before they enter the air conditioner.

A healthy air conditioner can last 15 to 20 years; however, if the filter is not changed regularly, that time can be shortened. You'll need as many whole-house filters as there are air handlers, which can vary depending on your HVAC system configuration. These air filters act as barriers to prevent contaminants from entering the HVAC system or circulating in the air. From sizes to types, grades and more, here's everything you need to know about air filters. This means that in addition to the purchase price of an air purifier, you should also consider operating costs and filter replacement costs.

In addition to its physical appearance, the main difference between a whole-house filter and a regular one-inch filter is longevity. As air moves through the filter, contaminants and particles are captured, and clean air is expelled into the living space. Air filters trap pet hair, dust, and other irritating particles so that the air conditioning system returns fresh, clean air to your home.