Whole-House Air Filtration: Four Basic Types

Whole-House Air Filtration: Four Basic TypesUnlike portable air cleaners that can only handle a limited volume of air in a relatively small space, whole-house air filtration systems can efficiently filter out allergens and pollutants from all the air in your home. With a whole-house system, the filter is installed in your HVAC ductwork, so you’re improving the quality of the air you breathe any time the furnace or A/C fan is running. There are four main types of whole-house filters available:

Flat Filters

Since the air circulated through many forced-air furnace passes through a flat, matted-fiberglass filter,  a basic form of whole-house air filtration exist. However, these filters are only meant to prevent large particles from damaging your furnace. Pleated filters that provide more surface area are a step up, followed by high efficiency electronic filters that remove many allergens including pet dander and pollen.

Extended Media Filters

These box-like filters are several inches thick, and consist of multiple layers of pleated or accordioned filtration media. The increased surface area they provide makes them considerably more effective at trapping dust and allergens than flat filters. These are often the best money can by. They are available in different efficiency levels.  A “MERV 16″  5” wide pleated filter can remove some viruses from the air stream..Now thats efficient!

Electronic Filters

These air cleaners, which are also called electrostatic precipitators, require an electrical outlet to operate. Using a high-voltage current, they electrically charge particles in the air as it flows through the unit. Then, a built-in aluminum plate with an opposite charge attracts and catches the particles. They’re very effective at capturing the tiny smoke particles that media filters miss, but they also create minute amounts of ozone, a well-known lung irritant.

Ultraviolet Filters

Ultraviolet filters, or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation air cleaners, are usually only available as options on whole-home systems, since they work best as a supplement to other forms of air filtration. Using the radiation from an ultraviolet light, they can kill airborne viruses and bacteria that may be present in the air that circulates through your home. They can either be installed in your ducts, or else positioned to shine UV rays on the indoor coil and condensate pan, where bacteria and mold tend to form.

For more information about the benefits of whole-house air filtration, contact us atOverland Park Heating & Cooling. We’ve served the home comforts needs of Kansas City and the surrounding areas since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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