Choosing an Air Filter Without Sacrificing Your Heater or Air Conditioner

If you have ever visited the air filter aisle at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s, you have, no doubt, witnessed the variety of filters available. Many claim to improve your home’s indoor air quality by removing more and smaller airborne particles.

However, selecting one of these “highly efficient” air filters could actually end up shortening the life of your air conditioner and heater if you don’t know what to look for. So before you make your selection, consider the most important aspects of a good air filter.

Protect your heating and cooling system

The most basic function of your home’s air filter is to protect your heating and cooling system’s internal parts from large airborne particles. Dirt and debris that collect on the coils of your comfort system reduce its efficiency and can lead to repairs.

Improve indoor air quality

Recently, with the increased concern over indoor air quality, many home air filters have taken on a second role in your home – to improve indoor air quality. In order to fulfill this role, however, air filters must be made to remove the smallest of airborne contaminants.

While this is a great goal to have, you must make sure these efficient air filters do not restrict airflow to your heating and cooling system (see below).

Maintain adequate airflow to your heating and cooling system

This is the area that makes or breaks a good air filter. If you purchase a highly efficient air filter to improve your indoor air quality, but it restricts the airflow too much, you will damage your air conditioner and heater and actually shorten your equipment’s lifespan. (Leaving a dirty filter in your system has the same effect.)

Restricting the airflow to your system is like slowly suffocating it. Your heater and air conditioner will continue to run (for now), but they will be working harder and less efficiently, which costs you money!

Home air filter recommendations

If you are struggling to find an air filter that meets your needs without restricting your heating and air conditioning system’s airflow, we have a few recommendations for you, based on budget and air quality concerns.

  • Hog Hair Air Filters – These washable air filters are more efficient and longer-lasting than fiberglass filters. They also do not restrict the airflow to your system like 1-inch pleated filters.
  • 4-inch Pleated Filters – This is what we put in all of our new installations. You get great indoor air quality improvement without reducing airflow.
  • Pure Air HEPA Filters – A step up from the deep pleated filters, Pure Air filters give you even better filtration while allowing adequate airflow to your heating and cooling system.

We’re here to help you. If you have a question about your heating and cooling system, ask our expert online today.

Service Champions provides unmatched heating, cooling and air quality services to much of Southern California.