November 16, 2023
Dirty filter in Arlington Heights, IL

Many people do not realize their homes are teaming with pollution. Houses can be up to five times as polluted as the outdoors, according to warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency. Homes today are built with tighter construction, leading to less air circulation and trapped pollutants that can wreak havoc on your health. Thankfully, there are whole-house air filters that can clean your indoor air and protect your family’s health.

What Are Whole -House Air Filters?

Whole-house air filters work in conjunction with your HVAC system. They trap pollen, allergens, dust, chemicals, and more, effectively cleaning your indoor air and making it safer to breathe. There are multiple types available, depending on your family’s needs.

Types of Whole-Home Air Filters and How They Work

There are two basic types of whole-home air filters, and they work in different ways. Media filters create a physical barrier that traps pollutants, while electronic filters create a high-voltage charge that attracts and captures particles in the air. There are also hybrid filtration systems that combine both options.

Flat Filters

You already have a primary whole-house filter in the form of a flat filter installed on your forced air system. There are many options for flat filters, and the best offer HEPA protection and pleats.

These filters trap large particles but do not always catch the most minute ones floating in the air. You must change these filters at least once every 30 days and more often if you live in a dusty, dry climate.

Pleated filters are the best because they are electronically charged to attract allergens and pet dander. They do not work well to attract chemicals. IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. can help you select the right flat filter for your house.

Extended Media Filters

There are also extended media filters that can effectively treat your indoor air at the source. Because they are installed with your HVAC system, the air circulating throughout your home is clean and allergen-free.

Professionals must install extended media filters. The filter must be plumbed into your existing ductwork, and you will need to replace it every year to keep your system operating smoothly and effectively.

Extended media filters are not as effective at removing minute pollutants in the air, but they are a step up from flat filters that do very little to protect your indoor air environment.

These filters use a pleated design that offers a greater surface area to trap pollutants without negative airflow or static pressure concerns. Extended media filters are up to 8 inches thick.

Electronic Filters

Electronic filters are high-tech devices that use electrostatic precipitators to grab particles that pass by. As air passes by the electronic filter, a high-voltage current electrically charges the particles. Collector plates attract these electrically charged particles and keep them trapped so that they cannot circulate in the air.

Electronic filters are especially beneficial in households with smokers because they can trap minute particles that other filters miss. Many tests have determined electronic filters work up to 30 times better than traditional flat or media filters. Best of all, these filters never need replacing.

You must clean the aluminum collector plates with warm, soapy water every three months. More frequent cleanings may be necessary in homes with heavy smoke. These filters must be professionally installed and require a 120-volt outlet for safe operation.

Ultraviolet Filters

If you are concerned about germs floating around in your indoor air, an ultraviolet filter may be the best option for your family’s safety. UV filters are built in to your home’s HVAC system. They are sold as a complement to whole-house precipitators.

These filters use ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria and viruses that can enter your house. You will especially appreciate the function of these filters during cold and flu season. UV technology cannot prevent virus transmission 100%, but it can cut down the risks and improve the safety of your family.

What Are the Benefits of Whole-House Air Filters?

You may be wondering if these filters make a difference in your home’s indoor air quality, and the answer to this question is yes. Those with asthma and allergies will find lessened symptom severity, especially when coupled with medical treatment.

Consider the benefits of whole-home air filtration:

  • Reduces the risks of airborne illness
  • Decrease the severity of allergies and asthma
  • Lengthens your HVAC system’s lifespan
  • Improves sleep
  • Enhances climate control
  • Keeps your home cleaner

Discover More About Whole-House Air Filters

IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. is a full-service HVAC company that offers installation, repair, and maintenance for heating and cooling systems as well as indoor air quality control devices. We have provided HVAC services for residents of Arlington Heights and the surrounding areas since 1946. We will happily help you select the right air filtration system for your home. Call us today to get started.

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