Tag Archives: efficiency

Understanding Our HVAC Filters

Today, filters are a very important part of our lives. We use filters in our water systems to help filter the water we use. There are filters in our cars and trucks to help them perform efficiently. Your HVAC filter is a very important part of your heating and air conditioning unit’s performance; it helps to ensure that your family breaths clean air, reducing allergies that may be triggered by particles in the air. A clean HVAC filter will also save you money by improving the energy efficiency of your unit. There are three classifications of air conditioning filters based on the materials they are made of as well as the operations they perform. The three classifications are mechanical, electronic, and pleated air filters; we will take a look at each type.

Mechanical Air Filters

This is the most common air conditioning filter used in homes today. The mechanical filter uses synthetic fibers to catch small particles and debris. Mechanical filters are also available as a charcoal filter. Disposable fiberglass filters are available in various sizes to accommodate any HVAC air exchanger. A disposable fiberglass filter is the most economical but also the least effective. Disposable fiberglass filters will need to be thrown away and replaced by a new filter after use.

Pleated Air Filters

A pleated air filter will remove around 35 to 40 percent of the air pollutants found in your home. They are more effective than a mechanical filter because of the denser construction. They contain more fibers per square inch than a mechanical filter. Naturally the denser the fibers, the more particles they will absorb and remove from the air. These filters are more expensive, but you get what you pay for.

Electronic Air Filter

The electronic filter is the most expensive of the three types; it is also the most effective. It will trap the smallest of dust particles and debris. An electronic filter will also filter smaller molecules such as smoke, mold, and pet odors. These filters will have a longer life—lasting up to 6 months in some cases. Electronic filters are also marketed as allergy-free filters.

Air conditioning filters are classified into categories according to their MERV rating. Filters belonging to the MERV 7 category will remove larger particles and provide standard protection. MERV 8 filters will provide higher protection against pet odors, dust, and pollen particles. The best filters are found in the MERV 11 category. These filters will provide the best protection from allergies and asthma illnesses. If you have any question about which type of filter would be best for you and your family, check with your HVAC contractor to help you with your decision.



Should You Get a Zone Control System?

Zone control systems are energy-saving inventions. The system links multiple thermostats that are strategically placed in your home so that you can adjust the temperature to a level of comfort in each room. This is useful if your home has many rooms or if your home is a programmable thermostatmultilevel structure.

A zone control system is composed of multiple thermostats on each level of your home and in different areas, or zones, of your home. Most homes have two thermostats, but some larger homes can have up to six thermostats installed. The group of thermostats monitors the air temperature throughout the structure. They are linked to a main control panel so that you can adjust the temperature at a main switch. If you are closing off a section of your home because you are not using it, you can handle that with ease at the control panel by turning the unit off in that area. If you are reopening a section because family members are coming to visit, you can quickly adjust the temperature in that zone of your home at the control panel.

Why Do You Need a Zone Control System?

If your home is constructed as a multilevel structure, the heat rises and causes the top floor to be warmer than the downstairs areas. The zone control system will monitor the air temperature and help regulate it to a comfortable temperature. Cool air sinks so the lowest level of your home will often be the coolest area year round. The zone control system will help you maintain a comfortable temperature in this area as well.

Traditionally, the thermostat is located in a hallway in the center of the home. It is an accurate gauge of the air temperature, but it is limited in scope and function as it can only measure the air temperature in the location where the thermostat is mounted on the wall.

What are the Benefits?

The zone control system will reduce the overworking of your unit. You can save on your utility bill because you are not constantly adjusting the thermostat. Selecting a comfortable temperature for each area of the home will reduce the need for constant adjustments and not force the air conditioner or heater to “catch up” with the temperature changes.  Family disputes will be resolved since you will no longer be cranking up the heat because someone is freezing downstairs while someone upstairs is complaining because they are “frying.” Family will become united once again.