During the rainy, wet winters in the Portland area, airflow throughout your home might not be as good as it is during the spring, summer, and fall, when you have your windows open and fresh air circulating. That’s why as the seasons change and your shut up your windows for the winter, it’s a good idea to purchase high-quality air filters to keep your indoor air fresh. Without air filters, dust and debris will build up in your air, which can make your Portland-area home’s air less than fresh and healthy.
There are two main types of filters that you can purchase: a mechanical air filter and an electronic air cleaner. Both types of filters remove particles from your air, such as dust, animal dander, bacteria, smoke, pollen and more. Here are some quick facts about these types of filters:
- Mechanical air filters are great at trapping larger particles from the air as it moves through the filter materials. There are two main types of mechanical air filters:
- Flat or panel air filters do not typically improve indoor air quality. Instead, they generally are for protecting your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment, such as furnaces and air conditioners, from unwanted particle buildup. They do a decent job with larger particles, but don’t trap as many smaller particles as other available filters.
- Pleated or extended-surface filters are much better at removing both small and large particles from the air.
- Electronic air cleaners draw air through the ionization section of the filter. The particles that pass through gain an electrical charge. The filter has a collector containing the opposite charge that attracts and traps the charged particles, and this process is known as electrostatic attraction.
How do different filters’ efficiency ratings compare?
Electronic air cleaners do not have a rating system. However, mechanical air filters do. The rating is known as MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value), and it measures how effective a filter is at trapping different sizes of particles in the air. Ratings range from 1 to 20, 1 being the least efficient at trapping smaller particles, 20 the most. Flat or panel air filters tend to have MERV ratings of 1 to 4, while pleated or extended surface filters range from 5 to 20.
For more information on filters for your home, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We offer the best service in the Portland metropolitan and Central Oregon areas, and can help you with all of your home-comfort needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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