For most of us, an air filter is an air filter. You have one because you need one to protect the inner workings of your HVAC system from dust and dirt. Air filters are often given very little thought. Now however, we know a lot more about indoor air quality, especially during the last year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve learned that viruses, allergens, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) tend to accumulate inside indoor air. We know that we need a way to remove these contaminants from our homes.
Most people use typical 1″ air filters, and they do an okay job of keeping dust and particulates out of your HVAC equipment. They’re also cheap and readily available.
However, when you use a 1″ air filter, there are also drawbacks:
High static pressure
1″ filters are available in a variety of MERV ratings. MERV, of course, is a measurement of a filter’s ability to filter out contaminants. It stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the MERV, the smaller the contaminants it can remove from the air.
Unfortunately, pleated 1″ filters with MERV values above 12 can increase the static pressure in your HVAC system. Raise the static pressure enough, and you’ll inhibit airflow. This often leads to serious discomfort, not to mention equipment problems.
To avoid raising static pressure, you might be tempted to use a low-MERV, non-pleated 1″ filter. That filter might keep your HVAC system clean, but it won’t keep your indoor air very clean! It’s just really hard to balance adequate air cleaning (MERV values) with minimizing airflow restrictions.
Poor filter racks
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad design around 1″ filter assemblies. If your filter rack doesn’t hold the filter just right, air will go around the filter. In other words, a lot of your air will be unfiltered. MERV 0. We see it all the time.
Frequent filter changes
In most cases, you’ll have to change the 1″ filter very frequently – every 60 to 90 days depending on how much you run your AC and heat.
Media filters offer the filtration performance you want without the downsides. Basically, you get high-MERV filtration with zero negative consequences for static pressure and airflow. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, the media filter is your answer.
There are different brands and types of media filters out there, but the one we like most is the Trane QuikBox™ Media Cabinet.
High-MERV 1″ filters simply don’t have enough surface area to provide good filtration performance and airflow performance at the same time. A media filter is more than 1″ thick. It’s got enough surface area to prevent significant static pressure increases while also filtering bacteria and allergens as small as 0.3 microns.
For efficient removal of household dust and allergens a QuikBox™ air filter is a sensible and affordable solution for all homes. Their perfect fit design filters, available in nine sizes, match Trane equipment for neat and easy install.
A Trane Quikbox™ air filter is an integral part of a whole home comfort system that protects your equipment as well as your family by filtering dust and allergens from the air you breathe! Even better, the Quikbox™ filter can last up to 6 months and is easily replaceable by you or your installer.
Give our friendly experienced professionals at Gentry Air Conditioning a shout if this system upgrade sounds like the right fit for you! We are here to help.