The air filter in an air conditioning system keeps the cooling coils and air inside the room clean and free from all pollutants, pet dander, ozone emissions and airborne particles.
There are many different kinds of air filters available today, such as HEPA, standard, pleated, electrostatic and electronic filters. Of these, standard, pleated and electrostatic filters are the most common types of filters that are used in air conditioners. Generally these filters are located in walls, ceilings, furnaces, or in the air conditioner itself.
Standard air filters, having the capacity of removing 10 percent of the airborne pollutants, are made of spun fiberglass with cardboard frames. . They should be changed once a month.
Pleated air filters catch around 35% to 40% of the particles in the air. Owing to their greater surface area with filter material folded back and forth like a paper fan, manufacturers claim that they can last from two to four months. The cost of these filters ranges from $5 to $20 which is slightly more than that of standard filters.
Electrostatic filters use filter media, which use an electric charge to attract the dirt particles in the air. These filters may have electric charge built-in, or else the air moving through the layers of the system creates electric charge. They may cost from around $20 to over $100 each. These filters only need to be changed once a year.
Sometimes people with allergies may consider the usage of an electronic air cleaner in the air conditioner, which works on the same principle as that of electrostatic filter. However, it is far more effective than electrostatic filter and does not hinder the flow of air inside the air conditioning system. Whatever type of air conditioner filter you use, it is advisable to check the cleanliness of the coils of the filter by a contractor at least once in a month.
Perhaps the most important measure that will ensure the efficiency of an air conditioner is frequent replace of its filters. One should change the air conditioner’s filter regularly, as clogged, dirty filters block normal air flow and reduce the system’s efficiency significantly by impairing the coils’ heat-absorbing capacity.