Air Quality and Your Energy Costs

air-filterLast week we talked about how an air conditioning system working at the top of its game can go a long way toward providing you with good air quality in your home. The main ways your AC does this are by cooling the air, moving the air around and keeping it circulating, and by lowering the moisture content of air in your home, which reduces humidity.

Now, let’s talk about another aspect of air quality that’s often overlooked: air filtration. Air filtration systems were initially developed as a way to protect an HVAC system’s coils, duct work and other components from dust and dirt. Over time these systems have evolved to include maintaining the air quality of the inside of the building in which they are installed itself, and today most home owners and property managers are aware of the relationship between air filtration and inside air quality. But did you know that there is also a relationship between air filtration and energy use as well?

Many people focus on the price of a filter and think that this is an area where money can be saved, but in fact the filter has a direct impact on operating costs. This impact is more than enough to justify regular replacement of filters investing in a good quality filters that fit the needs of your system.

A filter works, as we know, by removing dirt, dust and particulates from the air as it passes through an HVAC system. The presence of the filter in the system’s air flow introduces additional resistance, and the system’s fan must use more energy to keep the correct volume of air supplied to a room. When a filter becomes more and more clogged with particles of dust and dirt over time, it becomes more difficult for air to pass through the tiny openings in the the filter, and resistance starts to increase. This additional tax on the system increases energy usage as the fan struggles to force air through the clogged fan.

Although recent years have brought both an increase in energy costs and an increase in the need to filter the outside air, new technological developments have also expanded homeowners’ options when it comes to air filtration.

  • Electrostatic filters use a charge of static electricity to trap and hold particles much as traditional filters trapped particles in their fibers.
  • Ultraviolet filters pass air through an field of ultraviolet light which can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
  • Rechargeable filters using one of the above technologies, or with a disposable container to catch particles that can be periodically replaced

In this day and age, it’s best to try to find a balance between cost and energy efficiency, and that’s where R.S. Andrews comes in. As you can see from the above list, there are a lot of options, and our expert technicians can help you decide what kind of filtration is best for your HVAC system.  To be absolutely sure your system is saving you money, set up scheduled maintenance with R.S. Andrews so you know your filters are being changed regularly and your system is protecting the air quality in your home.

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