replacing an air filter can help improve indoor air quality
April 8, 2016

At Pippin Brothers, we get a ton of inquiries from homeowners in Lawton, OK and Wichita Falls, TX about whether or not they should be replacing their air filters. The air filter is often overlooked, as it’s buried deep in the heating and cooling system, but we can’t stress just how important it is to pay attention to. Replacing your air filter regularly is one of the most important, yet commonly overlooked ways to boost home performance, efficiency and safety.

A filter has several jobs:

  1. Protect your heating and cooling equipment:

  2. Keep your heating and cooling equipment clean

  3. Maintain a safe, clean and healthy living environment

  4. Protect the people living in the home from harmful contaminants

How effective and efficient your filter is determines how effective and efficient your lungs have to be, since if it’s in the air and your filter does not capture it you will breathe it.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a primer on the basics of air filters and why they’re worth your attention:

Types of Air Filters

Before you make any decisions about whether or not to change your air filter, it helps to know what types of filters are available to choose from. These include:

  • Fiberglass Filters — The most common throwaway type of filter, consisting of fiberglass layers that are reinforced by a metal grate in order to filter airborne particles.  Capable of capturing less than 20% of particulate 3.0 microns or larger.

  • Polyester/Pleated Filters — Similar to fiberglass, but with greater surface area to capture more particulate.  Capable of capturing 20-85% of particulate 3.0 microns or larger depending on thickness.  Also, very effective for smaller particulate.  The larger surface area due to the pleats usually leads to a higher resistance to airflow, which can impact comfort and efficiency provided by the system if the ductwork is not modified to compensate .   

  • HEPA Filters — HEPA filters are much finer than others, capable of filtering 99.7% of particles larger in size than 3 microns.  The most effective for smaller particulate.  

  • Washable Filters — These filters are not as common as others and are typically reserved for commercial applications.  Capable of capturing less than 20% of particulate 3.0 microns or larger and not recommended for residential applications.

  • Electronic Air Cleaners — These devices come in a variety of styles with varying capabilities and are powered by electricity.  The filtering apparatus typically has to be cleaned or changed once or twice annually.  See your service provider for details.  Capable of capturing 75-95% of particulate 3.0 microns or larger.  Also, very effective for smaller particulate.  

The team at Pippin can help you to determine which type of filter is right for your heating and cooling system, no matter how new or old it is.

The Benefits of Replacing Your Air Filter

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to replace your air filter, you may not know about how beneficial it can be to do so. Here are just a few of the benefits associated with switching out your air filter, all of which can help to make life at home safer and more comfortable:

  • Enhanced Indoor Air Quality — Filter your air so that harmful contaminants never enter your living area to provide a healthier and safer environment for you and your family.

  • Increased Efficiency — An air filter that is loaded with contaminants will never benefit your home’s efficiency. Replace it, and you can expect to save on your heating and cooling bills.

  • Longer Equipment Lifespan — No one wants to replace heating and cooling system before it’s necessary, yet a dirty air filter can lead to early breakdown. Keep the filter clean, and your equipment will have a much better chance of lasting for many years to come.

  • Boosted Indoor Comfort — Our HVAC systems are supposed to keep us comfortable year-round, yet when filters are clogged, they have a hard time keeping up. You can expect a marked boost in comfort levels the moment you replace your air filter.

Confused about how to change your air filter? Pippin Brothers can help. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment!