Simple Filter Tips on How to Keep Your Ducts Clean
If there’s one thing you can count on with a home comfort system, it’s that there will be higher energy bills in the summer and an increase in dust and debris in your ductwork. But, luckily the latter can be fixed with a few simple filtration upgrades in your home.
The Nature of a Forced Air System
When you flip the switch on your thermostat and your air conditioner or furnace turns on, it starts drawing air from inside your house, conditioning it to the right temperature, and then circulating it back into your rooms through an air handler and ductwork. Of course, a good system should have proper ventilation to circulate new air into the house, but let’s face it – no matter how much ventilation you have in your home, there will always be dust and debris from things like pets, plants and other common household items.
So, when the air gets circulated back through the ducts, all sorts of debris and sediment build up. That’s not to mention the possible presence of actual contaminants like bacteria or mold. Luckily, because of how your forced air system is built, these are not tough problems to deal with.
Installing the Right Filters
Filtration is incredibly important for adding the right level of protection to your home’s ductwork. Usually placed directly within your air handlers, whole house air filters are designed to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns (if you purchase a high quality HEPA filter). That pretty much covers all dust, sediment, pollen, dander and other common allergens.
There are a number of other upgrades you can make to capture just about everything you house spits into those ducts – from bacteria and viruses to smoke and other air pollutants, but at the very least a good filter system will save your lungs, cut back on duct cleaning costs and make it much easier to maintain your home’s air quality throughout the year.
To learn more about HEPA filters and the specific ratings offered in various products, here is a link to the EPA’s guide to home air cleaners. It has a handy breakdown of different types of filtration and what each filter grade can capture.