Air Conditioning – Why Filter The Air

It might seem obvious that air filters (air conditioning or furnace filters) should be used but let’s look specifically at why that is so. Perhaps the most important reason to try to clean the air is the health aspect. Studies have shown that interior air is frequently more polluted and harmful than outside air. That may seem counter-intuitive to most of us because of two factors. The first is that interior air usually “looks” clean, in that it does not appear dirty like the air in a smog filled city might. Also, assuming reasonable cleanliness, most interior air does not contain strong odors which we usually associate with pollution.

Having said that, the obvious exception is when cigarette, pipe or cigar smoking occurs on a regular basis. Now the pollution can’t be missed, you can see it and you can smell it. The health concerns regarding smoking are well known and possibly beaten to death, so we won’t get into that. Not so obvious is the health impact of dirty interior air when we don’t notice it. Medical experts have concluded that symptoms ranging from headaches, asthma, bronchitis, allergies, and cancer among others, may likely be attributed to polluted interior air.

The next reason to use a furnace filter or air conditioning filter is to keep your heating and cooling system operating as it was designed and to prolong its life. For an air conditioning unit to operate at its peak efficiency it needs to be kept clean. The evaporator is the component in your system in which the air passes directly over and is cooled and returned to your living space. The surfaces of the evaporator are normally very cold and therefore wet with condensation. The moisture in the air condensates on the evaporator and subsequently drains to the exterior of the building. Imagine blowing dirty air across the cold wet surfaces of the evaporator. How long do you think it takes for the dirt to completely cover this wet surface? Once dirty, the evaporator loses efficiency and may begin to support mold and bacteria growth, after all, it is a dark moist environment.

The last reason for using an air conditioning filter and furnace filter is to help keep your house clean. Look at it this way, every time your air conditioner or furnace runs it is like someone is vacuuming the air of dust, dirt or worse. All of this for only a couple bucks per month seems like an obvious choice, your air must be filtered. What may not be obvious is which furnace filter and air conditioning filters should be used, we will try to help with that decision.