Hey, guess what, everyone? It’s the first day of fall! That’s right, today marks the beginning of the first week of autumn. If we’re lucky that means we’re on the path towards cool and pleasant weather that’s hopefully long-lasting. For many Austinites, the fall promises the best weather we can get in this lovely city of ours.
We’re not out of the woodwork just yet though. We’re still looking about temperatures over 80 degrees for a least a week or two more. And that means we still need our air conditioning in Austin to be working faithfully all day long. In addition to cooling our houses down, our air conditioners help our health by filtering out potentially harmful particles out of the air. We call these particles contaminants and many of you might be wondering what options there are out there for more effective filtering out these particles. That’s where media air filters come in. In this tip you’ll learn all there is to know about media air filters, what they are, how they differ from your normal, run of the mill air filters, how they work, and why you might want to consider investing in one. To learn more, read on.
What are Media Air Filters?
Indoor Air Quality, often referred to as IAQ, is a measure of how clean the air is in your home. It’s a measure of how well your air conditioning system filters out potentially harmful contaminants from your air such as pollen, mold spores, and others. Media air filters are devices that help you achieve better indoor air quality by filtering out more contaminants than your average air filter.
Air filters in general are these rectangular devices that go in the ducts of your home, positioned right behind the return air vents so that they catch as much of the pollutants on their way through the system as possible. Because your home is essentially recycling the same air over and over, sometimes taking in air from the outdoors through things like ventilators, you could be breathing in chemicals and pollutants that get introduced into your home through cleaning products and normal dust buildup.
Physically, the difference between a normal air filter and a media air filter is that a media air filter is much thicker, often around 4 to 5 inches in width, compared with the average air filters 1 inch width. The practical difference is that a media air filter just does a better job of filtering out allergens and other contaminants from the air. Ordinary air filters trap only the largest particles, sometimes as little as 3%. Media air filters can provide a filtering efficiency of up to 25% for visible and invisible airborne particles including pollen, spores, most bacteria varieties, even most insecticide dusts.
Some studies show that media air filters are up to five times better at purifying the air than your typical throw-away air filter you might be using and replacing every month or two. Isn’t it a bother that you have to go out and buy a new air filter every month or two and replace it? Well, that’s another area where media air filters show their superiority. They typically only have to be replaced every nine to twelve months. That’s right, you might only have to get a new media air filter once a year, and it’s doing a better job at air cleaning than the filters that only last a month or so.
The Science of Media Air Filters
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the science and facts surrounding indoor air quality and media air filters. The EPA has named indoor air pollution as one of the top 5 environmental risks to public health. The EPA also reports that indoor air can be up to one hundred times more polluted than the air outside. This is serious stuff. The American Lung Association has released a statement about indoor air quality and its impact on health, saying “Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. In addition, it can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue. People who already have respiratory diseases are at greater risk.”
What we’re talking about here is the facts surrounding air quality in your home and its impact on your life and your health. To top it off, here are some more air quality impact facts:
- Polluted air causes 94% of all respiratory problems.
- The average person sheds up to 700,000 skin flakes per day.
- More than 31 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, about 1/3 are children under 18.
- Each person inhales over 3,500 gallons of air each day. Children inhale more particles for their size than adolescents or adults.
- About 40,000 dust mites, a common household allergen, can live in one ounce of dust.
- An estimated 10-15% of the entire population may be allergic to cat or dog dander.
So how do media air filters help with all this? Well, it’s pretty simple. Media air filters are installed right there in your air duct, behind the return air vent, out of sight. Then, as air is cycled through your central air conditioning system, the materials in the media air filter catch particles as small as 0.01 microns, thereby removing those particles from the air traveling through your home.
Media air filters are rated according to MERV ratings, which are determined by microns. Microns indicate how much filtration power a certain filter has. Some media air filters come in micron sizes down to 0.01 microns. That is awfully small and can catch viruses and bacteria in addition to the airborne particles you can see with your naked eye. If you’re looking for the best media air filters, go with those that are HEPA rated. If you decide to install a HEPA filter, you know you are getting a quality filter with intense filtration power. HEPA filters are so designated because they meet specific filtration benchmarks.
Why Consider a Media Air Filter?
Let’s look at some of the benefits of using a media air filters, and some of the factors that might make you a good candidate for investing in a media air filter. Firstly, media air filters just work. They work using simply but powerful technology that continually cleans your air as it cycles naturally through your air conditioner system.
They’re also very convenient. No expensive equipment is needed to house or install a media air filter. It’s just placed right there in your air vent, close by but out of sight. They also need to be replaced far less frequently than standard air filters, only six to twelve months, as opposed to every one or two. They’re affordable, their installment is quick and easy, and they’re not hard to replace.
And let’s not forget that any time you improve the quality of the air in your home, you’re not only improving your own health, you’re improving the health of your air conditioner. Build-up of dust, dirt, pet dander, hair and other substances on your heating and cooling equipment can reduce its efficiency by as much as 25%. A media air filter can filter out these particles and help maintain the efficiency of your central heating and cooling system by enabling it to satisfy your needs quicker, using less energy. The less dust and particles that make it into your air conditioning system, the greater its energy efficiency is going to be, and the lower the risk of failure is going to be.
Media air filters by some measures can be around 85% more effective at capturing potentially dangerous contaminants than your standard air filter. They filter out both microscopic particles and larger ones. They’re compatible with most home ductwork making them convenient to purchase and implement into your already existing air conditioning system.
So, let’s once again go over the benefits of a media air filter. First of all, this is a whole-house solution to air quality issues. Install one of these filters and your whole house is going to feel the difference. It will improve your health by trapping more of the unwanted contaminants then a normal air filter ever could. These are high performance filters that can remove some of the smallest contaminants right from the air cycling through your home. They are a less expensive solution to indoor air quality than a lot of other air cleaners. They’re silent and out of sight. They’re easily installed. They only need replacing every six to twelve months depending on your model. And they’ll improve the health and efficiency of your air conditioner just as much as they improve your air.
AC Filtration and AC Repair in Austin
Indoor air quality is a big topic. There are many angles to it and many ways to approach improving it. Media air filters are one of those ways. They’re like regular air filters except longer lasting and more efficient. If you’re considering investing in a media air filter, contact a local Austin AC Repair company such as AC Express.
At AC Express, we can help you pick out the perfect air filtration and cleaning option for you. We work all across Austin, from Taylor and Lago Vista to Buda and Liberty Hill. Our knowledgeable experts can help you determine what option or options for cleaning and filtering the air in your home will best suit your needs and your budget. Then we can get everything delivered and installed for you with no trouble, any time of the week. And if you ever need any sort of repairs done on your central air conditioning system, call us for easy same-day AC repair. Air conditioning repair in Austin is the name of our game and we’d love to show you what we mean by quality Austin air conditioning service. Call today!