Types Of HVAC Filters

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Blog

The air filters in your HVAC system are the first and most effective measure in protecting your heating and cooling system. Any HVAC professional will tell you to change your filters often. Using fresh filters will greatly extend its life expectancy and this preventative maintenance can save you money on repairs or down the road. Not to forget to mention, they help keep up the air quality in your home. Although some products claim to be effective for ninety days or even longer, most experts recommend changing your filters every thirty days. Regardless, you should inspect your filters regularly. The age of your HVAC system and the level of usage will determine how much wear and tear a filter suffers. You’ll know your filters need to be replaced when it’s coated in thick dust. When a filter is clogged up, not only is it no longer doing its job, it is decreasing the efficiency of your heating system as the dust starts to absorb heat. It also becomes a fire hazard. What filter is best for your home? There are a variety of filters to choose from depending on your budget and desired air quality. Fiberglass Filters: these are your standard filters for a homeowner on a budget. They’re composed of several layers of fiberglass mesh. These filter particles by physically trapping them in a dense net. While fiberglass filters are better than nothing, they tend to clog quickly and allow a large percentage of smaller particulates pass through. Electrostatic Filters: these filters are made from a material that generates an electrostatic charge as air flows through them. This static acts like a magnet for dust particles, attracting them and locking them into the filter. These are generally considered more effective than fiberglass filters, especially for residents with asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems. They should still be replaced at least monthly to get their full benefit. Electronic Filters: these filters operate by either drawing particles in with an artificially generated electrostatic charge, or by passing air through an ionizing device to charge the air around it and create an attraction between airborne particles and the filter. In either case, these filters are plugged into a power source and can be cleaned instead of replaced. These are generally considered the top of the line in filtration systems, and come with a increase in price. Specialty Filters: there are a number of companies offering specialized filters to combat specific air quality issues. Some come pretreated with disinfectants so they not only capture particulate matter but also kill airborne bacteria or viruses that pass through, making them a good choice for the immune-suppressed, or households with children or elderly residents. Filters containing activated charcoal or carbon are available that can reduce foul odors if a household has that problem. HEPA and micro-particle filters are generally considered the best for improving air...

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Oil Or Gas Furnaces?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Blog

With temperatures rapidly dropping from the blazing summer heat to a freezing chill, homeowners are discussing the efficiency and cost of heating a home. The debate centers around whether gas or oil is the better source of fuel? The first thing to look at when shopping for a furnace is the efficiency rating, commonly called Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). This rating measures the efficiency of a machine’s combustion, where a higher rating signals a higher efficiency. Most new oil furnaces have AFUE ratings between 80% and 90%, while gas furnaces boast ratings between 89% and 98%. Although gas furnaces are more efficient than oil furnaces, that efficiency comes at a price. Gas units are typically priced 10% to 25% higher than the same size oil furnace. All new furnaces are more efficient than their older counterparts by as much as 30%. When it comes to fuel costs, the advantage tilts in favor of gas. Oil prices are more volatile because of global supply and demand but natural gas production is centered in the U.S. and Canada. This secures a more stable supply. Perhaps because of this difference, about 50% of American homes are heated with gas today, versus about 8% of homes with oil heat. Oil Furnaces oil equipment provides more heat per BTU than other sources, but an on-site storage tank is required and oil must be delivered oil furnaces are regularly and easily serviced, but maintenance is more extensive due to dirt and soot build up. Chimneys must be cleaned and the oil filters need to be changed frequently as well oil furnaces cost less than gas furnaces, but efficiency is lower and fuel prices are higher than with gas systems. Gas Furnaces natural gas furnaces have high heating efficiency and fuel costs less, but your home must be in an area where a gas supply is available furnaces require very little maintenance, but gas provides less heat per BTU than oil furnaces are quieter and cleaner, but are more costly than oil furnaces Regardless of which type of heat source you prefer, use a qualified and reputable HVAC company such as Park Mechanical when you make any major investment in your home. Often, there are public and private rebates or financing incentives available to homeowners who upgrade their systems, so make sure to explore all of your...

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