Air Conditioner Filters
Types of filters: Mesh, Electrostatic, Disposable
Air conditioner filters trap small particles in the air and prevent them from entering a house or commercial building. These are usually effective in trapping airborne particles such as pollen, plant spores, dust, bacteria and even some airborne viruses that may be present within your home. They are also effective against odors such as those from cooking, pet smells and tobacco.
Filters are very important in the overall functioning of the system because keeping the air flowing through it clean ensures that it runs more efficiently. If they are not properly cleaned they can become clogged and the excess buildup of dirt will cause extra resistance to the air flow. This could result in damage to other handling devices and functions, such as ventilation, and the air conditioner could become damaged as a result.
There are four key types of air filters: electrostatic, electronic, disposable fiberglass and permanent mesh - each having their own advantages and disadvantages.
For cleaning, the filter needs to be removed from the air conditioners and sprayed thoroughly with water. You need to spray in the opposite direction to that at which the air would normally flow. There are usually arrows to indicate this on the frame of the filter in question. Once you’ve dislodged the dirt spray it down on the other side to free any remaining dirt. It is a good idea to get some cleaner to spray on in order to remove any stubborn stains and dirt and then give the filter another rinse. Once it has drip dried it can be reinstalled. You can usually get a good cleaner from the manufacturer.
Electronic air conditioner filters work in the same way as the electrostatic ones, but they use an electric charge to produce the magnetism that attracts the particles. These types can be just as effective as electrostatic but are not as energy efficient. This is because they use power from the mains, meaning that the air conditioner would use up more electricity resulting in higher electric bills.
The disposable fiberglass filters are the least efficient as they consist of meshed fiberglass and can only trap large particles. They are fairly cheap but do need to be changed regularly as they can become clogged with large dust particles and this would further reduce their efficiency.
Permanent mesh filters are more specific in what type of particles they trap. This is because they come in a wide range of different materials which determine what the filter is capable of trapping in its fibers. These are a good option for anyone suffering any particular allergies, hay fever for example; as a filter specifically designed to segregate pollen could be used. This type can be cleaned using water and, once dry, can be reused. Although it is a good idea to have it replaced on a regular basis because wear and tear will eventually affect its efficiency.