Do you have a central air conditioning system in your home? If so, you may be wondering if it has a filter. The answer is yes – most central air conditioning units have two or more filters. These filters are designed to clean the air and ensure good air quality as the unit circulates between indoor and outdoor air. Central air conditioning filters are usually made of fiberglass or pleated materials.
But there is another type of filter that is often used in homes with central air conditioning systems – the whole-house filter. Unlike other air filters, these filters don't fit into the wall. Instead, they are installed directly into the ducts in front of the HVAC unit. Some varieties come with a housing or cartridge that they fit into before being installed, while others are inserted directly into a duct slot.
Whole-house filters are designed to reduce pollen, bacteria, dust, and pet dander in the air that circulates through your home. As air passes through the filter (or filters), the filter material traps contaminants before they can circulate around your home. These filters also protect the air conditioning coils and motor from the same contaminants. In some systems, the filters are located in the return air duct – the one that draws air from your space and returns it to the air conditioner's air handling system.
If you have a large system with multiple air handlers and return ducts, finding the filters can be a challenge. The air cleaner is usually close to your home thermostat, in a return duct or right next to the air handler of your air conditioning system. When it comes to whole-house filters, there is no standard cutout size like there is for one-inch filters. This means that all one-inch filters are ¼ to ½ smaller than their nominal size, but there is no standard bias cut on whole-house filters.
Having multiple return grilles solves this problem, but it also requires air filters in each vent to properly filter the air and prevent particles from entering the fan motor. The service life of different types of filters varies, so you may need to replace the air filters in the return duct more often than those in the air handler. While whole-house filters are more expensive than one-inch air filters, you also change them less frequently and usually only have one at a time. An arrow on the filter frame shows which direction the air should flow through it – always away from the return air duct and into the air handling mechanism. If you live in a very hot climate like Arizona, there are return grilles throughout the house with a filter that is the right size for each vent. It's important to replace these filters regularly to keep your central air conditioner running efficiently and prevent costly repairs down the line. We can help you with all of your central air conditioning needs – from replacing your filter to cleaning your ducts and fixing any other problems you may have.
So don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need help with your system.