One way to improve your indoor air quality is using the HEPA filter. High-efficiency particulate air filters are more common in cleansing the air in medical areas, making them suitable for home air filtration. Their high efficiency may make one want to use them inside the air conditioner, so is it possible?
HEPA filters will help do away with 99% of the particles, pollen and viruses. Usually, they are ideal and do a great job when in air purifiers and vacuum cleaners, but you cannot use them in air conditioners. Air conditioners have large airflows; therefore, the HEPA filters will not work well.
It is not practical to put HEPA filters in ducted air conditioners since they work well with low airflow levels. In this article, you will learn more about the purpose of HEPA filters, whether you can plug them in your air conditioner and much more. Kindly keep reading!
What Do HEPA Filters Do?
The HEPA filter is among the mechanical air filters that help remove about 99.97% of pollen, bacteria and other air particles. It is one of the most efficient filters that helps clear out the air, ensuring you use clean and fresh air. Usually, it can respond to even the smallest molecules in the air of about 0.3 microns, so you can be sure that it is pretty effective.
During filtering air, this filter normally forces air through the fine mesh that comes with it. The mesh traps any tiniest particles in the air, including pet dander, smoke and pollen. There are different sizes of air filters, so before purchasing one, ensure you check the size of your room.
HEPA filters normally look like a mesh of tangled fibers, and it is normally folded into pleats, which helps increase their surface area. When air flows through the fibers, it traps the particles, filtering the air. These filters can remove both large and small particles from the air.
Usually, these filters do not work like a sieve, so they will not capture the large particles and allow the small ones to pass through them. With this filter, it traps particles that then stick to the fiber. The particles stick through the process of diffusion, interception and impaction.
When filtering the tiny particles, the HEPA filter captures them through diffusion, which is a process that involves the Brownian motion. This process makes the particles move slow and collide with the gas molecules; therefore, they stick to the fibers in the HEPA filters.
The small particles in the air are intercepted into the fiber during the air purification process. They will stick into it, and the cycle repeats itself until all the air is free from dust particles. To remove the large air particles from the air, they usually get into the fibers as the air purifier does its job.
The large particles do not significantly impact the HEPA filter; therefore, they do not pass through it. The only thing that the HEPA filter does to them is to capture them. If the HEPA filter cannot catch particles through the above three means, it can also do it via electrostatic attraction.
Having a HEPA filter in your air purifier is important, especially if you have people with allergies and asthma around you. It can deal with the tiniest particles and clears the air out of any allergens that may cause asthma or allergies. This filter also plays a big role in fire or smoke since it can capture soot and ash particles that may cause damage to your breathing system.
Can I Put A HEPA Filter Inside My Air Conditioner?
It is not advisable to have the HEPA filter inside your air conditioner. Also, this does not mean that you can have it at the top of it, both are wrong, and you may not achieve the air purification you want. The design of HEPA filters is such that it has quite high air resistance.
Looking at this design against that of the air conditioner, then these two may not work well together. Usually, the design of the air conditioner is such that it works against the high air resistance of the HEPA filters. Since the HEPA filter has extra air pressure in it while working, it may overwork the air conditioner, damaging it.
Even if it does not damage it, it will reduce its overall effectiveness. So the air conditioner may not cool the air as usual. Also, the fact that HEPA filters are dense means that they can reduce the airflow at home, making it uncomfortable.
When the airflow levels are low, the HEPA filters will do a splendid job, thanks to the filter’s density. So it is not practiced al to fit it inside the air conditioners. The air conditioners tend to provide huge airflow volumes, unlike air purifiers. So, they are not compatible.
Using the HEPA filter will help deal with most airborne irritants. When buying one, ensure that it helps you fight this, and at the same time, it will not restrict so much airflow, therefore, building so much pressure in your AC. Therefore before purchasing one, ensure that it is compatible with your system.
Can a HEPA Filter Plug My Air Conditioner?
Even with the HEPA filter’s great advantages, it has a major downside of blocking the air conditioner that makes it less attractive. Usually, it causes some air restriction on the air conditioner, reducing the airflow in an area. If it restricts the air conditioner, it means that it may not be able to cool the air and create a better environment.
The HEPA filter does a lot of air filtration, which is a great thing, especially for asthma and allergies. However, the more filtration it does implies that, the less airflow will be less, which may not favor most people. It tends to plug the airflow in the air conditioner, reducing the airflow.
When the in-duct HEPA filter imposes airflow restriction on the air conditioners, it implies that there will be a reduction in the energy efficiency in it. Also, when this happens, it tends to reduce the air conditioner’s performance. This outcome is a reduction in the indoor air quality so that it will be pretty uncomfortable for people.
Also, when the indoor air quality is low, it may bring about pressure imbalances. Therefore if you opt to use the HEPA filter together with the air conditioner, ensure you select one that is compatible with it. A HEPA filter helps clean the air around your HVAC unit, and for it to do so without blocking it, there needs to be some compatibility between these two systems.
Usually, the air conditioner ensures a steady and healthy airflow within your home. For it to function well and ensure great indoor comfort, it will depend on the condition of the air filter. If the air filter is working well, even the number of repairs in the AC system will be minimal.
Ensure that you are keen before installing the HEPA filters. If possible, ensure you use an HVAC professional during the process. They will measure the airflow and tell whether your AC can accommodate the HEPA filtration system.
Can I Put Some Other Filter Inside the Air Conditioner?
Yes, it is possible to have other filters inside the air conditioner. Most AC’s normally come with two or more filters. The filters play a great role in cleaning the air and ensuring that it is good quality as it circulates it around the house.
A central air conditioner filter features either fiberglass or pleated materials. This filter helps clean the air and ensures that it is free from allergens. Usually, this filter needs replacing from time to time which helps in ensuring that the air remains clean and fresh.
The filter in the AC captures dirt in the air, enabling the air conditioner to circulate cool air all around the house. When throwing away the dirty filter, you will throw it together with all the impurities that come with it. Ensure you replace the filter more often since, if not, it can extend more damage to the AC.
Also, the better solution will be to replace the filter rather than reuse it. Reusing one may make the AC ineffective. All you have to do is ensure that the filter you use perfectly fits the air conditioner. Therefore you can use a filter in the air conditioner though you may not rely on it entirely for air purification.
Also, you cannot use the HEPA filter since it may restrict the airflow of the AC, making it ineffective. To be on the safe side, you should contact a professional to help you get one that will fit the AC without causing damage to it and restricting the airflow.
Otherwise, it is important to ensure that you have the air filters in your Air conditioner. It will ensure that it cleans out even the smallest dirt particles in the air, therefore circulating clean, cool, and fresh air around your house.