The humble, unassuming filter plays an important role in your central air conditioning system. This simple fiberglass or plated panel in your air handler or return duct has two jobs. It cleans the air that you breathe, and it protects your air conditioning equipment from contaminants. Here’s why these are critical functions.

Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

Disposable fiberglass products only remove large particles like dust and lint. Some designs feature electrically charged cotton or polyester materials. They capture smaller contaminants like smoke and mold spores that are naturally present in Port St. Lucie and nearby cities. If you need additional filtration to alleviate allergy symptoms, we install high-performance Carrier air purifiers that are positioned within the ductwork or next to the air handler. These products even eliminate viruses and germs.

Protecting Your HVAC Equipment

Once the air in your home is pulled into the return duct, it passes over the evaporator coil that cools the air. This part of your air conditioner is located in the air handler if you have a split system or outdoors if you have a packaged unit. The evaporator coil is enclosed by fins that maximize the temperature exchange. Normally, there’s less than two-tenths of an inch between the fins. If your filter isn’t doing its job, dirt and dust will clog this narrow space. When that happens, your system’s performance decreases and energy use increases.

Basic Filtration Maintenance

To avoid cooling problems, inspect your return filter each month, and replace it every 60 to 90 days. Air can’t flow smoothly if there’s a thick layer of dust clogging the filtration media. In turn, this disrupts the cooling cycle. If air can’t reach the coils, ice will build up on the surface. That could cause the system to shut down and overheat.

To improve your HVAC performance and comfort at home, check out our indoor air quality services, or contact Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical, Inc. From Port St. Lucie, call (772) 905-3358. For our West Palm Beach office, dial (561) 202-1422.