Do Air Filters Really Filter Better When Dirty?

Particulate capture efficiency increases as the filter becomes dirty; buildup in the fibers reduces the openings through which air passes and allows the filter to capture more particles. This is beneficial only to a certain extent. Dust and debris in the filter slow down airflow, forcing the heating or cooling system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This wastes energy and increases your utility bills.

Heating and air conditioning account for nearly half of energy costs in a U. S. household. A clogged filter causes those systems to use 15 percent more energy, according to the U.

Department of Energy. But if your filter is too dirty, it may not work properly. A dirty air filter can even cause worse air quality than when you started. Many recommendations call for replacing the HEPA filter instead of cleaning it. Below are some common questions about air filters, specifically HEPA air filters, and how to clean them effectively.

Dust, pollen and dirt get trapped deep in the air filter and a vacuum doesn't have the power to remove them all. Believe it or not, the best way to start cleaning air filters is to not start at all, just replace them. However, in many cases, the air filter is just one piece of the puzzle that contributes to poor air quality. In general terms, a visual check of the filter itself will let you know if it is in good condition or if it needs attention. When homeowners are looking to improve air quality in the home by improving the air filters they use, it's best to consult a professional.

From sizes to types, grades and more, here's everything you need to know about air filters. Homeowners should take the responsibility of cleaning air filters very seriously to protect the health of others in the home. An air filter that is not regularly replaced will become clogged with large amounts of particles in the air. In addition, there is no evidence currently available to show that air cleaner cleaning actually works. This can improve indoor air quality, especially for people with allergies or compromised immune systems. If your air purifier works all the time, or if your environment is particularly smoky or contaminated with pollen or animal dander, you may need to change it more often than recommended.

To cool the air in your home, air conditioning systems use a refrigerant that, as it circulates, changes from gas to liquid. Change air filters regularly and have your HVAC system inspected annually to ensure that it is working properly. I highly recommend Kyle from Nice Heating & Air for all HVAC issues and for new installations; he and his team are an amazing company and I will think of them first if any problems arise in the future for sure. Air filters have a nominal cost compared to the cost of repairing or replacing your home's heating and cooling system. Many homeowners will try to clean their disposable air filters and reuse them to save money by not buying new filters.

So do air filters really filter better when dirty? The answer is yes and no; while particulate capture efficiency increases as a filter becomes dirty, this can be detrimental in other ways such as slowing down airflow and increasing energy costs. It's important to keep up with regular maintenance on your HVAC system and replace your air filters when necessary for optimal performance.