We have all have been there; standing at our local home improvement store staring at the vast selection of home air filters. As you reach for the cheap regular fiberglass filter that you can practically see-thru; you think to yourself surely this won’t do anything. Then you drop it and reach for the high-priced filter. That promises it can filter everything out including the kitchen sink, and you think that this is the best choice. So, you break down and spend 12 times more for the best air filter. Then you bring it home and pop it in. You take a big sigh of relief that you have made a smart choice and taken care of your family by giving them healthier air.
Then in a couple of weeks, you are having to call your local HVAC contractor. Because your unit is not working. You pull your hair, and you shell out more money and spend a couple of hot days in a hot-house as you wait for the HVAC company to arrive. What your HVAC contractor may or may not tell you because your call lined his pockets. Is that the reason for the repair probably goes back to the decision you made in the HVAC filter aisle.
What? Yes, it’s true. What the list of claims on the overpriced air filter didn’t tell you is that it could cause restricted airflow. I can imagine you laughing at the moment thinking that this seems like a crazy likelihood but this an actual story of what happened to us after we moved into our new house. The HVAC contractor was right, and we never had any more problems with our system shutting down.
Are regular cheap fiberglass air filters enough for my home or do I really need a better filter? First, we must understand that furnace filters are not intended to create clean air. Air filters have been designed primarily to first protect equipment and filter out as much dust and microorganisms that it can. Furnace filters do relatively little to reduce the number of small particles you inhale. That’s because these particles are already in the air wherever there is human activity. According to the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation; the most common effects of indoor microorganisms occur out in the open. In the middle of our everyday lives.
Manufacturers of furnace filters would have you believe their claims of great grandeur from a simple one-inch-thick filter, but it is simply not the case. So now the question is what type of filter is best? Should I look for the best air filter instead of using the standard fiberglass options? The answer is yes, but the answer must have an explanation as all filters are not created equal. Filters that merely claim to reduce spore count and clean the air. However, they have not been verified according to independent studies and testings.
As with many other home products; these claims can be freely listed as it is not a product that is regulated. So, if the density of a filter can’t be increased to reduce spore counts without overheating the system. Then what are our options for improving our indoor air quality with the best air filter? The answer is to provide a light breathable filter. With chemistry to improve the air quality and use a frame-free design giving coverage to every inch of your airline.
At Fresh Start and in many indoor air quality organizations, like NORMI, recommend a very cost-effective filter called “The Perfect Fit Filter”. Which comes in a 4-pack for an annual supply of filters for the cost of $67.90 – $99.98 depending on the size of the filter you need. This is the best air filter on the market. Because it is designed primarily to treat the air passing through it with chemistry. By using light filtration materials treated with Tri-Dek anti-microbial vs. dense filtration materials that suffocate airflow and causes system problems.
The filter has no cardboard frame to warp or become a food source for mold and bacteria Created by indoor air quality experts to provide you the best air filter for your home at a reasonable price. In addition, this filter also provides filtration on every inch of the filter. Thereby negating the standard 20% blow-by air of standard filters that use cardboard or plastic frames. NORMI approves the use of Triclosan because it has been proven to be safe and effective. In reducing microbial growth because it doesn’t allow “bio-nesting”. Which is the industry term for a collection of harmful particles if the filter is not replaced after thirty days. Triclosan allows the PerfectFit Filter to stay in place, under normal conditions, for up to ninety (90) days. Without becoming a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
- Provides adequate airflow with less restriction on the HVAC system
- Eliminates bio-nesting of micro-organisms
- Eliminates blow-by so all the air is filtered
- Sturdy internal frame eliminates warping
- Variety of sizes available
- MERV 7 ASHRAE rated standard
- Tri-Dek© anti-microbial treatment
- Internal frame eliminates paper cardboard
- Edge-to-edge design for PerfectFit
- Disposable every 90 days
- Easy to install, fits every time
Mold in an HVAC system is a common complaint. Mold cannot always be smelled. One of the fastest ways it spreads throughout the building is through a forced-air HVAC system. The reason that mold can form in your system is due to several factors. First of all, the air coming into your HVAC system is moister than the air coming out of your vents. As the unit itself reduces humidity. Thereby causing elevated humidity levels especially in the return air vent of a system where your filter is placed. In addition to moisture most air filters are made from porous materials like cardboard. Or organic materials that create bio-nesting, a breeding ground for mold & bacteria. Another common reason air vents and system have mold is due to improper mold removal near return air vents.
According to the EPA, you should routinely inspect your HVAC systems, not just for mold, but also for moisture. An inspection would consist of looking at your drain and condensate pans to make sure they are draining properly. If these get plugged, the moisture that accumulates will become a breeding ground for mold quickly. Also make sure that all HVAC ducts and system components such as air handlers, blowers, plenums and the like are free of any moisture. If you notice the humidity levels in your home are elevated. From things like a “sticky” sensation from sheets or similar items. It is important to immediately check your filter and replace if needed. Contact your local HVAC contractor if it does not improve.
- HVAC repairs. A dirty filter restricts airflow into your air handler and causes the unit to overheat. This lack of airflow can cause unnecessary strain on the fan motor and could burn out the motor in time. Filter replacement is a key element in extending the life of your HVAC system and avoiding unnecessary repair bills.
- Fan motor to work harder and consume more energy and can even swing your electric bill by as much as a hundred dollars in a single month.
- Increase in respiratory and allergic reactions from a decrease in your home’s indoor air quality.
- Makes your air ducts get dirty faster and lead to more frequent vent cleanings.
- Improper air movement and increase the risk for moisture trapped which can cause mold growth in the HVAC unit and duct lines.