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Your home’s heating, cooling, and ventilation system is made up of several components. One of the most important parts is the air filter. While the compressor fan is the heart of the system, the filter helps trap the particles floating in the air that will be heated, cooled, and then, pushed back out into your Arizona home. Flat air filters exist, but industry professionals believe that pleated versions are better. At Sun City Mechanical, we are well-versed in the ins and outs of air filters. To help you understand why pleated air filters are effective, here is some information to mull over.

What Is the Difference Between Pleated and Flat Air Filters?

Filters are generally available in pleated or flat fiberglass. The HVAC industry is based on technology, so it should not be a surprise that HVAC products and systems are continually being improved. The first central HVAC system was installed in theaters because the mechanism was so large. Then, engineers figured out how to make the system more compact. The same can be said about air filters.

Fiberglass filters are the cheapest filter on the market. This means that you are going to end up changing them more frequently. Additionally, their filtering ability is questionable.

Pleated filters, on the other hand, are a step up from fiberglass, price-wise. However, their straining ability is far superior to fiberglass.

What Should You Consider When Picking Out an Air Filter?

When you pick out your air filter, you may be led by your wallet. It is fair to try to stretch out your budget as much as possible. Everyone at some point has purchased the store brand over the national brand at the grocery store because that is what their budget dictated at the time. If you are not too strapped, however, you should know that a better air filter gives you far better air. This could ultimately lead to fewer sick days and health costs. Furthermore, a superior air filter won’t need to be changed as often.

At this time, the HVAC industry is offering customers two main choices — larger upfront investment for a quicker return on investment or less investment upfront but higher costs along the road. At some point, things balance out for many individuals. This means that one of the deciding factors in your final choice is going to be a preference. The amount of stress and air filter changes, for example, is another factor. Pleated air filters last longer, so less frequent changes are necessary, which makes them somewhat low maintenance.

What Is the Purpose of the Pleats?

As you pick out your air filter, you want to ensure that it is compatible with your HVAC unit. HEPA filters are among the most efficient air filters. They are also designed for industrial HVAC systems and residential ones that have enough power. As soon as a HEPA filter builds a layer of dust, it begins to restrict airflow. A unit that cannot push the output through will overheat.

Some homeowners worry that a pleated air filter will restrict airflow, too. The good news is that the technology of the pleated air filter has evolved. Therefore, restricting airflow is no longer a big concern thanks to engineers and manufacturers. As long as the unit is compatible, the system will be able to compensate.

The pleated, or folded, design provides extra material that ends up catching additional dust, particles, and pollutants. The particles flowing in the air are microscopic. In combination with the air filter, all those pollutants floating around in your home are more likely to be trapped when they go through the HVAC unit. The bonus is that you will not have to change the filter right away.

Benefit: Protects the Fan

Since the pleats add more space for the particles to settle in, your HVAC unit’s fan is protected. It is not going to overheat as long as you do change it out every few months. If you operate the system often, then you should take a look more frequently just so you can get an idea of the number of particles it is picking up at that rate.

Additionally, since the pleated air filter is protecting your fan, there is going to be less need for unscheduled service calls. Your HVAC unit requires annual maintenance. In some cases, it should take place every six months. If you are keeping up with maintenance, your unit is in good hands.

Benefit: HVAC Works More Efficiently

When the air filter does its job, the rest of the unit can do its job, too. A pleated air filter is going to capture a good amount of the contaminants in the air that go through the unit. If they are getting trapped, they are not floating around the unit. Since there is no buildup occurring on the components of the system, it can keep operating as intended.

Clogged coils and drain lines are bad for an HVAC system. So are water leaks. Dust combined with the moisture created in the unit allows live bacteria to thrive inside it. Corrosion is another bad result for a unit that gathers too much dust on the inside.

Benefit: Helps Eliminate Particles

A pleated air filter contributes to your home’s indoor air quality. By capturing particles such as dust, mites, and animal dander as well as other allergens, they are not floating around your home anymore. Given, an HVAC unit is not going to capture 100% of them, but it can at least assist in removing some. If nothing else, it is a good start. There are add-ons you can incorporate to keep improving the quality of your home’s indoor air, but a stellar air filter is a step in the right direction.

Benefit: Keeps Home Cleaner

If you take a look at your walls around your HVAC unit, you might notice that they are dusty. That dust is floating around and landing on your walls because it is escaping your HVAC unit. Instead of being captured, the dust is living on your walls.

First, go ahead and give the walls a good wipe down. It is always essential to get rid of particles in your home in any way possible. Then, take a look inside the unit. If you notice that it is dusty, give it a good dusting, too. Now it is time to take a look at the air filter. It is probably going to be very dirty. Replace it as soon as you have another air filter on hand. This time, ensure that it is pleated and test it out. In a few months, you will be able to see the difference.

These steps can be completed during a regular HVAC maintenance check. You do not have to worry about getting into the nooks and crannies of the unit because our professionals can do it for you.

To go over your air filter options, feel free to contact us at Sun City Mechanical in Buckeye, AZ. Our crew can address all your HVAC needs. We also offer water softener, garbage disposal, and ductwork replacement services.