Is your air filter working at its best?

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Air filters are designed to remove airborne particulates as the air from your home is recirculated through your ventilating system. Air filters cannot remove dust particulates that have already settled onto your furniture. Air filters are not meant to take the place of all household vacuuming and dusting. Particles visible to the naked eye, such as the dust seen on your furniture, are 50 microns or larger in size. That size particle will not remain in the air for more than a few minutes unless there is high air velocity moving through the room, keeping the particles stirred up and airborne. In order for you air filter to work most effectively, your recirculating fan should be running at all times. (This does not mean your heat or air conditioning are on all the of the time, just the recirculating fan.)

If you are running your recirculating fan but are still seeing a heavy concentration of dust particles in you home, check for the following:

  • Remodeling/construction work in or around your home. New houses or those with recent changes continue to have dust on the walls and ventilation system for some time after construction has ended.
  • Repairs on the ventilation system can break loose dirt that has built up in the system from years of using a low-efficiency air filter.
  • High activity level in the home; i.e., children, pets, visitors, new hobbies.
  • New home furnishings such as bedding, rugs, and drapes which generate high levels of lint.
  • Open windows and doors allow entrance to outdoor particles, especially if yours is a “tight house” that tends to have a negative pressure that literally sucks in dust each time the door is opened. If there are any unpaved roads or empty lots near your home, you could be pulling this dust into your house.
  • Clothing dryers are sometimes vented into the house.
  • The air filter can become coated with oils from cooking, air fresheners, cigarette smoke or professionally cleaned furnishings with an anti-static product added. This interferes with the electrostatic properties of the filter. You will need to clean the filter with a mild detergent, making sure you rinse thoroughly.

Your filter might not look very dirty on the surface because dirt is distributed throughout several layers of filter media. Remember that most airborne particles are not visible to the naked eye. Rinse the filter in a sink or a tub and you can see the dirty water running out.

Based on numerous test results from an independent laboratory and many years of experience, we are confident that your air filter is working for you. For optimal performance, you need to locate and eliminate the source of unusually high levels of dirt and/or clean your filter on a regular basis to remove any possible substances coating it.


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