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What is Air Filter Pressure Drop and How Can You Minimize It?

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small_3016549999Air filters are hugely important to our home’s heating and cooling systems. That’s because not only do they protect your system from dirt buildup and damage, but they also help clean the air you breathe. However, one consequence of using air filters is that they create a pressure drop in your system. Today we’re going to talk about what air filter pressure drop is and how you can minimize its effects on your system and your home!


What is air filter pressure drop?


Your air conditioner blows air through your ducts in order to distribute it throughout your home. In order to remove dirt and other airborne contaminants from your home’s air, your air filter has to be placed right in the way of your system’s airflow. As a result, your air filter slows down your system’s airflow to a certain degree and creates a pressure drop, which forces your system to work harder and consume more energy to keep air flowing properly.


How air filter pressure drop is affected by the type of filter you install


Different types of air filters will cause different amounts of pressure drop in your system. For example, the cheapest throwaway filters are typically very porous, which allows air to more easily flow through them. However, that means that more particles can get through the filter as well.


Air filters that are more dense and tightly-wound make it harder for air to flow through your system, creating a larger pressure drop. However, these filters are more effective at removing airborne particles and dirt from your home’s air.


The best filter is a happy medium between being effective at trapping particles and not creating too much of a pressure drop. Some filters, like pleated filters, can have good MERV ratings and are also shaped in a way that minimizes stoppage in airflow. Refer to your system’s owner’s manual or contact Jerry Kelly to learn what types of filters and MERV ratings are best for your particular air conditioner.


How air filter pressure drop is affected by the condition of your filter


In addition to the type of filter that you install, the condition of your filter will affect the amount of pressure drop that it creates. As dirt builds up on your filter, it closes up the amount of space that is available for air to flow through. So the longer a filter is installed, the more of a pressure drop it will create. That’s why it’s so important to change your filter every month so that it does not have a negative impact on the performance and efficiency of your system.


If you have any questions about air filter pressure drop, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area air conditioning contractor. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like Dardenne Prairie, Des Peres and Frontenac, MO.


photo credit: wwarby via photopin cc


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