Huntington Beach, CA, December 20th, 2021
Most people in California live in a home, go to a school, or work in an office that has a central air conditioner or a forced-air system for heating that utilizes some sort of air filtration. The air people breathe indoors plays an important role in their comfort and well-being, so picking the correct air filter, and regularly replacing it, can make a big difference.
The basic job of an air filter is to trap particulates. These include allergens, asthma triggers, respiratory irritants, and other contaminants. If not regularly replaced, they can become overloaded with dust and particulate matter (PM). This can make the HVAC system run less efficiently, increase energy costs and perhaps decreasing the life of the system. A dirty filter may also negatively impact indoor air quality (IAQ) if it is no longer properly removing airborne matter. In high humidity environments, a dirty filter could even support the growth of mold, releasing spores and odors into the air.
“The type of air filter also plays a role in how frequently it needs to be changed,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Filters are given a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) from 1 to 16. MERV ratings above 12 are typically used in special circumstances outside of a residential setting. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective it is at filtering airborne particles, but these denser filters may need to be changed more frequently. Also, if higher MERV filters cause too much resistance, a pressure drop in the HVAC system could lead to problems.”
Other factors for how frequently air filters may need to be changed include how frequently the HVAC system is used; how large is the home; do family members suffer from allergies, asthma, COPD, or other respiratory conditions; are there pets in the home; and is the property located in an area prone to outside air pollution, high pollen counts, or dusty conditions? For commercial or institutional properties, similar questions arise. Additional things to consider include building occupancy rates, what activities take place in the building, infection control and perhaps other unique concerns.
In California, LA Testing’s laboratories help to achieve optimal IAQ conditions by providing environmental testing services, sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits, air monitoring instruments and building inspection tools. Last year, LA Testing even sponsored an educational video about air filters and IAQ in homes that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/p6N6sEWKtvA
To learn more about indoor air quality, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash, and smoke damage, particulates, and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health, and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego, and Ontario.