Appliances

What is an Air Filter?

While air filters look very simple at first glance, they are a very important part of the system they have been designed for. While they typically resemble a cardboard box made of fibers, they are crucial to efficient operation and safety. So whether you need a simple air filter for your home or an industrial air filter such as Donaldson compressed air filters, here are some things to know about air filters.

Air Filter Functions

An air filter is a light-weight component typically made out of pleated paper, cloth, spun fiberglass and enclosed in a frame made out of cardboard. The basic function of every air filter is to do exactly what its name implies – filter the air that is circulating through it. Filters have been expertly designed to trap and hold onto particles, materials and contaminants that would otherwise compromise the equipment or those that are breathing the air. In a normal HVAC system in a house, for instance, here are some of the things an air filter would catch:

  • Microorganisms
  • Wood and plaster particles
  • Fur and other hair
  • Mold spores
  • Pollen
  • Most dirt and dust

Filtration, in this instance, happens when the air is brought back into the system. As it goes back in, it’s forced to go through the filter and all of the particulates that were in the air are removed.

Air Filter Maintenance

Continuing with the HVAC example above, the air that goes into your home to either heat or cool it all eventually goes through the filter in your system. If your filters aren’t cleaned regularly, you may start passing more and more of these contaminants around your house rather than trapping and eradicating them. Not only that, excessive particles of things like dust and dirt can end up damaging your HVAC system causing costly problems and eventual replacement.