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AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
A/C - HEAT PUMP CONTROLS & SWITCHES
AIR CONDITIONER COMPONENT PARTS
AIR CONDITIONER TYPES, ENERGY SOURCES
AIR FILTER EFFICIENCY
AIR FILTERS, FIBERGLASS PARTICLES
AIR FLOW MEASUREMENT CFM
APPLIANCE DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN CONTINUOUS OPERATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BOOKSTORE - Air Conditioning "How To" Books
CAPACITORS for HARD STARTING MOTORS
CLEANING & Legionella BACTERIA
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
DEFINITION of HEATING & COOLING TERMS
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE
DIAGNOSTIC GUIDES A/C / HEAT PUMP
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-FURNACE
DUCTS - Asbestos
DUCT INSULATION, Asbestos Paper
DUCT INSULATION for SOUNDPROOFING
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUCT SYSTEM NOISES
DUCTS, Asbestos Transite Pipe
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
FAN LIMIT SWITCH
FAN NOISES, HVAC
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) in buildings
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEATING SMALL LOADS
INSPECTION CHECKLIST - OUTDOOR UNIT
INSPECTION LIMITATIONS, A/C SYSTEMS
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOST COOLING CAPACITY
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
MOLD in AIR HANDLERS & DUCT WORK
OPERATING COST, AIR CONDITIONER
OPERATING DEFECTS, AIR CONDITIONING
REPAIR GUIDES A/C / HEAT PUMP
REPAIR & DIAGNOSTIC FAQs for A/C
THERMOSTATS, HEATING / COOLING
THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVES
WATER COOLED AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL A/C SUPPORTS
How do HVAC air filters work: This article explains and explain just how air filters for HVAC systems actually work to trap and remove particles from indoor air. This website answers almost any question you might ask about air filters for heating or air conditioning systems. The page top photograph is of a low-MERV HVAC filter in an air handler.
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Here we explain the three methods by which HVAC air filters work to capture and remove airborne particle contaminants from building air: impaction filtering, interception filtering, and diffusion filtering.
In these articles we are referring to filters installed on central air conditioning or central heating systems that move air through air handlers and duct systems. Standalone "air cleaners" are generally ineffective in buildings.
In articles at this website we explain how an air conditioning service technician will diagnose certain common air conditioning system failures or defects. We include photographs to assist readers in recognizing cooling system defects.
Contact us to suggest text changes and additions and, if you wish, to receive online listing and credit for that contribution. Readers should also see our INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE article series.
This photograph (above-left) shows a soiled surface of a conventional air filter up close. The fibers are clearly visible but not the openings through which air has to pass.
If we look at a high efficiency, high MERV or HEPA air filter under a microscope we'll see a mat of randomly crisscrossed fibers of filter material (fiberglass, polypropylene, paper, or other materials).
The space between the filter fibers will be larger than the smallest particle size which the filter is asserted to remove. So how do these filters stop the small particles? Let's look at three air filtration mechanisms in order of decreasing particle size:
What mold, house dust dust, allergen fragment, mite fecal, cat dander, or other airborne particle sizes are a concern for indoor air quality?
In the photograph shown here the large black Stachybotrys chartarum mold spores can be seen against our eyepiece micrometer which, after calibration, shows that these particular spores were about 7u x 15u in size.
The brownish tubular structures are fungal hyphae. Another, smaller fungal spore is in the background. What's not addressed by some of the science in the air filtration and IAQ field is just what particle sizes are a worry.
In general, larger particles, say 30u or 50u or long fibers, say 200u, are so big that they tend to be filtered in the nose of a human breathing that air. (1u here means 1 micron in size).
A more complete discussion about the size and behavior of problematic indoor air particles which form an indoor air quality concern can be read at PARTICLE SIZES & IAQ.
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