Media filters are used in heating and air conditioning units.
These forced-air systems propel cooled or heated air through duct-work. The same system of ducts is used for both cooling and heating. Filtering this forced air can help to improve the quality of indoor environments.
Most modern systems are designed with internal air filtration systems. Many are constructed from light-weight, gauzy materials. These components should be washed or vacuumed regularly to facilitate maximum efficiency. Systems which are working in environments with pets, or high levels of dust or pollen must be cleaned more frequently.
Failure to maintain a filter can create many problems. Among them are lower heat-exchange rates which waste energy, increase utility bills, and shorten the lifespan of equipment. Reduced air flow can also cause evaporator coils to ice over, which prevents air flow. Dirty or clogged filters can also create excessive heat during heating cycles. This dangerous condition can damage a system or spark a fire.
In air conditioning systems, filtration components are located in two places, on the condenser coil and the evaporator coil. They must both be cleaned regularly. Failure to do so will result in damage to the compressor. This is due to the fact that the compressor is responsible for the discharge of the heat which is generated by its motor, as well as the indoor heat which is collected by the evaporator.
Since the 1990s, manufacturers of consumer home products have been developing systems which are more energy efficient. The initial impetus was the sky-rocketing cost of energy. More recent efforts have been driven by environmental awareness. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has established tight restrictions on new products.
Media filters are critical components of heating and cooling systems. They require regular maintenance. Keeping these filtration systems clean helps to optimize their energy efficiency as well as extend the longevity of heating and cooling units.