To continue this week’s discussion about air filtration, today we’re going to talk about electrostatic air filters. Because of the differences in the way these filters operate and need to be maintained, it’s best to know all the details about them before you decide to install one in your home.

How is an electrostatic air filter different than other air filtration systems?

  • Method of particle collection. Normal fiberglass and pleated filters collect airborne particles by simply getting in their way. As air passes through them, some of the particles get trapped in the filter material. Electrostatic air filters, on the other hand, use electricity to give particles an electrostatic charge as they pass through them. On the other end of the filter, an oppositely-charged plate attracts those particles and they are removed from the air.
  • Efficiency of particle collection. Electrostatic air filters do an excellent job of removing particles from the air. By giving particles an electrostatic charge, electrostatic filters can remove the much smaller particles that pass right through normal air filters. This makes them very efficient at improving your home’s indoor air quality.
  • Designed to last a lifetime. Unlike most other air filters, electrostatic air filters are built to last a lifetime. That means you can save the money that you’d normally spend on filter replacements. However, electrostatic filters can only last if you perform the right amount of regular maintenance on them.
  • Requires cleaning instead of changing. Instead of replacing the filter when it gets dirty, electrostatic filters must be thoroughly cleaned about once a month (or a bit longer with newer models). This is a crucial maintenance task because electrostatic filters will not perform effectively if they are dirty.

A few things St. Louis area homeowners should know before installing an electrostatic air filter

As you saw above, there are many great advantages of using an electrostatic air filter. However, there are a few things you should know about taking care of them before you decide to install one. First, it can be very difficult to properly clean many electrostatic filters. Furthermore, many homeowners report that certain electrostatic filters are difficult to disassemble and reassemble to clean them. As a result, the maintenance of these filters can be more of an annoyance than it’s worth for some homeowners.

It’s also important to note that electrostatic filters can be damaged if they are cleaned improperly or from years of wear and tear (depending on the quality of the filter). If this happens, you’ll have to replace the filter, which will end up being more expensive than changing a normal filter or the media in a whole-house air cleaner.

If you have any questions about an electrostatic air cleaner, or if you’d like an HVAC system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Charles, MO, HVAC company. We service the St. Louis area and surrounding cities like Lake St. Louis, Ballwin, and Weldon Spring.

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