Filters & Filter Maintenance

When choosing a filter there are three things to consider:

  • Cost
  • Purpose
  • Functionality

If you are used to buying a filter at your local hardware store or big box retail stores you are probably thinking that cost is not that big of an issue. You can find filters ranging anywhere from a few dollars to upwards of $20+ for others

Common Filter Types

  • Fiberglass Filters are probably the most common. They also happen to be the cheapest (Go figure). These filters have to be changed at least monthly during peak times during the hottest and coldest parts of the seasons. Let’s be honest with each other. Some of you still have your husband’s mother calling to remind him to change his underwear . Remembering to change an air filter at a specific point every thirty days is kind of asking a lot….Which brings us to…..
  • Pleated Filters which are also pretty common, and still pretty cheap (“Cheap” has gotten a bad name, and we are not afraid to use it here. At Legacy Air we refuse to patronize you with the more Politically Correct term “Inexpensive” when “cheap” does the job just fine). Pleated filters have ridges built into them which serves to increase the available surface area to collect air borne particulate. The increased surface area enables the pleated filter to both collect more particulate, and to last longer
  • HEPA (has to be capitalized not due to its status as a heavy weight in the world of air filtration, which it is, but because for all you English nerds out there it is an “Acronym”).  High- Efficiency Particulate Air filters are designed for those of us with “Oxygenated Special Needs” (O-S-N is actually the Latin term for the better known term “allergy sufferers”). HEPA filters collect 99.97%(source WIKI)  air borne particulate as small as .3 micrometers. Things that are that small that are floating in your household air include pollens and dust mite FECES<<< capitalized because it is my post AND until I researched this, I didn’t know I was breathing dust mite FECES daily. Kind of makes me want to run out and buy a HEPA filter. Expensive to Install, but you will never again breathe in dust mite FECES… Caution!!!! Due to their ability to filter smaller particulate (HEPA Filters are the almighty “Achilles” of filtration) their “Achilles Heel” lie in the fact that the filter box has to be larger because the filters have to be larger. This requires a qualified company do the consult and retrofit on changing out a traditional filter system to a HEPA filtration system…
  • Electronic Filtration Systems can be stand-alone units or integral to furnace, filter box, or duct system. (Disadvantage to using stand-alone/portable units is that they have to be in every commonly used room to be effective) The best thing about these is they make great Mothers day gifts or birthday gifts, as they greatly cut down on household dusting duties. (Just kidding on the gift thing because #1 Men can dust too, and #2 Men can dust too) These systems work far better and household wide when installed as an integral piece of your Heating and Cooling systemCheaper than HEPA more expensive than Pleated/Fiberglass
  • Charcoal filters are (I want to say never but shan’t) extremely and wisely never used alone. They are best for picking up odors, organic materials, and household smells such as (don’t let your imagination get ahead of me) bleach, ammonia and the like.  Note  Charcoal filtration systems can not be targeted to your husband’s side of the bed or any other “masculine” areas of the house; and besides, this being the 21st century ,I would be remiss, un-Politically Correct , if I didn’t say that you ladies smell too

And that about does it for me. I hope it was as entertaining for you to read as it was for me to write.

Should you need help with any of your filtration needs feel free to contact us or call us at 702-453-4229  

Making sure your HVAC system works in the Summer

At legacy air we are striving to be the best HVAC company. This means making sure we are known primarily for our customer Service. This is why we have developed this page and several others like it, where we are counting on the concept that if we help you better understand the things you can do yourself, you aer more likely to come back to us for help with the things that might be a little tougher to handle.

Here are some steps you can do to make sure your HVAC systems are running at peak performance capabilities right before the summer season….

1. Most important is to always change your air filters. A dirty air filter can sabotage both the efficiency and longevity of your heating and cooling systems so change them often. This will also help to prevent a more expensive A-line/Indoor Coil cleaning.

2. Spraying down your outdoor/condenser coil. This is a pretty easy task, really. You will want to remove the fan from the top of the unit. First things first, though, switch the service disconnect to the off position or pull the fuse if so equipped. This will prevent the fan from accidentally coming on during the cleaning should the thermostat call for it. There is usually three to four screws holding the fan down. Remove these screws and pull the fan up and lay it upside down on top of the cabinet of your outdoor coil. The wires connecting the outdoor fan motor are usually long enough that you should have no problem positioning the fan out of your way. Take your garden hose and spray the coils off from THE INSIDE OUT. There is also a coil cleaner you can purchase at your local HVAC supply house if you have a dog like mine who uses your coil as his “post”. Once the coils are thoroughly sprayed down you can replace the fan and screws and turn your disconnect back to the on position.

3. Hold that thought. Check the electrical components of your outdoor coil. Go back to the disconnect and put it back to the off position or remove the fuses. You still need to check the electrical connections at your outside unit. Once you are sure the disconnect is off, pull the electrical panel covering your outdoor coils electrical components. Once it is removed you can check for loose wire connections that could cause arcing, grounding, or shorting. Check your contactor for pitting at the points (a pitted or corroded contactor can cause the contactor to chatter or stick). If you have an electrical multi-meter you can check your amp draw on the compressor and the condenser fan motor. Make sure you are getting the proper voltage to your system, both on the high side and low side circuits. If your multi-meter has a MFD setting on it you can check the capacitor(s) to make sure they are within +/- 5% of there ratings. If they are not or they are close to being not within this range than replace them. A failing capacitor can take the motor it is designed to help, out with it when it goes.

4. Check the refrigerant circuit for proper operation. This can get complicated and the method for checking it depends on a variety of things including the type of your metering device, ambient temperature both inside and out, saturation temps and all manner of things. A decent indicator of if your refrigerant circuit is running well is to check your temperature split between your supply air and your return air. Put your wife’s turkey baster thermometer thingy (not sure of the technical name she would call it) in the supply air outlet furthest from your supply plenum. The temperature should be roughly 17-23 degrees different than the reading on your thermostat for indoor air temp.

5. Check the duct connections in your attic for loose or broken connections. A loose connection can cause havoc on your house’s air balance not to mention the loss of efficiency of your system overall. These are usually easily fixed with duct tape or duct sealer available at your local hardware store.

Good Luck and God Bless

​We hope this helps and as always if you have any problems give us a call at (702) 453-4229