Air conditioners work best when they are clean. After all, its main operation is to circulate the air in the room, remove the heat by absorbing, and blow it out through the exhaust. However, the air in the room is not guaranteed to be clean at all times. When air is not circulating, the dust particles stay still. However, when it is being circulated through devices like an electric fan or an air conditioner, the dust particles are now being thoroughly distributed across the room and some clusters probably have bacteria. To prevent spreading these unpleasant intruders around, air conditioners have filters inside and the most effective are anti-bacterial.
How Anti-Bacterial Filters Work
Anti-bacterial filters are meant to be one of the air purifying filters. Although it combats bacteria, other particles such as dust or debris may be trapped but can occupy much of the coverage meant for trapping bacteria. Another filter has to deal with those non-bacterial substances so that the AC can provide a purified air. The operation of anti-bacterial filters can be based on the five principles of mechanical movement. These are the following mechanical principles of anti-bacterial filters:
Straining is limiting the passage of particles through trapping. These traps are in the form of microscopic fibers. Since the air molecules are much smaller than bacteria, the former will pass through and leave the latter behind trapped in the fibers.
Interception refers to the collision of large particles and the filter’s fiber as the circulated air is flowing. Catching large particles relies on the amount of space in between the fibers and how strongly reinforced they are if pressure is exerted.
Diffusion happens when a particle just randomly moves towards in collision with the fibers. As the particle moves further to the fibers, it will get stuck on the highly concentrated areas and creates a void in its previous location. This situation causes another particle to be ‘attracted’ and in turn, will be also captured.
- Inertial Separation
With the law of inertia interpreted as a moving object stays in motion if there is no resistance, particles inside the filter can be separated when it will encounter resistance. However, the air molecules just keep moving without further influencing the immobile particle.
- Electrostatic Attraction
The electrostatic principle is having two charges moved or restricted by influencing their polarities. Attraction occurs when charges of opposite polarities come into contact within a certain field. Unwanted particles are charged with a certain polarity in opposite with that of the fibers so that an attraction field is formed.
Advantages and Disadvantages
The usage of anti-bacterial filters can have its advantages and disadvantages.
- The filter traps unwanted particles such as dust, bacteria, and microorganisms that are circulating in the air of the room.
- By trapping the unwanted particles, there will be an improvement of air quality in the room.
- The dust and other unwanted particles that are trap can lessen the thermal build-up since there will be no more blockage of airflow and thus, it will increase the lifespan of the air conditioner.
- Due to the increase of the air conditioner’s efficiency, there will be a decrease in the need to adjust the thermostat, which can reduce the electric bill.
- The filter is easy to install and economical since it is also easy to clean using a vacuum cleaner.
- Since the filter improves the efficiency of the air conditioner by decreasing the heat-build up during the circulation process, damages can rarely occur and therefore costs for repair and maintenance are reduced.
- The filter can prolong the air conditioner’s lifespan, but it has a shorter lifespan because of the fiber’s wear and tears. It needs to be replaced every 3 or 4 months.
- Failure to replace them or even continue using them past the recommended replacement period can further damage the air conditioner due to dust jams and unnecessary heat build-up.
- A thorough cleaning can only be done with a vacuum cleaner and other cleaning methods like washing might damage the fibers, causing them to be less effective.
How to Select
For any type of air conditioner, whether split or window type, select an anti-bacterial filter according to the following criteria:
- Select an anti-bacterial filter that is a perfect fit for the size of the air conditioner.
- Shop for anti-bacterial filter highly recommended brands that have compatible pore sizes.
- Choose an anti-bacterial filter that has high efficiency that matches the system of your air conditioner.
AC brands usually have their own filtering technology. They may be different due to the setting where the air conditioner is installed, but the principles are still similar.
- Blue Star air conditioner
The anti-bacterial filter is said to eliminate at least 95 percent of all bacteria such as Staphylococcus Aureus and Escherichia Coli. By eliminating such microorganisms, the Blue Star AC protects the users from diseases and infections.
- Carrier air conditioner
The filter, named ‘Biofilter’, collects air pollutants and unwanted microscopic particles like fungi and bacteria.
- Voltas air conditioner
The filter, named ‘Acaro Bacterium Filter’, captures harmful organisms such as mites and ticks. The antiseptic properties it has can kill any bacteria and promote a healthy environment inside the AC.
If you use the AC a lot in your home, then investing in anti-bacterial filters is highly recommended. It can bring many benefits especially concerning the health of the users and the air quality they are exposed to. The mechanical troubles of an AC can be reduced and its performance is increased. Understanding how an anti-bacterial filter works gives you a guarantee that it was not a marketing ploy made by AC manufacturers. You will also be assured that there is an economical way to enjoy great air quality even while living in a polluted environment.