Cartridge Filters

Written by Norene Anderson
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Cartridge filters are designed to fit into an air cleaner cabinet. There are standard sizes of filters making it possible to use the same filter in different brands of heating and cooling systems. Before replacing a filter, make sure of the exact dimensions. Some filters have a strip of foam to secure the filter and provide the tight fit needed for efficient air filtration. It is necessary to use this strip in some units to ensure proper fit.

Some cartridge filters are made with a filter media capable of trapping nearly 30 times the number of particles as a fiberglass filter. Pleating of the media offers as much as 35 square feet of capturing surface. Particles such as pet dander, dust, and plant spores are captured. Anything that is larger then 0.3 microns is retained in the pleated folds of the filter.

Evaluating Cartridge Filters

Replacement of most cartridge filters is as simple as removing the housing, pulling out the dirty filter, and sliding in the replacement. If the replacement is for a unit other than the brand of filter, follow carefully the instructions for applying the seal strip if needed. If the filter does not fit tightly, the air can be drawn around the media and bypass the filtering process.

Before ordering a replacement, determine if removal of gases and odors is needed. If so, a filter with activated charcoal or carbon should be considered. The filter should guarantee the proper low resistance rate for the airflow. If the airflow is hindered, it can put strain on the unit causing serious damage. Regardless of the filter used, cleaning or replacement according to the manufacturer's guidelines is necessary to receive full benefit.

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