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What are Air Intake Filters?

Shannon Kietzman
Shannon Kietzman

Air intake filters clean the air passing from the outside to the inside of a building or mechanical device. Some are specifically designed to clean up the air in places like the home or office. There are also filters used to keep vehicles running smoothly and to aid in manufacturing.

The quality of the air a person breathes is immensely important. Poor air quality can hurt a person's health and increase the likelihood of illnesses such as asthma attacks. In addition, poor air quality can cause environmental concerns and harm to buildings. Air intake filters help prevent these problems from occurring.

An air filter.
An air filter.

There are two types of air filter systems used in vehicles: the wet system and the dry system. Wet air intake filters are often referred to as “oil bath” cleaners, as the air is directed across oil, which pulls out the heaviest particles. They do not prevent small particles from entering the air, however.

The dry system moves the air through a mesh filter that traps a wider range of particle sizes. It uses a replaceable filter, which makes clean up simple. In addition, the dry system is made with pleated treated paper, which increases the area of filtration. This type of system is the more popular of the two.

If the air intake filter in a vehicle are not properly cared for, the gasoline or diesel engine can be destroyed. For this reason, it is very important for car owners to perform proper and routine maintenance on these filters and to replace them when they become dirty or worn. A small amount of build-up is not problematic, however, and most experts maintain that some build-up helps block smaller particles from within the airflow. This means that a slightly dirty filter captures more residue than a completely clean one.

Air intake filters are also commonly used with air handling units, air-cooled chillers, condenser coils, and cooling towers. In this capacity, they prevent both the fouling of the bag filters and debris build-up. These filters can also reduce the amount of energy necessary to run the equipment by allowing more efficient performance. When used with cooling towers, air intake filters are most efficient in conjunction with a water treatment system, which ensures that the tower will be clean from season to season.

Most air intake filters are easy to install and mold and mildew resistant. Since they are generally resistant to flame and ultraviolet rays, they can often last over 15 years, but they usually have to be replaced much more often due to use.

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    • An air filter.
      By: nastia1983
      An air filter.