Air Filters: What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

Knowing when to change your air filter is probably the most important thing you can do to keep your HVAC system running right. A filter change is recommended once every 30 to 90 days, depending on the air quality of the home. Air Filters: What You Should and Shouldn't Do

But there’s a lot more to know about air filters than just when to change them. Read on for some basic information that will help you choose the right filter for your HVAC system.

There are several types of air filters. They range from the simple fiberglass types, to the more expensive pleated styles. The most effective filters have a higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating.

Air filters are compared using a performance scale called MERV, with  values ranging  from 1 to 16. The higher a filter’s MERV rating is, the more particles it will remove from the air on a single pass through the system. Filters with ratings between 1 and 4 are the minimum to help prevent particles from getting into a furnace and evaporator coil.  Filters rated from 5 to 7 are middle of the line filters that will remove most large particles from the air. A MERV value of 8 to 11 is recommended for most residential homes. As the filters reach higher MERV levels, the air flow through the system must be considered.  Depending on the use of these systems, some filters might need to be changed only once a year.  It all depends on how they are used.   HEPA filters are extremely effective in removing airborne allergens and irritants such as dust and bacteria.

When you remove your filter, along the side there should be a set of dimensions printed. If they are not readable, measure the height, length and width and buy a filter of exactly the same dimension for a snug fit.

Never clean an air filter unless it is designed to be washable. Most filters break down when washed and vacuuming releases particles back into the air. It’s better just to change them regularly.

For more information on air filters, MERV ratings and replacement schedules, contact us at Amarillo Air Conditioning.We provide top HVAC service in the Amarillo and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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