You’re probably already aware that replacing your air filter should be part of your routine air-conditioner maintenance. But it can pay to know more about this essential component of your cooling system. Actually, the more you know about air filters, the more you’ll get out of them — in terms of peak efficiency and home comfort. Here are some facts about air filters:
- MERV ratings: All air filters have minimum efficiency reporting values. This value is a reflection of a filter’s ability to remove particulates such as dander, dust and smoke from the air stream. A MERV 1 filter is the least effective, and a MERV 16 is the most effective. A MERV 9 to 12 filter is generally recommended for homeowners who want highly effective dust control. If you decide to go with one of these filters, make sure you check it monthly. Because a filter in this range is denser than a filter with a lower MERV rating, it can get clogged more easily and restrict airflow, which can ultimately cause damage to your air conditioner. If you have any doubt about the type of filter you should be using, get in touch with your HVAC professional. There is no real Standard testing procedure that regulates how MERV ratings are established, so it’s best to consult your HVAC professional first.
- Whether to clean or replace: Some types of air filters are meant to be disposable. These filters should not be cleaned and reused. Check this type of filter every month, and change it when it looks dirty. Some filters, however, can be cleaned. A washable filter should be checked frequently and cleaned as often as every few weeks. Make sure it’s thoroughly dry before you return it to the air conditioner. If you’re wondering whether your filter is the disposable or washable type, check your owner’s manual or contact your HVAC-system professional.
- NOTE: Filters can be rated high on the MERV scale, but low in the ability to let air pass through easily. This causes restrictions making the system less efficient with lower air flow, and could cause harm to your system. Air Assurance carries Clean-Climate filters which are made to Air Assurance specifications and have been tested for both MERV and Static Pressure, giving you the best of both worlds.
- HEPA filtration. High efficiency particulate air filtration is the top-of-the-line option in particulate removal and is widely used in hospitals, where it’s important to have air that’s as free of organic pollutants as much as possible. But these filters are extremely dense and not appropriate for many cooling systems. If air quality is a special concern in your home, and you’re serious about HEPA filtration, consider a whole-house air purifier.
If you have any questions about air filters, don’t hesitate to contact Air Assurance. We can help you find the filter that’s best suited to your system. And we can help you with all your other home-comfort needs, as well. We serve homeowners in Broken Arrow and greater Tulsa.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area 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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