You know how uncomfortable it can be to be in an environment without adequate air conditioning during the hottest days of the summer. Avoid experiencing that sensation in your own home or commercial building. Your best bet is to ensure that your AC system is well maintained. The first measure in good air conditioning system maintenance is ensuring that its filter is always clean.
The Purpose Of An Air Filter
Your air conditioning system brings in warm air through your home’s intake vents and cools it. As the fan sends the cooler air back into your home, it passes through the system’s air filter to remove airborne dust and dirt particles. This function is particularly important in reducing allergens, especially during the summer hay fever season. After a while, the filter can become clogged with dirt and dust, which can inhibit the proper circulation of air throughout your home. This makes your air conditioning system work harder and therefore consume up to 15% more energy.
Replacing your air filter
Green Horizon One Hour recommends replacing your air conditioning air filter at least every three months, and, possibly, more often if you see that it has become dirty. Do not try to extend the life of your air filter by cleaning it using a vacuum cleaner or water, as this is sure to damage it and cause more impurities to travel through your ductwork and into your home.
Replacing an air filter isn’t a complicated task and can be easily done by most do-it-yourselfers. The first step is to know what kind of replacement filter you will require. In most systems, the air filter is located behind a removable panel on the indoor portion of the air conditioning system. You can count on Green Horizon One Hour for a wide selection of filters sure to fit your system. If replacing your AC filter is not a job you feel comfortable doing yourself, one of our technicians will gladly complete the job for you.
Different Types of Air Filters
Not all systems use the same types of air filters. The right filter for a household and system will depend on the physical dimensions as well as the filtering needs of the family. There are several different standard sizes for air filters, and it’s important to check which size your system will need before purchasing more. The dimensions of an air filter are usually located on the edge around the air filter itself. Once you know what size filter you need, all you need to do is determine the filtering requirements of your family.
HVAC filters include different ratings (MERV) depending on what types of air particles they filter. The higher the rating, the smaller the particles it will filter out of the air. Homeowners may be tempted to fit their systems with the lowest rated filters to save money, or they may gravitate toward the highest rated filters for ultimate filtering power. These options, however, may not always be the best for an HVAC system.
Lower rated filters (MERV 1-4) will only filter out larger dust particles and pollen. Anything smaller may still pass through, settling into your ducts and/or lungs. The highest-rated filters are called HEPA filters, with a MERV rating of 17-20. These filter out 99.9% of air particles including viruses and bacteria. Most home systems will not be fit to handle these filters, however, as the air resistance is too high and can decrease the efficiency of an HVAC unit. Most homes use MERV 8 to MERV 13 filters depending on the specific needs of the family. Those with pets may want to start at MERV 11. MERV 13 filters will also filter viruses and bacteria like a HEPA filter, but only at a 90% efficiency rating instead of 99%. Use the guide below to determine the best fit for your home:
MERV 6: Filters small dust, lint, and pollen.
MERV 8: Filters dust, lint, pollen, dust mites, mold.
MERV 11: Filters dust, lint, pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, smoke, and smog.
MERV 13: Filters dust, lint, pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, smoke, smog, viruses, and bacteria.
Call the Durham experts at Green Horizon One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning®. Dial (919) 646-3639 today!