Everything You Need to Know About HVAC Air Filters

Maximizing energy efficiency is the key to saving money in your Jacksonville, Florida, home. Considering that your HVAC system accounts for about half of your monthly energy expenses, optimizing its operational efficiency can help you save hundreds or even thousands. One way to do that is by making sure your HVAC system’s air filter is always clean.

How Do HVAC Air Filters Help Me?

The primary job of your HVAC system’s air filter is to prevent small particles from collecting in the ductwork and circulating in your home’s air. If you don’t change the air filter regularly, you can eventually experience these problems:

  • Added strain on your HVAC system
  • Inefficient HVAC system operation
  • Increased risk of breakdowns
  • Higher utility and repair costs
  • Deteriorating indoor air quality
  • Worsened allergy symptoms
  • Greater chance of asthma attacks

What’s the Best Rating for HVAC Air Filter?

Every HVAC air filter has a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating that measures how efficient it is at trapping airborne particles. When shopping for HVAC air filters, consider the following information:

  • MERV 1-4: Less than 20 percent efficient at trapping particles between 3.0 and 10.0 microns in size. Will trap pollen, dust mites, standing dust, spray paint dust and carpet fibers.
  • MERV 5-8: Up to 85 percent efficient at trapping particles between 3.0 and 10.0 microns in size. Will trap biological growth, hair spray, fabric protector and cement dust.
  • MERV 9-12: Up to 89 percent efficient at trapping particles between 1.0 and 3.0 microns in size. Will trap humidifier dust, lead dust, auto emissions and milled flour.
  • MERV 13-16: Up to 95 percent efficient or better at trapping particles between 0.3 and 1.0 microns in size. Will trap bacteria, most tobacco smoke and proplet nuclei.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends an HVAC air filter that has a rating of at least MERV 13.

When Should I Change My HVAC Air Filters?

Selecting a highly rated HVAC air filter is vital to improving efficiency and indoor air quality. Changing your air filter is even more imperative, though. HVAC experts recommend changing your HVAC system’s air filter every 90 days, or at the start of every season. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, change yours every 30 days for relief.

Another way to improve energy efficiency in your home is to schedule regular HVAC maintenance. If you aren’t sure of how to change your HVAC system’s air filter, Cool R Us can do it for you during a preventive maintenance visit. Contact us today at (904) 222-6603 to book your appointment or to learn more about HVAC air filters.

Image provided by Thinkstock

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