Increasing your knowledge about air filters may not help you win a round of Trivial Pursuit, but it can help you save money by extending the life of your heating and cooling system. It pays to have a basic understanding of how to choose the best air filter for your system and how to maintain them for the best indoor air quality possible.
All about MERV
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, is the industry standard for rating the efficiency of your air filters. For residential purposes, the scale ranges from 1 (least efficient) to 16 (most efficient). Anything above MERV 16 is probably over-kill for a residential unit because it will decrease the airflow to your HVAC unit. A filter with a rating between 8 and 11 should remove the majority of particles and improve your indoor air quality significantly.
When to change the filter
Changing your filter on a regular basis is very important. Neglecting to change your filter will lead to ineffective filtration, poor air flow and possible mechanical failures due to particles entering your system. If you use a standard one-inch filter, you should probably change it every two to three months. Large filters can sometimes last up to a year before needing to be changed. If the filter looks dirty, change it. Trying to save money by holding out for an extra month or two can be costly in the long run.
Can I clean my filter?
While it may seem responsible to try to wash or vacuum your air filters to make them last longer, this strategy isn’t recommended. Washing filters compromises the integrity of the filter’s fibers, and introducing moisture creates a breeding ground for mold and mildew which is now going to be circulating through your air ducts.
Our technicians at Wolff Mechanical have been providing dependable service to Central Arizona for more than 22 years. Whether you need to replace your filters or you are looking to upgrade to a higher quality filter, we will find the best product to suit your needs. Let us help you improve your air filters IQ.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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