Is it time to change your air filter? They get dirty quickly once the heating season begins, and you might be thinking about trying something new. There are tons of air filters on the market, many of which offer significant advantages over the disposable fiberglass filters used in many homes.
Air Filter Basics
Air filters do a simple but important job. They trap particles from the air that passes through your HVAC system, keeping the coils and heat exchangers in air conditioners and furnaces clean. Routinely changing your air filter helps boost the efficiency of your HVAC system and reduces the likelihood of major furnace and air conditioner problems.
Filters also trap a wide range of irritating particles like dust, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander and pollen. Regularly changing your air filter keeps the air you breathe clean, and upgrading to a better filter might allow your system to make the air even cleaner.
Sizes, Shapes and Materials
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the options when you go looking for a new air filter. A lot of different filters are available, and the first thing to consider is size. Simply take the measurements of your old filter and write them down so you can choose a new one that fits your system.
The materials that air filters are made of are equally varied. The most common (and least efficient) filters are made of fibers—usually fiberglass—within a frame. Pleated filters are a better option because they have a greater surface area on which to trap particles. Many pleated filters also have an electrostatic charge that attracts airborne matter.
Some makers of air filters use their own scale to measure efficiency, but nearly all of them are also labelled with Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings. Most filters have a MERV rating between 1 and 12, with higher numbers indicating better efficiency and the ability to trap more and smaller particles.
For more information on how to choose a new air filter, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions Team today. We’ve been serving the Orlando, Florida area since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas 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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