Are you looking for an easy and quick way to improve your energy efficiency and provide a little TLC for your home’s heating and cooling system? Look no further than your air filters. It’s important to check them once a month, and change them as often, if necessary, or at least every two months. If they are covered with dust, or you can see visible clogs when you hold them up to a light, it’s time to clean or change them.
Your air filters may be the least expensive part for your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment, but they’re one of the most important. Your system’s air handler requires a specific amount of air flowing through it to perform at the manufacturer’s specifications for energy efficiency. When you have clean filters, you’ll:
- Lower your energy bills. When air filters are dirty, there’s more resistance to air flowing through the filter, which slows air distribution throughout your home and makes your HVAC work harder and longer to reach your desired temperature. This drives up your energy bills.
- Experience fewer maintenance problems. Systems that run longer tend to wear faster. If you have a gas furnace, dirty filters can cause the heat exchanger to crack, since the airflow is slower. The exchanger stays hot longer, which weakens the metal and eventually lets carbon monoxide leak into your living area. This is dangerous, and by law, your utility company can shut down power to your furnace until you replace the part or the whole furnace.
- Breathe cleaner indoor air. Replacing or cleaning the filters removes all the airborne particulates that the filter trapped, improving indoor air quality.
Filters carry a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating that describes the minimum particle size that they trap. The scale runs from 0 to 16 for residential purposes, and higher numbers indicate better filtration. Not all air handlers can accommodate a filter with a MERV as high as 16, so before selecting a denser filter, either check your system’s owner’s manual or contact an HVAC contractor. Denser filters can slow the airflow as much as dirty filters. The fiberglass filters commonly found in stores have a MERV from 1 to 4, while the pleated filters from 5 to 8.
If you’d like to learn the best air filters for your HVAC system, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We’ve provided expert HVAC services in Central Florida 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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