The air filter in your HVAC system ensures a comfortable home environment for you and your family. The cardboard frame encasing layers of pleated paper, cloth, or spun fiberglass material permits air to flow cleanly and freely while trapping airborne particles, allergens, and microorganisms to improve the air quality in your home.
Cleaner air is one reason to change your HVAC unit’s filter regularly. Another is to ensure the unit runs efficiently. The air filter traps the dirt and contaminants and keeps them from reaching key components like the evaporator coil and fins.
But a dirty air filter can also hinder your HVAC unit’s cooling and heating performance by forcing it to use more energy to operate, and that could cause mechanical damage and run up your energy bill. So again, you’ll want to make sure there’s a clean filter installed on a regular basis.
The air filter is one of your HVAC unit’s most important elements, so you’ll want to be familiar with the filtration options that can improve your air conditioning and heating system’s performance. Here are several that you can discuss with a technician specializing in cooling and heating in Roswell, GA.
When choosing a replacement air filter for your HVAC unit, look at the MERV rating of the product. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value measures the filter’s effectiveness in stopping dust, dirt, debris, and other contaminants from passing through into the air stream. Filters with a MERV rating of 1 to 16 are considered to be HVAC grade for residential and commercial use, and the higher the MERV rating, the better.
Old to New Filters
The HVAC unit in your home likely came with a standard low-efficiency filter to block dirt, debris, and contaminants from the operating parts. This typically is one with a MERV rating of 1 to 6 that’s designed to remove less than 10 percent of particles from the air and is not very effective in improving air quality. This filter is also less effective in trapping microorganisms like mold spores, algae, and bacteria that can grow on HVAC parts over time and cause them to break down, leading to a call to a Roswell, GA, HVAC repair technician.
Your choice of a new HVAC filter should have a MERV range of 7 to 13. You’ll look for a filter made of pleated polyester or cotton, as opposed to fiberglass often found in lower-rated filters. This filter is more effective in removing 30 to 50 percent of particles like pollen, dust mites, textile and carpet fibers, and most allergens down to 1.0 microns in size, 50 times smaller than a human hair.
The most effective and highest rated HVAC filters, those with MERV ratings of 14 to 16, are pretty much designed to stop the smallest particulates. These are used primarily in places like hospitals, commercial buildings, restaurants, and smoking lounges. They are superior in their filtering method, but they also severely restrict airflow from your HVAC unit and are not recommended for residential usage.
High-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filters are the most effective and rate highest in MERV ratings. This pleated mechanical filter can remove at least 99.97 percent of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. Like high-efficiency filters, HEPA filters hinders a considerable amount of your HVAC unit’s airflow and could damage the unit unless a technician trained in HVAC service in Roswell, GA, does modifications.
Replacing your air filter regularly is one task you can do for your home heating and air conditioning unit to maintain good performance. You’ll want to call an HVAC contractor in Roswell, GA, to check your home HVAC unit to ensure it is working at peak efficiency. Call Omega Heating and Air today at 404-438-0353 to arrange for an appointment.