Your HVAC system’s air filter is essential for maintaining your home’s indoor air quality. Without it, you’re breathing in a host of allergens and contaminants, from dust mites and mold to bacteria and mildew. Unfortunately, many homeowners tend to neglect their filters, letting them clog up. This not only increases air pollution, it can also restrict airflow and put undue strain on your system, shortening its lifespan. In order to avoid these issues, your system needs regular air filter replacement.
Choosing an Air Filter
How do you know what kind of filter to install? To find out, you need to look at the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. This tells you what percentage of particles a filter can remove from your air, as well as how small the particles can be. Since smaller particles are more harmful to your health, this is important to know.
A MERV rating between 9 and 12 is ideal for the average home. It can remove around 45 percent of contaminants, including milled flour and auto emissions. Any filter rated higher than that might be too thick to function without restricting airflow and damaging your system. If you want better filtration, you’ll need a separate air purifier that can handle higher-rated filters.
Replacing Your Air Filter
How often you need an air filter replacement depends on the quality of your filter, as well as your family’s lifestyle. For instance, if you have pets in your home, or if someone in your family smokes, you’ll need to replace it more often. As a general rule, check your filter once a month. If it’s white and translucent, you can leave it as is. But if it’s dark grey and opaque, it needs to be replaced. Replace your filter at least every three months.
To replace your filter, find where it’s located in your system and remove the cover. Slide the old one out, and then slide the new one in, following the instructions on the filter to make sure it goes in correctly. Then, replace the cover.
For more advice on air filter replacement and raising your indoor air quality, call Powers Heating & Air in Peachtree City today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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