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How’s Your Air Filter Knowledge? There’s More to Know Than Just When to Change It

How's Your Air Filter Knowledge? There's More to Know Than Just When to Change ItSpringtime has taken hold in Glenwood Springs, and it’s time to think about air conditioner maintenance. One of your most important summertime maintenance tasks is making sure your air filter is clean. You probably know that you should check the air filter in your HVAC system monthly and replace it when it’s dirty, but you may not know that doing so will benefit you in three ways. It will:

  • Increase the efficiency of your system to lower your utility bills.
  • Remove pollutants from your indoor air to help you breathe easier.
  • Prevent expensive midsummer breakdowns and extend your system’s life.

Choosing the right filter

Air filters are given a rating on the MERV scale. MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting value, indicates the size and number of particles a filter can trap. Higher MERV ratings translate to higher quality filters.

  • MERV 1-4 are inexpensive, flat fiberglass filters. They provide minimum protection for your system and don’t significantly improve you indoor-air quality.
  • MERV 5-8 are sufficient for most residential needs, removing a larger number of smaller particles than MERV 1-4.
  • MERV 9-12 filters are the best choice for those who suffer from allergies or asthma. They remove more smaller particles than MERV 5-8.

Most residential HVAC systems aren’t designed to accommodate filters above MERV 12, which are typically used in manufacturing operations (MERV 13-16) and in hospitals (MERV 17-20.)

Before upgrading your air filter, check the specs of your system. Higher MERV filters can actually impede airflow to your system and cause damage. It’s essential to balance airflow with air cleaningqualities when you’re choosing a filter.

Wash vs. replace

Washable filters are more expensive than disposable filters but will last up to five years. They require monthly cleaning and aren’t as efficient as disposable filters, especially once they’re dirty.

Replacing your filter
Replace your filter when you can’t see through it. Make sure the filter fits snugly inside the blower compartment for optimum airflow and cleaning.

For more expert advice about your HVAC air filter, contact Climate Control Company. We’ve served northwestern Colorado since 1956.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.     

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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