When you think about how important your HVAC unit is to your comfort, you may not immediately think of one of the most crucial components — the AC filter. This often-overlooked piece of equipment plays an invaluable role in keeping your indoor air as clean as possible and protected from harmful particles, dirt, and debris. Read on to learn more about AC filters and how to make sure they’re working properly to keep you and your guests breathing easy.
What Are AC Air Filters?
AC air filters are the part of your HVAC unit that do exactly that — they filter harmful particulates, pollutants, allergens, and debris from the air using a porous structure that prevents these particles from passing through. The result is clean air for you and your family to breathe.
AC air filters effectively filter out the following particulates, to name just a few.
- Pet dander
- Dead skin
If you or anyone in your family has a weakened immune system or is prone to respiratory diseases such as asthma, functional AC air filters are essential.
AC Air Filter Efficiency
AC air filter efficiency is measured by the filter’s Minimum Efficiency Rating Values (MERV), the system used by the Environmental Protection Agency. A filter’s MERV rating is a number that goes from 1-16 — the higher the MERV rating, the larger the particle the filter can trap.
Most residential HVAC units use filters with MERV ratings of 1-4, with 6-8 being ideal. One thing to note about AC filters with high MERV ratings is that they can hinder airflow, which reduces the efficiency of your HVAC unit.
The following are some of the most commonly used AC air filters.
- Fiberglass (1-4 MERV). This type is the most commonly used due to its low cost and disposability. However, they require frequent replacement.
- High-Efficiency Particulate Air (17+ MERV). HEPA filters are highly effective at removing at least 99.97% of airborne particles, including dust, mold, bacteria, and pollen.
- Pleated (5+). This type has a larger surface area and can capture smaller particles than unpleated.
How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?
A dirty air filter doesn’t just make your air dirtier — it can also affect your HVAC’s efficiency, resulting in a higher energy bill. But, how often should you change out your AC air filter? If your home has a smaller, less-efficient filter, the rule of thumb is change it every three months. For highly efficient filters, like the ones our team installs, you’ll only need to replace 1-2 times a year!
Breathe Cleaner and Easier With Comfort Temp
Your home’s air must be clean for the sake of your health. At Comfort Temp, we are proud to provide high-quality indoor air quality products that help you and your family enjoy the purest air possible. In addition to AC air filters, we offer purifiers, germicidal lights, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and ventilators.
Our experienced HVAC technicians can thoroughly inspect your HVAC unit and recommend the best products and HVAC unit for your home. Then, we are there for you after installation with our routine maintenance, repair services, and 24/7 emergency assistance. For the peace of mind that comes from partnering with a trusted HVAC company that has helped our community’s homeowners stay comfortable for over 3 decades, contact us today.