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Air Filter FAQ

It’s a simple enough thing: replace the filter in your central air unit regularly to ensure optimal performance and efficiency. However, there are a lot of questions about this basic task.

We’re answering them all here so that you can better understand the critical role your filter plays in your indoor air quality and performance of your HVAC system.

How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?

This depends on a number of factors, including the following:

• The amount of dust in your indoor air

• The presence of pets or smokers in your home

• The appearance of your filter when checked

In general, you should change your filter at least once every three months during temperate weather. You may require more frequent air filter changes during the summer months when your cooling system is in demand or if your filter routinely becomes dirty before three months have elapsed.

How can you tell it’s dirty? Remove the filter and hold it up to a light. If you can’t see any light through the fabric, it’s dirty.

What is a MERV Rating?

Air filters are rated using a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, more commonly referred to as MERV. MERV ratings indicate the efficiency with which a filter traps airborne particles. Higher MERV ratings indicate a more efficient filter and cleaner indoor air for you and your family.

What are the Different Types of Filters?

Air filters for your HVAC system are available in a number of different materials and configurations:

  • Fiberglass and synthetic filters are inexpensive and disposable. These filters are primarily meant to protect the inner workings of your HVAC system from dust and debris. They do very little to protect your indoor air quality.

  • Polyester air filters trap up to 95 percent of particulates and offer superior durability compared with fiberglass options.

  • Electrostatic filters are available in disposable or washable versions. These air filters are somewhat more expensive and are designed to improve your indoor air quality.

  • High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are used in many hospitals and facilities that require optimal air quality. These filters are not best suited to most homes, however, as they restrict airflow to a significant degree.

What Type of Filter Should I Use?

Your local heating and cooling company is the best source of recommendations regarding the best air filter for your home. These professional technicians can evaluate the airflow requirements of your current HVAC system to provide the most accurate information on the best air filter for you.

The experts at Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling can provide you with air filter recommendations, heating and air conditioning repairs, and replacement and indoor air quality solutions in the Grimes area. Visit us online or give us a call today at (515) 305-2955 to schedule a service or to request an estimate from us. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.