Is it time to replace the air filter in your HVAC unit? Regular air filter replacement is important to keep your heating and cooling system running efficiently. A clogged filter can cause your HVAC to become over-worked and allow pollutants to circulate into your home. Higher energy costs may also result. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV is the rating system used for air filters.
Here are some common air filter types that are available for home HVAC systems.
- Fiberglass air filters – The flat-panel construction of fiberglass air filters will protect your HVAC system from large dust and lint particles, but is weak at improving indoor air quality. Small pollutants are able to enter your indoor air circulation. These filters are disposable and inexpensive. The MERV 1-4 rating is very low.
- Pleated and polyester air filters – The pleated design with folds provide more surface area for filtration – giving this filter superior ability to trap pollutants. A variety of pleated air filters are available for different applications. A carbon-infused version is also available for the removal of odors. These filters have a high MERV 6-12 efficiency rating and offer an effective fusing of air quality control and airflow maintenance.
- Washable air filters – As the name implies, this is a reusable air filter. Regular maintenance is required to keep the efficiency level acceptable. Because of the nature of this filter, fungus can collect on the filter material. Washable filters have a low MERV rating of 1-4.
- High-efficiency air filters – This filter uses dense filtration material, sometimes stacked in a box-like frame and is very effective at removing airborne particulates. Homeowners who use these very high rated MERV 13-16 air filters usually have special air quality concerns. A high-end filter also may require system modifications to accommodate its greater width and tendency to restrict airflow.
Please contact Around the Clock Air Conditioning and Heating with any concerns about HVAC air filters or other home comfort issues. We have been proudly serving Los Angeles and Ventura counties since 1967.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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