Air Filters Are An Easy Way to Better Indoor Air Quality

Posted by admin on February 10, 2015, at 1:20 pm

Henscey Electric and Air Conditioning in DaytonAir filters trap dust particles and pollutants before they enter your living areas.  If you have family members with allergies, asthma or other health issues, the correct air filters can have a big impact on the indoor air quality in your home.

Changing the Air Filter

Clean HVAC air filters are important for a variety of reasons. A clogged filter makes the air handler work harder to move adequate air through the heating and cooling system. This decreases the system’s energy efficiency and can shorten the equipment life. A severely clogged filter can make the air handler work so hard that the fan motor burns out. As the air filter gets clogged with dust, pet hair and small particles, it loses its effectiveness at keeping your indoor air clean.

How Often Should I Change the Filter?

Many HVAC professionals recommend that you change the air filter at least once every three months, but your individual situation might dictate that you do it more often than that. Inspect the filter at least once per month and change it when dust, dirt and other debris has visibly accumulated on the filter.

Higher-efficiency filters will need to be changed more frequently than lower-efficiency filters since they will get clogged faster. If you have pets, the air filter will probably need to be changed more frequently.

Filter Efficiency Ratings

The minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV, of a filter is a measure of the size and percentage of particles that the filter will remove from the air. The MERV scale ranges from 1 to 16, with efficiency increasing as the numbers increase.

  • Inexpensive fiberglass filters have the lowest MERV ratings. These filters trap only the largest particles, such as lint, dust and pet hair. They’re effective at keeping debris from building up on the air handler, but they don’t do much to improve indoor air quality.
  • Disposable pleated filters made from cotton or polyester fall in the middle of the MERV ratings. They remove large debris, as well as smaller particles such as mold spores and dust mites.
  • More expensive electrostatic filters create a static charge as air passes through them that can attract and trap very small particles. These filters have MERV ratings up to 11 and are useful for households with smokers or for families with small children or people with health concerns.
  • High-efficiency HEPA filters are usually used only in places such as hospital surgical units where extreme air filtering is crucial.

Deciding Which Filter Is Best

Your choice of HVAC air filters will depend on your family’s unique circumstances. Lower-MERV filters do an adequate job of preventing debris from building up on the air handler, but higher-MERV filters will remove more of the tobacco smoke and small-particle allergens from compromising the indoor air quality.

There’s an energy efficiency tradeoff involved in choosing an air filter. A higher-MERV filter keeps the air cleaner, but it makes the air handler work harder to maintain proper airflow through the system.

For help choosing the right air filters for your Dayton area home, or for other heating and cooling needs, contact the HVAC professionals at Henscey Electric, Heating & Air Conditioning