Air Filters: Change Them and Change Them Often

Make sure you are changing your furnace filter often in order to ensure your furnace functions efficiently.

When was the last time you replaced the air filter of your furnace? Chances are, you haven’t been changing it as often as you need to. Dirty filters absolutely kill your air conditioners efficiency.

Filters are there to keep the components inside the blower clean. As dust and dirt build up, the airflow slows down. This makes it more difficult and more expensive to cool your home, but it’s easy and inexpensive to avoid this problem. Simply replace your air filter on a regular basis.

Change it often

While there is no hard-and-fast rule on how often you should replace your air filter, we generally suggest once a month during the cooling season. If you have pets that shed or have been doing any home renovations check your filter more often.

Size matters

Size is critical! There are tons of different sizes of filters that you can purchase, but you want to make sure your filter fills the whole frame. Your air conditioner unit pulls air from wherever it can get it, so if the air filter in your furnace doesn’t fit perfectly in the frame, you will be bringing in unfiltered air that can cause damage to your ac.

The quickest way to find the right size is by pulling out the old filter and measuring it. If you still have your owner’s manual, you should also be able to find the manufacturer’s specifications for your air conditioner.

Understanding MERV ratings

Once you have the right size of air filter, you want to choose the best MERV rating for your unit.

The MERV rating is the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value. It’s a measurement for how effective an air filter is at catching dust, dirt and allergen particles. Basically, the higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles that the filter traps and the better filtration it offers.

Home ac units have MERV ratings ranging from one to 16, but we generally recommend a MERV value of five to eight, as some of the higher rated filters can restrict too much air flow causing air conditioning units to freeze up and systems to run inefficiently.  Check your owner’s manual to find out the recommended maximum rating for your specific air conditioner.

Do you have more questions about choosing and changing your air filter? Contact us at Vigor Heating. We’re here to help.