Longer days and milder weather signal the arrival of spring, that transitional season when it’s common to rely on both your heater and your air conditioner to keep your home comfortable as outdoor temperatures fluctuate. It’s also the time of year when an increase in pollen counts can exacerbate springtime allergies. Air filters play a significant role in reducing the number of allergens that enter your home. Here’s what you need to know when choosing a new air filter for your cooling and heating systems.
How Are Air Filters Rated?
The efficacy of whole-house filters is generally determined by its numeric value on the MERV scale, an acronym that stand for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This industry-wide rating system is based on the percentage of particulates sized from 0.3 to 10 microns that the product can filter out. To give you an idea of how small a micron is, the period that punctuates the end of this sentence is 500 microns.
Types of Air Filters
Because air filters can affect system air flow, it’s important to take advantage of the expertise of qualified HVAC technicians to ensure that a new filter delivers the desired amount of air filtration without resulting in the need for an air conditioning repair. A broad selection of filter types ensures the ideal choice for your home.
- Flat Air Filters. Also called panel filters, fiberglass flat filters are the most common type of air filters. With MERV ratings between one and four, they’re designed to protect the system’s equipment from the accumulation of dust and debris rather than to improve indoor air quality.
- Pleated Filters. Filters with a five to 13 MERV rating include pleated filters that are made in the same sizes as flat filters but with compacted materials. The best are electrostatically charged so that they can attract common allergens like pet dander and pollen.
- Extended Media Filters. Media filters are housed in a box-like unit that contains filtration materials assembled something like an accordion. Installing these filters typically requires a modification to the ductwork air distribution system.
- Electronic Filters. Also requiring modification to existing ductwork, these filters are wired to allow an electrical current to pass through them. An electrically charged collector plate then collects the filtered particulates. Although these filters never need replacing, the plates must be cleaned during regularly scheduled air conditioner maintenance visits.
Ensuring that your system’s air filter is clean enhances the system’s energy efficiency, saving you money on your monthly energy bills. as well. Because air filters also affect your HVAC system’s air flow, it’s critical to choose a filter that won’t impair the system’s performance. The experts at Meyer’s Heating & Cooling in Griffith can help. Contact us today to schedule air conditioning service and to discover how the right air filter can help you breathe a bit easier.