Air conditioners play a crucial role in homes as they help ensure that indoor temperatures and air quality remain favorable all year round. Considering that ACs contribute a lot to healthier living, it is vital to ensure that your AC is checked and serviced often to guarantee proper functionality.
When it comes to HVAC systems, the air filter is one component that requires attention considering that its function is to guarantee air quality by filtering pollutants like dust and other things. It, therefore, goes without saying that filters will trap harmful bacteria and accumulate dirt over time and will end up getting clogged. When that happens, it is advisable that you replace or have your filter replaced.
Here’s a look at what you need to know about AC filters.
Types of AC Filters
Fiberglass Filters – Fiberglass filters are the most commonly used filters. These throwaway filters are made by overlaying fiberglass fibers over each other to create the filter media. This media is typically reinforced with metal gratings that support the fiberglass to prevent it from collapsing or failing.
Pleated and Polyester Filters – These are very much similar to fiberglass filters but with a much higher airflow resistance and better dust-stopping capability.
HEPA or High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance Filters – HEPA filters filter air passing through them at a much finer scale and can filter up to 99.9% of particles larger than .3 microns.
Washable Air Filters – Washable filters aren’t that common but are quite efficient. These filters rely on a cloth to trap dust, improving the filter’s efficiency. This type of filter is commonly used in industrial settings where there are high volumes of coarse dust.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)
AC filtration standards are defined by IAQ standards which promote the adoption of MERV or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value systems to standardize the definitions of efficiencies. MERV measures a filter’s dust-spot efficiency and its ability to remove airborne particles from the air and assigns it a number based on its ability to remove these particles.
An AC’s MERV rating indicates its filtering capacity, which ranges from 1-12 – the higher the number, the better the AC’s filtration attributes. However, it is worth noting that ACs with high MERV ratings consumer more energy as compared to their counterparts. If you aren’t sure of what to go for, then consider consulting a professional AC specialist for advice.
As filters are constantly sieving the air flowing into your home, they will require frequent replacement – more often than most of the components found in the AC system. It is, therefore, advisable that you take the time to check the status of your filters every couple of weeks or months depending on whether you own pets, live in the city or somewhere quite dusty and so forth.
When it comes to replacing filters, you will be glad to know that this is one task that you can do on your own with a little knowledge and the necessary tools. However, it is advisable that you have an AC specialist replace one for you. Nevertheless, if you can do it and know the kind and size of filter that is needed to replace the old one, then go for it.
For more on AC air filters, consider consulting an AC specialist for advice, help, and guidance.