This winter and spring we endured a roller coaster of different temperatures – one week it was chilly, the next freezing, and the next feeling like spring. These constant weather changes truly test the ability of our home furnace systems. With the summer months coming, you can bet that our air conditioners will be put through similar temperature changes.
In order to keep our heating and cooling systems running to their highest efficiency, it is crucial to take care of them.
The easiest way to constantly maintain your heating and cooling systems is to frequently check and change the air filter located next to the air handler of your furnace. The air handler is the large box containing the furnace fan and fan motor.
The main purpose of the air filter is to protect the blower fan from dust, dirt and other gross gunk that the return duct pulls in. If these filters are completely full, then they won’t be able to do their job properly in preventing the dust and gunk from entering the return duct flow. A dirty filter is also one of the main reasons an HVAC system fails. A dirty filter will restrict air flow, which puts strain on your air handler fan motor. Over time this could burn out the motor and cause your system to overheat and eventually fail.
What many people don’t know is that this air filter affects your air conditioner as well. We get calls every spring about air conditioners freezing up. Our first question is always “Have you checked your furnace filter?” Many people don’t understand that if the air filter is too dirty it will restrict air flow to your HVAC system.
Many homes have more than one HVAC system, therefore, it is important to check that each system has a proper air filter at the air handler for the most efficiency.
Now that we know why air filters are so important to your heating and cooling systems, let’s take a look at the different types of filters, and which ones we suggest to use in your home.
We understand how confusing it is to go to your local hardware store and try to figure out which filter is best for cleaning the air in your home most effectively. There are tons of options to choose from so we realize this may be a daunting experience.
When searching for air filters, you should be looking for one that offers the highest efficiency without damaging your HVAC system.
In order to be able to tell if the air filter is right for your air system, you can refer to the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). MERV is an industry standard allowing consumers to be able to compare air filters made by the different manufacturers in the market. Air filters have a rating range between 1-16. The higher the MERV rating the better the filter can remove particles.
Be aware, just because the filter has a rating of 16, this doesn’t mean it’s right for your HVAC system. Filters rating 14-16 may be too robust for home systems and are used in more industrial HVAC systems. We will recommend these filters as long as they are installed in a by-pass system which can keep the air flow in the HVAC system at the required CFM. These systems tend to be installed as a HEPA system with a MERV rating of 16.
Here is our breakdown of how to determine the size of filter you need for your system. It all depends on the installation you currently have. If you have a 1-inch filter, we recommend to replace these four times a year using a filter with the minimum MERV rating of 8. Change them on a seasonal basis, this will make it easier to remember when it was changed last.
If you have a 4 to 5-inch filter, we recommend replacing the filters once a year with a minimum rating of 11. We also have filters with a MERV rating of 13 for main air flow as well. An easy way of remembering when to change this filter next is by marking it with the date it was changed. Check the filter periodically though just in case it needs to be changed earlier.
Click the link below to see an infographic explaining what MERV ratings are and what each level of air filters has the capacity to accomplish.
At Custom Comfort ClimateCare, we want your family to breath clean air in your home. We also want your heating and cooling systems to last as long as possible.
Take our advice and routinely inspect and change your systems air filters. This will help your health, save you money on your energy bills and, save you money in the long term on having to buy a whole new heating or cooling system.
For more information, please contact us and we will be able to help with any questions you may have. If you are in need of a new furnace of air conditioning system, Custom Comfort ClimateCare is here to help!
For over 25 years, Custom Comfort ClimateCare have been a family owned and operated business serving the Barrie & Surrounding Areas. As contributing community members we understand the importance of improving the safety and comfort of your family and home which is why we employ highly skilled licensed gas & air conditioning technicians who want nothing less than your absolute satisfaction. From brand new installations to maintenance and repairs, Custom Comfort is your choice for Heating & Cooling Professionals.