HVAC furnace filters are essential to the performance of your furnace, air conditioner, or other HVAC system. The filter helps your HVAC system achieve efficient heating and cooling while controlling contaminant levels to improve indoor air quality. Here are three things you should know about furnace filters to protect your heating and cooling system and get the most out of your filter.
What HVAC Furnace Filters Do
The HVAC furnace filter filters air as it flows through your forced air heating and cooling system. Installed in a compartment on the return or supply plenum of your HVAC system, the filter removes contaminants as your system circulates conditioned air through your home.
The HVAC furnace filter serves two purposes: to protect your equipment from contaminants, and to remove contaminants from the air you breathe. The filter removes contaminants so they do not build up on the HVAC system or furnace’s blower motor – dust and dirt can collect in the blower, reducing efficiency and causing breakdowns. While it keeps your equipment clean, it also prevents these contaminants from affecting you indoors. Dust, mold, and other allergens cause a range of health effects when you breathe them indoors – a quality filter will improve air quality and help you breathe easier.
MERV Ratings Matter
MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, and is the measure of an HVAC furnace filter’s effectiveness. Higher MERV ratings mean the filter is more efficient at catching airborne contaminants, providing finer filtration.
For homes, HVAC furnace filters with MERV ratings between 8 and 13 offer great contaminant control. While filters do come in higher MERV ratings, these are not good options for residential environments – too much filtration can actually restrict airflow through your HVAC system, causing overheating, uneven heating and cooling, and a number of other problems.
Filter Change Frequency
As the HVAC furnace filter collects contaminants, it becomes clogged. A clogged air filter is not effective at removing more pollutants, so your furnace and HVAC system will collect dust and debris, and you’ll be exposed to more contaminants indoors. A clogged HVAC furnace filter restricts airflow through the furnace or air conditioning system, and will prevent the HVAC system from heating and cooling your home efficiently. Airflow problems caused by a blocked filter increase stress on the system, causing it to use more energy. Dirty filters increase energy costs, prevent effective heating and cooling, and cause HVAC system breakdowns.
Your HVAC furnace filter needs to be changed on a regular basis. Most high-efficiency filters should be changed every three to six months. Standard 1-inch disposable filters with low MERV ratings should be replaced monthly. During periods of heavy heating and cooling system use, such as at the peak of summer or winter, your HVAC furnace filter may become clogged more quickly and should be checked monthly to determine if it should be changed sooner.
Gainesville Mechanical offers high-quality HVAC furnace filters to protect your home’s HVAC system. Help your furnace and air conditioner achieve efficient heating and cooling with high-efficiency HVAC furnace filters. Contact us today to learn more.