merv-filter18Air filters trap airborne debris in your HVAC system to help protect indoor air quality. Over time, the debris can clog up the filter, impacting the efficiency of your overall system. Replacing that filter is the key to maintaining efficiency for your cooling or heating equipment.

Types of Filters

Most disposable air filters are made from paper or fiberglass that traps airborne debris. Some models are electrostatic, which means they can be washed and re-used. While all filters have the same basic design, they vary in size and efficiency. When shopping for one to replace your current filter, be certain that you check with your HVAC professional to know which type to use.

Tips for Air Filter Replacement

Replacing the air filter is not difficult in most furnace and air handler models. Simply slide out the old one, paying attention to the direction of flow, and slide in the new one in the same direction. If you are using an electrostatic filter, slide the filter out, wash it well, and slide it back in facing the same direction. To change the filter, remember these tips:

  • Turn off the unit
  • Only use undamaged filters
  • Watch for gaps around filter frame, which indicates the wrong size
  • Clean residual dust with a rag
  • Turn on the unit and make sure the filter stays in place
  • Write down the date so you can replace as needed.

The key to maintaining efficiency in your HVAC system is regular air filter replacement. In most cases, inspecting your filter once a month, and changing as needed, will help maintain efficiency. However, for most filters, you don’t want to let it go more than three months before switching it out.

What Type to Choose

After you’ve spoken with your HVAC technician, you will know the basic size and shape of filter you need. To maintain efficiency, look for an air filter replacement that has a MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) between 7 and 12, which is a good mid-to-high efficiency level for residential furnaces. However, be aware that higher-end MERV ratings may impeded airflow, making your equipment work harder than it’s designed to operate. A MERV filter in the 13-16 range may require serious system modifications to work with your equipment. Low MERV ratings, on the other hand, may not adequately filter the air.

If you have further questions about air filter replacement, please contact us at Davis Air Conditioning & Heating, your source for Houston area HVAC services.

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