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As a homeowner in Rockwall, TX, you may already be aware that cleaning and regularly replacing your HVAC’s air filter is vital for maintaining energy efficiency. A clean air filter is also crucial for indoor air quality and ensuring your AC lasts for its intended lifespan. Without an effective filter, you may find yourself calling for more frequent air conditioner repair services.
However, if you’re shopping for new HVAC filters, you’ll soon discover there’s a wide variety of filters on the market. Filters come in different sizes, and while most HVAC systems will use 1-inch thick filters, there are HVAC systems that require ones of a different thickness. Air filters are also rated differently, depending on their energy efficiency, using a MERV rating. If you’re looking to improve overall energy efficiency, you may want to pick an air filter with a higher rating.
Beware, installing an incorrect air filter can result in air conditioner repair, as some air filters are only appropriate for commercial or industrial settings. You will need to replace an incorrectly sized air filter more frequently, especially if your HVAC doesn’t have enough suction power to blow through denser filters. The build-up of lint, dust and other debris can cause blockages and even electrical shorts.
What’s best for your Rockwall, TX home’s HVAC depends on various factors, including size, make, and model, as well as its MERV rating. To find the right air filter, you’ll need to do some research. You can ask your HVAC technician’s advice on air filters during an air conditioner service.
But first, what’s a MERV rating, and which rating is appropriate?
A MERV rating is the minimum efficiency reporting value and gives you clues on how well your chosen air filter performs in terms of energy efficiency. The rating dictates how effectively an air filter can deal with airborne particles up to a particular size. As you’d expect, the higher the rating, the better its performance at removing small airborne pollutants.
One factor to be mindful of is that not all MERV values are suitable for residential HVAC systems. Your Rockwall, TX home will typically only be able to use air filters with a MERV rating between 1 and 13. The MERV scale goes up to 20, but air filters rated 17 or above are only suitable for commercial buildings or specific use cases, and filters with 14-16 MERV values are usually only compatible with residential air cleaners used in conjunction with home HVAC systems.
An air filter with a MERV rating that’s too high for your particular HVAC can restrict airflow, cause damage, and lead to air conditioner repair. However, an air filter with a suitable MERV rating can provide better contaminant control, improve air quality, and provide better protection for your HVAC. Typically, new HVAC systems that use forced air mechanisms come with standard 1-inch disposable filters of a low rating between 1 and 4.
You may want to consider installing a filter with a higher MERV rating to improve your new system’s efficiency right off the bat. MERV rating aside, there are many filter types to choose from, including:
- Fiberglass filters
- Pleated filters
- Washable filters
- Electrostatic filters
- UV filters
- HEPA filters
Type #1: Fiberglass Filters
Fiberglass filters are disposable, affordable, and usually have MERV ratings on the lower end of the scale. They can adequately protect HVACs from needing frequent air conditioner repair, but they are less effective at screening dust than other filters. While they are the most budget-friendly filter option, fiberglass air filters also need replacing more frequently than other types.
Type #2: Pleated Filters
In pleated filters, cotton or polyester fiber effectively traps contaminants that travel through your HVAC system. The folded pleat design offers more surface area for filtration and, as a result, has a longer lifespan than fiberglass filters. They’re a little more expensive, but they do have higher MERV ratings than some other filters.
Type #3: Washable Filters
Eco-conscious folks may want to spring for a washable filter. Some are even machine washable. If treated correctly, washable filters can easily last for years, and they can be much more environmentally (and wallet!) friendly than disposable counterparts. Their MERV ratings often vary between 6-11, and with a variety of washable air filter sizes available, you’ll likely find one that correctly fits your home’s HVAC system.
Type #4: Electrostatic Filters
Filters that use an electrostatic charge are available in both disposable and washable varieties. While they sometimes have trouble capturing large dust particles and mold spores, electrostatic filters can help capture smaller particles and prevent them from circulating throughout your home. Incorrectly maintained electrostatic filters can result in air conditioner repair, so you must keep to the maintenance schedule appropriate for your filter type.
Type #5: UV Filters
As the name suggests, UV filters use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses. While they are less efficient at dust screening than other filter types, they are excellent for reducing the presence of dangerous microorganisms.
Type #6: HEPA Filters
Another excellent choice if you’re looking for an air filter with improved health benefits is a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. People prone to allergies or respiratory conditions may benefit from these especially, as they are recommended by the US Department of Energy and can effectively screen up to 99.97% of airborne contaminants.
When and How To Replace Air Filters
When to replace your air filter depends on its condition and type. Disposable, low-rated air filters may require replacement as often as once per month, while more permanent air filters may need replacing less often. Neglecting air filter replacement duties will often lead to more extensive air conditioner repair, as blockages can cause overheating and other undesirable symptoms.
Call the friendly HVAC technicians at K&S Heating & Air if you need an air conditioner repair service due to faulty, incorrectly fitted, or clogged filters. Our air conditioner repair service can fix or repair all central AC components. Our technicians can also assist with duct and vent repairs, centralized air cleaner maintenance and repairs, and centralized humidifiers and dehumidifier installations. To request air conditioner repair, you can also request an appointment online. For an immediate response, call us! We’re available 24/7!