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The Ins And Outs Of Filter Changes

The Ins And Outs Of Filter Changes
The filters in your HVAC system are more important than most people realize, but are sadly often overlooked. Paying for professional maintenance to keep your unit in working condition year-round is only part of a/c care. The simplest and cheapest action you can take today to improve both air quality and efficiency is a filter change, and for this, no professional is needed.
If you find yourself wondering when you need to replace your filter, our brief overview will provide you with the information you need to make the right choice for your air conditioning system.

Filter 101
There are a variety of filters ranging from those that need a monthly change, to durable filters that last 3-5 years with just an occasional washing. HVAC system filters for family homes are most commonly seen in two types: fiberglass filters and pleated filters. Fiberglass filters are the the standard filter type, devoid of all the bells and whistles. They are extremely cheap, disposable, and need to be frequently changed, usually once every month. Pleated filters are more expensive, but have far more effective filtering capabilities for air contaminants that fiberglass filters fail to capture. Pleated filters typically last 3-6 months before needing to be changed. Beyond getting the right size, you should consider your own air quality expectations and willingness to change when choosing between the two.

Filter Rating
While shopping for filters, you may come across the MERV rating. The MERV rating governs the strength and effectiveness of an HVAC filter. A higher value means that the filter will trap more airborne particles, odors, and pollutants. Now before you decide to reach for the filter with the highest MERV rating, be aware that the higher the rating, the more strain it will put on your system. Additionally, many very high rated filters are not suitable for the average home system as they are too restrictive and could lead to blockages which destroy your system. Other rating systems exist, including retailer-specific ratings so be sure to read filter packaging to determine compatibility.

No Hard Line For Changes
Determining when to change a filter is not always as simple as reading the suggested date range. Your specific circumstances can significantly alter when and how often your HVAC filter needs to be replaced. During peak use, especially in larger homes it is never a bad idea to change filters more often. Shedding dogs or cats, dusty pet birds or other animals can cut a filter’s efficiency lifespan down generously. You may also wish for more frequent changes due to family allergies, or local pollution levels.

Protect your HVAC system and improve your air quality by replacing your filters on a regular basis. When combined with professional maintenance you can increase both the energy efficiency and lifespan of your unit. To schedule your annual maintenance appointment, contact East Coast Heating And Air Conditioning.

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