The air filters inside your HVAC system can easily be forgotten. They’re hidden away, quietly doing their job to help your home stay at the temperature you want, but they’re actually a really important part of this system. A dirty or blocked air filter can impact the efficiency of your AC, so it’s not something you can forget about. Here is a quick guide to air filters and how to look after yours.

Different types of air filters

If you’ve ever shopped for replacement air filters, then you’ll know that it’s not as easy as it sounds. There are a variety of different types and sizes of air filters on offer, so how do you know which one to choose. The first think to check is the size of filter you need. Your HVAC system will come with an air filter already fitted. When you first change this filter, it is important to check the size of it, which should be printed on the frame of the air filter. Now you know what size you’ll need to buy in the future.

The next thing to note is the filter’s MERV rating. This stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and indicates the level of filtration offered by each product. MERV ratings range from 1-16, with the higher numbers more capable of trapping small particles. If you have allergies or a respiratory condition such as asthma, then a higher MERV rating would be recommended. Materials differ along this scale, from fiberglass to cotton and polyester.

How often should you replace your air filter?

Your air filter’s job is to remove the dust and other particles from the air in your home. This means that it is collecting these particles every time the air flows past it into and out of your home, also keeping pollutants out of the system as well as your home. As they build up, air will not be able to flow through as easily, which is why your filter needs changing on a regular basis.

HVAC companies advise a maximum of three months before changing your air filter. If you are using your AC a lot, in summer for example, then it will likely need changing sooner than this. It is a good idea to check your filter each month to see if it needs changing. Changing it too infrequently can lead to higher energy bills, more polluted air in your home, and more frequent breakdowns and maintenance needs for the system.

If you need help locating or changing your air filter, or determining which type and size of air filter you need, then get in touch. We are happy to help. We also offer maintenance for HVAC systems around the Piedmont Triad, including Winston Salem, Clemmons, Lewisville, and Advance.