Air filters are a small, but important cog in the HVAC wheel. Find out more about what they do, what types there are and how their quality is determined. Make sure you also read up on why maintenance is crucial for your air conditioning Temecula (or any other San Diego are you live in).
What do AC air filters do?
AC air filters are your first line of defense when it comes to ensuring your indoor air quality. They clean the air that flows through your heating and cooling system by trapping dirt, dust, debris and other airborne particles. They also can also remove pollen, mold and spores, fibers, lint and dander, metal, plaster or wood particles and microorganisms such as bacteria.
Are all AC air filters the same?
No, not all AC filters are created the same. There are three most common types of air filters. These are: mechanic, pleated and electronic.
Mechanic filters are the most widely used because they’re economical. Mechanical filters are very simple – they trap particles in the synthetic fibers they contain. They come in 1-inch and 2-inch size, which denotes their thickness. They trap only the largest particles, which means they serve more as protection for the system, rather than a tool for cleaning the air from pollutants. They are also not very durable, and regular cleaning damages their mesh, so they have to replaced more often than some other filter types.
Pleated air filters also use synthetic fibers and paper to trap dust, but they are significantly thicker per square inch than the conventional mechanic filters. They can remove up to 40% of air contaminants.
Electronic AC air filters are the most sophisticated and efficient air filters in the market. They use electricity to attract contaminants, so they can clean the air from smoke, mold and pet odors. In addition to being the most effective in air filtration, these filters are also the most durable type. Electrostatic filters are very similar to them, except that they charge the air in order to attract particulates.
What are MERV ratings?
MERV ratings are a scale that runs from 1 to 16. Air filters are given MERV ratings as indicators of their efficiency and quality. The higher the number on this scale, the better the quality. MERV is short for minimum efficiency reporting value.
This is a rough representation on what you can expect from different MERV ratings.
MERV 1 – 4: These are basic, low-cost filters that serve more as system protection than a thorough air filtration system.
MERV 5 – 8: This category is better at filtering the air and it’s commonly found in residential contexts.
MERV 9 – 12: These filters can be classified as high quality, as they can trap very small particles.
MERV 13 – 16: These are the best quality filters that can remove particles as small as 0.3 microns.
There are filters beyond MERV 16 rating, but they can prove to be obstructive to air flow, so you have to make sure your HVAC system can support such a high rating.
When to change AC air filter?
Depending on the type of filter and the conditions in your home you should change your filters once every month or every three months. However, in some circumstances it may be advisable that you change them every two weeks! In any case, you should check your air filters once a month to see how dirty they are and to look for signs of dampness, moisture or mold. Find out more information in our post specifically dedicated to this matter. You may also be interested in reading about why regular cleaning and replacement of air filters is important.
Air conditioning Temecula experts – here to improve your home’s comfort!
Action AC is an industry-leading local provider of a full range of HVAC-related services. You can rely on us for HVAC installation, repair and maintenance. We offer you regular system check-ups and can also help you set up a whole house filtration system if air quality is your major concern. You can depend our experience that counts over 4 decades and a stellar, hard-earned reputation for a top-notch local HVAC company. Pick up the phone and call us today to make an appointment. We are here for you!