What type of air filter should I buy?
The most important piece of maintenance that a homeowner can do for their air conditioning system is to regularly change your air filters. If you have been to your local hardware store, you have seen the large amount of very different air filters available for purchase. The question now becomes, which air filter is best for me?
The answer to that question is going to vary. Do you have a lot of pets in the home? Kids? Maybe you live in a construction area with lots of dust present in the air. There are many factors that go into choosing the right type of filter. We have a general guideline that we like to follow when choosing the right type of air filter.
- Do not use reusable/washable filters. These types of filters are sold as a more convenient option to buying throwaway filters because “all it takes is to wash them”. In theory, this may be the case. In reality, the washable filters can cause more harm then good. To wash these filters correctly, you need to buy solutions that may contain harmful chemicals. Along with that, these filters need to be completely dry before being put back in the system, and if not completely dry these filters collect bacteria and fungus that is then released into your home. These filters also make it harder for air to pass through the system, creating more work for your system.
- Do use a disposable air filter. These are the types that you can find at your local hardware store. You will want to look at the MERV rating for these filters and choose one that is between 8-11. Anything higher than this is more than likely overkill and not needed for residential use. If you have an older system, an air filter with a very high MERV rating can restrict the flow of air enough that it can overwork your older system. More importantly than the rating is to regularly replace these filters. If you decide to use a cheaper fiberglass filter, you should consider replacing the filter monthly if you have pets or children in the house.
We cannot state it enough, make sure you regularly change your air filters. Not only will this keep the air you breath cleaner and reduce allergens and dust in the air, it will keep dust and dirt from building up in your air conditioning system that can decrease efficiency and damage your system.
Looking for a way to save some money on air filters? Check out our Sharp Air Maintenance Program. Along with having regularly scheduled maintenance, we provide you with a full years supply of air filters. Give us a call to find out more!