A Clean Air Filter Can Give Your A/C an Efficiency Boost

by Greg Leisgang on August 28, 2013

Posted in: Indoor Air Quality

air filter detail-clean air filter-Cincinnati, OhioOne of the most important yet frequently overlooked steps to ensure the economy, efficiency and longevity of your home's HVAC system is conducting proper air filter maintenance. Making sure that you regularly provide a correctly sized, clean air filter for your heating and cooling equipment will go a long way toward boosting your system's effectiveness, as well as maintaining your home's indoor air quality.

Your HVAC system's air filter should be inspected monthly and replaced when visibly dirty, typically at a two- or three-month interval. Running your equipment without a relatively clean air filter will contribute to the following:

  • Airflow restriction, causing the fan motor to work harder than it should and consuming more energy
  • Reduced air quality in your living space, leading to an unhealthy environment, especially for allergy or asthma sufferers
  • Dirt buildup on system equipment and inside air ducts, causing premature equipment wear and a need for more system maintenance and cleaning

Changing air filters is an easy DIY job and should be made a part of a regular, ongoing household maintenance routine. Newly installed HVAC equipment often comes equipped with low-efficiency filters carrying minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings of 4 or less. MERV, which is a numerical rating system indicating an air filter's efficiency at trapping different sized airborne particles, runs from 1 to 16 for household HVAC systems. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter will be at trapping smaller sized particulates. Higher numbers, however, also mean progressively more airflow restriction placed on the system and a more frequent need to replace the filters.

For most homes, a filter with a MERV rating of between 8 and 11 strikes an ideal balance for efficiency, sufficient airflow and cost. Your HVAC service provider should be able to help you determine which filter is best for your system. 

For more information about the importance of a clean air filter in your greater Cincinnati home, contact the pros at Tri-County Heating & Cooling. For more than 40 years, we've serviced the home comfort needs of Ohio homeowners.

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