Think You Need a Better Air Filter? Know What to Shop For

Think You Need a Better Air Filter? Know What to Shop ForYour air conditioning system can only deliver peak performance in your South Florida home if all the components are doing the best job they can. You had your annual maintenance tuneup but you’re wondering if there’s anything else you can do to help your A/C work well. Perhaps you noticed that your house could smell fresher, or that allergies are bothering you. Have you thought about the air filter?

Your A/C’s Air Filter May Be the Problem

Achieving fresh air and reducing dust inside your home largely depends on what kind of air filter you’re using, and whether you’re keeping it fresh and clean. With central air conditioning, the air filter is found in the air handler (unless you’re using a furnace blower to deliver and move air). The filter is usually easy to access, though you will need to figure out the size filter required. The size can be found on the old filter, marked on the air handler or furnace, or mentioned in the equipment manual.

Monthly Maintenance

Air filters should be inspected once a month and changed when they look dirty. A clogged filter will impede airflow through your cooling system, forcing it to work harder and leading to dirtier air. Mark your calendar on the day you installed the new filter and inspect it a month later. During the height of our Florida cooling season, expect to change the filter on the same day you inspect it.

Go Shopping

With the filter dimensions in hand, it’s time to go shopping for your air filter. Hardware stores, home improvement outlets and even supermarkets generally carry HVAC filters. Filters usually come with a MERV rating, which stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. For a typical household, an air filter with a mid- to high-range MERV rating is probably your best bet. In the MERV system that runs from 1 to 16, look for a filter between MERV 8 and 12. Any higher than MERV 12, and you may restrict airflow, which can reduce performance and lead to breakdowns.

Energy Audit

If you have purchased a higher-efficiency filter, had your A/C serviced and still think your bills are high or that your system is not working at peak efficiency, you may have system issues that require a professional evaluation or energy audit.

For more information on how you can keep your central air-conditioning unit running at peak performance, please contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning & Heating today. We provide superior A/C services to Treasure Coast communities.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties in Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Bruce-Raynor/Shutterstock”

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