Sarasota’s cooling season is long and hot, and you rely on your cooling system to keep you comfortable all summer long. There are two major factors that greatly affect the efficiency of your air conditioning over the course of the summer. The first is annual preventive maintenance, which will improve system efficiency, extend its life and lower your energy bills. The second factor is air filter replacement, which is a very simple DIY task.
Why Replace the Air Filter?
The air filter in your air conditioner or heat pump serves two essential purposes:
- It removes harmful particles from your home’s air, improving indoor air quality to help you breathe easier, ease existing respiratory conditions, and help prevent them later on.
- It protects the interior of your cooling system (and in the winter, your heating system) from dust buildup on essential components, which can hasten their premature failure.
A dirty air filter restricts airflow, possibly resulting in your system overheating and causing serious damage to components. In fact, a dirty filter is one of the most common causes of HVAC problems, and regular air filter replacement is one of the best ways to extend the life and maintain the efficiency of your system.
Choosing the Right Filter
MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting value, is an industry standard for measuring the effectiveness of an air filter. The scale ranges from 1 to 20, but filters rated above 12 generally won’t work in a residential system without serious system modifications.
Avoid MERV 1 to 4 filters, which only minimally protect your system and do little to clean indoor air. MERV 5 to 8 filters are adequate for most residential air quality needs, although if anyone in your household suffers from any kind of respiratory problem, MERV 9 to 12 filters will help alleviate symptoms.
When Should You Replace an Air Filter?
Check the air filter every month. If you can’t see the filter material behind the dust, replace it with a clean one.
For more expert advice about air filter replacement, please contact us in the Sarasota and Bradenton area at Aqua Plumbing & Air.
Written by John Miller
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