A Guide to Choosing Air Filters for Your Air Conditioner

Posted on: 23 July 2021

For many homeowners, having an air conditioning system is a priority. However, these appliances should be properly maintained for maximum efficiency. One of the essential parts of an air conditioning system is an air filter. This component is responsible for removing impurities like pet dander, dust, and bacteria from the air. In many cases, air conditioning services involve replacing air filters.

Here are some considerations you need to make when shopping for air filters.

Type of Air Filters

It is essential to familiarize yourself with the different types of air filters to ensure you pick the right kind for your AC. The lower-cost air filters can be classified into washable and fiberglass filters. 

The washable filters are reusable. The downside of these filters is that they efficiently eliminate large dust particles and not bacteria, smoke, or pet dander. On the other hand, fiberglass filters cannot be reused. However, they are easy to replace. These filters focus on cleaning your air conditioner and not the indoor air.

There is another class of filters called higher-performance air filters. These are classified into pleated filters and HEPA filters. The pleated filters are the same as fiberglass filters, but they remove a more significant percentage of indoor irritants. While fiberglass filters only eliminate 10% of indoor irritants, the pleated ones remove 85%. These filters are ideal for clearing dust particles. HEPA filters, on the other hand, are the most costly filters. These air filters eliminate more than 99% of irritants and are ideal for people suffering from severe allergies.

MERV Ratings

MERV means minimum efficiency reporting value. When an air filter has a higher value, it means the filtration of irritants is more effective. For example, the HEPA filters have high MERV ratings, which is why they remove a considerable percentage of irritants compared to other filters.

MERV ratings are valued from 1-20. However, values of more than 13 are not suitable for home air conditioners. Your air conditioning services will advise you against these filters because their high MERV can prevent airflow, which will affect indoor air pressure and ruin your air conditioner. MERV ratings of values 5-8 are suited for household filtration.

Filter Care Requirements

It is crucial to understand how to maintain and care for air filters. A part of choosing the right filter is determining the appropriate time to change the filters. This is usually indicated on the packaging of the filters.

The frequency with which you need to change air filters depends on several factors. These include: 

  • The type of air filter
  • Your home's air quality
  • The filter's efficiency
  • How often you use the air conditioner
  • The number of people and pets in your house
  • The outdoor quality

The technician who you contract to perform air conditioning services will advise you regarding the appropriate schedule for cleaning and changing your HVAC's air filter.

For more information about air conditioning services, contact a local HVAC contractor to learn more.


Summer is Upon Us – Is Your AC Working?

Hi. My name is Laurie Waters. The HVAC contractor was just out at our house last week and did I ever get a lesson from him. You see, we had a warm spell hit and I went to turn our air conditioning on for the first time since last summer. Much to my dismay, it wasn’t working. All I got was a blast of warm air. The fan was bringing the outdoor heat inside. Thank goodness it wasn’t anything major. My unit needed Freon. While he was here, the contractor taught me how to do some routine maintenance around my unit, vents, and filters. I’m going to share this information with you. I hope you find it to be useful.

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