Forget Toby Keith. We Want to Talk About HVAC Air Filters.

Country Musicians Come and Go, but HVAC Air Filters Are Forever

air filters, HVAC service and maintenance
Toby Keith, cool and comfortable

Sitting outside, listening to songs on your iPhone or the radio, drinking lemonade. What is there to worry about during the dog days of summer? Well, we’ll give you something. When is the last time you changed your HVAC air filter?

It may seem like a small thing, but that air filter can make the difference between clean, cool indoor comfort and a malfunctioning system that is costing you money you could be spending on summer concerts, for example.

If you have pets or allergy sensitivities, it’s a no brainer. You should be changing out that filter at least every 90 days, more often if you’re using the cheap fiberglass ones from the hardware store. Some people recommend swapping them out even every 30 days. If you are using one of the high end, pleated air filters, you should be okay for as long as six months, though replacing them even sooner never hurt anyone.

Air Filters Keep Your Indoor Environment and Your HVAC System Clean

Essentially, it is this filter keeping your indoor air clean and free of irritants and debris. That’s part of why it’s so important. It’s also protecting your system. The air filter traps particles that otherwise will clog up your equipment, accumulating on the coils and potentially blocking the blower mechanism. Once this happens, your system has to work harder to do the same job.

This results in less energy efficiency (translation: higher energy bills) and more stress to the system. HVAC elements are more likely to break, function poorly or shut down completely. In other words, though that little filter may seem unimportant, it plays a big part in keeping your air conditioning working effectively.

So What Kind of Air Filter Do I Need, Anyway?

When it comes to selecting air filters for your system, obviously you’ll have parameters around size and type. Beyond that, however, you might consider checking the MERV rating of the filter you have, and the one you wish to purchase. A MERV rating indicates the size of particle your air filter can prevent from passing through the system. With a MERV rating of 9, your filter will be able to trap up to about 80% of the debris, irritants and dirt passing through your air conditioning system. A lower MERV rating means more can get through.

The best filters have the smallest pores, and with pleated construction, they can hold more debris than a flat filter can. Does this mean you should have the highest rated filter? Not necessarily. It may not be appropriate for your home, so check with your HVAC professional before purchase. Remember, any filter’s MERV rating goes up as the filter gets dirtier, blocking even more particles than it did when it was first installed.  Nevertheless, over time the filter will begin to disintegrate, sending more debris through the system.

The bottom line? Check out your HVAC. Switch out the air filter regularly. And whatever you do, just don’t forget about it. Like a broken heart in country music, you’ll never hear the end of it if your system stops working. And  no one want to sing about that!

Keep your HVAC system running efficiently. Call Air-Tro today for the service and maintenance that has made us the leading HVAC service in the San Gabriel Valley since 1969. (626) 357-3535.