Air Conditioning Efficiency

All heating/cooling filters are not the same. Just because one cost more doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best for your system.

Most of the time when purchasing a filter for your air conditioner/heat pump it boils down to to four factors:

1. The size your system requires

2. Style (pleated or spun fiberglass)

3. Availability

4. Price

Maintaining the manufacturer’s specified air-flow of your system is critical to achieving the maximum efficiency and life of your inside heating/cooling system.

The minimum efficiency reporting value or MERV scale is used to measure the efficiency rating of air filters and ranges from a 1 to 16.

Most Manufacturer’s prefer and recommend the traditional, in-expensive spun fiberglass filters (MERV 2), because they filter out just enough of the large particles to protect the furnace yet provide maximum airflow. It is important to keep in mind, with every increase in the MERV value comes an increase in filter price, air flow restriction and airborne particles being trapped.

Proper air flow has a direct correlation to the efficiency of your system. But, if dust bunnies are a concern or you have family members with allergies or low-immunity issues. Then compromise efficiency, spend the extra money and go with a MERV 11 to 16 filter. But make certain you stay on top filter changes to protect your system. These filters capture 99% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns (bacteria, viruses, fumes and pollen). But you will need to run your systems fan full time to get the maximum benefits and that will cost more. Factor the extra cost into your decision.

Finally, be careful when switching from a fiberglass to a high MERV value pleated filter without first talking to your HVAC technician. The technician may need to boost your fan speed in order to compensate for the reduced air flow. But even then you will need to be diligent about replacing the filter regularly. A clogged filter can cause damage to your system and cost you hundreds of dollars in wasted energy.

Providing coastal residents with innovative and affordable ways to increase the life and efficiency of their largest energy consuming appliance.

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