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Common Facts About HVAC Filters

On average, how well do you know your HVAC system? Most people know little beyond turning them on and adjusting the temperature. Unfortunately, not understanding how your HVAC system operates can cause you to miss telltale warning signs that could potentially cost you time, money, and comfort.

Bulk up your knowledge with these must-know HVAC filter facts so you can quickly identify any potential problems with your system.

Filters Don’t Improve Air Quality

While some dust and debris may be spared from entering your vents by an HVAC filter, the filter’s primary purpose is to protect the system from being damaged, not protect your overall air quality. Of course, there are many different types of HVAC filters out there, some of which are specifically designed to block allergens — but how can you tell? Simple: just take a look at the filter’s MERV rating.

Your MERV Rating Impacts Your Efficiency

An HVAC filter MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) measures how well filters block particles of dust, dirt and other pollutants from entering your HVAC system. When it comes to measuring your MERV ratings, the larger the number, the smaller the filter pores will be — which could restrict air flow with specific HVAC systems.

So How Do Know Which MERV Rating Filter is Right For You?

A MERV rating of 1 is designed to catch the largest airborne invaders; a MERV of 20, the highest rating, is reserved for environments like hospitals where the air must be extremely sterile.

Most residential homes can only handle a MERV rating up to 13. If your system's filter MERV is too high or too low, you could be causing damage to your HVAC or putting unnecessary strain on the system.

Washable Filters Aren’t as Good as They Seem

Save money by washing your own HVAC filter? It sounds great, but it may cost you more than you think. Washable HVAC filters tend to have a MERV rating between 1 and 4, which means they aren't good at stopping most pollutants. If you want to purify your home's air quality, then you want a MERV rating of at least 7.

In addition, washable filters take a while to dry, and a damp filter is prone to mold. When you have a moldy filter in your system, harmful spores can be pushed into your vents and taint the air.

Not Cleaning Your Filter Costs You

You'd be surprised how much damage an uncleaned HVAC filter can cause. Without proper maintenance, a dirty HVAC filter can lead to clogs and a damaged HVAC system. A blocked HVAC filter also means lower air flow and poor output, which could result in constantly running your system and wasting hundreds of dollars a month.

Schedule Your HVAC Filter Inspection Today!

If you run into any problems with your home’s plumbing, heating or cooling, and prefer to forgo the DIY route, our technicians are here to help! Visit our website to learn more about the services that we offer here at Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc. or call (865) 518-7008 to speak with a representative directly.