Your HVAC's Air Filter: What You Should Know for Best PerformanceAn air filter is an important component of any HVAC system. It protects the other components from airborne particles that could decrease the lifespan of your HVAC system. Getting these particles out of the air also helps improve the air quality of your home. Air filters are not one size fits all, so there are a few things to pay attention to in order to make sure you select the most appropriate air filter.

Minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV)
The efficiency with which air filters remove particulates from the air is expressed by their MERV rating. MERV ratings for residential filters generally run from 1 to 16. While a filter with a higher rating does remove more particles from the air, it's not always better. Higher rated filters can create too much resistance to airflow, increasing the pressure on your A/C's fan and causing it to wear out prematurely. For most residential systems, a MERV rating between 8 and 11 is ideal.

Dimensions
The dimensions of the filter you need will depend on your HVAC system. It's important to select the right size. If it's too large, the filter can tear or buckle when installed, which will reduce its efficiency. If it's too small, air can get around it, making it ineffective at removing particulates. If the dimensions aren't listed on your current air filter, you can find out its dimensions by measuring it. Round your measurements to the nearest inch to get the nominal dimensions of the replacement filter.

Maintenance
Filters need to be replaced regularly as they get dirty. How often depends on household conditions, but one-inch filters generally need to be replaced every two to three months, while box filters may only need to be changed once a year. Washing or vacuuming filters is generally not advisable, as they will become less effective or re-release particulates into your ductwork.

If you have any additional questions about air filters, contact Robert R. McGill Air Conditioning. We’ve proudly served commercial and residential customers in the Palm Beach area for more than 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Palm Beach County, Florida about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 
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