Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Air Filters Do an Important Job: Here’s What You Should Know About Yours

In Southwest Arizona, where home air conditioners are used nearly every day of the year, paying attention to air filters becomes increasingly important to your indoor air comfort and air quality levels. There are many air filters from which to choose, including:

  • Standard disposable – synthetic panel or spun fiberglass media in a cardboard frame. This is the least eAir Filters Do an Important Job: Here's What You Should Know About Yoursfficient type, usually with MERV ratings of 1-4. (An explanation of MERV is below.)
  • Pleated – larger surface area with a cotton/polyester media. Also disposable but more efficient than standard filters, typically rated as MERV 5 to MERV 8.
  • Reusable (washable) – aluminum mesh or electrostatic filtering bed that may be cleaned and reused.

Regardless of the media type, what indicates efficiency in filtering airborne particulates in your home is the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value). MERV is a standard in the HVAC industry to rate each particular filter’s ability to trap specific-sized particulate. Higher MERV-rated filters indicate increased capacity for effectively filtering smaller particles. Also, to be effective at their job, air filters must be fit properly so no air can escape through perimeter gaps.

While it may seem obvious that the higher the MERV rating the better, this is not true in residential applications. As filtration capabilities become finer, required airflow is reduced. At a certain point, depending on your specific air conditioning equipment, the blower fan becomes incapable of overcoming the increased airflow resistance of a higher-rated filter. Without having modifications made to your system to handle a more restrictive filter, damage to the unit could occur.

Many HVAC manufacturers recommend using a MERV 5-12 filter in their equipment. If someone in your home suffers from asthma or other breathing difficulties, consult your HVAC technician to see if a higher-rated filter could be used and if modification to your system is required.

With more than 60 years as a top-quality service provider to our loyal Yuma area clients, Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company has been family-owned and operated since 1952. Please contact us for advice or for further information about air filters or with any other indoor air quality questions or concerns.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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