The air filters in your Dayton area home’s heating and cooling systems are critical components that add comfort and quality to your indoor living environment. When properly chosen and correctly maintained, good air filters also extend the life of your HVAC equipment and reduce energy consumption.
Knowing the correct filters to use in your particular system can be tricky, with many options available. Most new equipment comes with disposable filters carrying a MERV rating of from 1-4, indicating a capability of capturing airborne particles that are 10 microns or greater in size. While these allow for good airflow and help protect the equipment from potentially damaging dirt and dust, they do nothing to improve the quality of indoor air that you breathe.
MERV, which stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, is an industry standard used to measure an air filter’s ability to capture airborne particles. While the rating scale extends from MERV 1 to 20, filters recommended for home HVAC use usually fall within the MERV 7-13 range. Filters in that range will effectively remove particulates within the 1.0-3.0 micron range without causing significant airflow reduction and are considered ideal for residential use.
MERV 17-20 filters are commonly called HEPA filters when they meet government standards of filtering a minimum of 99.97 percent of all particles sized 0.3 microns or greater. Though highly efficient, they present significant airflow constriction and are not recommended for home HVAC use unless your system has been modified to handle the airflow reduction. HEPA filters, however, are commonly used for home air cleaners and in some vacuum cleaners.
Air filters come in both disposable and reusable styles. Both types should be inspected monthly and cleaned or replaced when they appear dirty. It’s also important that your filters are sized properly, fitting into the equipment precisely to prevent air from making its way around the filter’s edges. The size for your particular A/C, heat pump or furnace is often printed on the side of the filter you’re replacing, or mentioned in the equipment manual.
Since 1978, Detmer and Sons has provided exceptional service to our Dayton/Montgomery County customers through three generations of our family-owned and operated HVAC business. Please contact us for information and advice on air filters or any other indoor air quality or comfort concerns.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio 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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