One of the most important parts of air conditioning maintenance is cleaning or changing your air filters on a regular basis. If you are one of the few homeowners that actually know you should do this, you may still not be aware of the type of air filter that you should get. This is particularly true if you are a first-time homeowner and have never needed to worry about such maintenance. There are different kinds of air filters available, and it is important that you choose the right one for you, your family and your home. Here is what you need to know.
Choose the Right Size
First things first, you need to determine the appropriate size for your air conditioning system as they come in different sizes based on thickness and area. Filters will work the best when they fit appropriately. If you notice a gap when you install it, then it is likely the wrong size. Look at the side of the cardboard frame to find the filter's size.
Understand the Various Types of Filters
The different types of filters will provide you with different types of performance levels, and they will also require varying requirements in regards to maintenance. As you can expect, air filters will be most effective when they are clean and brand-new; however, some will last longer than other types. Here are the four most common types of home air filters:
- Disposable fiberglass: These air filters will only pick up larger particles like dust, debris, and lint, and they are inexpensive at only a couple bucks per filter.
- Disposable pleated: These air filters have the ability to pick small and large particles, including spores and mites, and will cost several more dollars per filter than fiberglass, in addition to needing to be replaced more frequently.
- Disposable Electrostatic: These air filters contain electrically charged fibers that enhance its ability to collect large particles and even more of the smaller particles in the air, and they generally cost about $10 for the standard sizes.
- Permanent Electrostatic: These air filters contain electrically charged fibers just like the disposable air filter version, though they are unable to collect as many particles. These are more expensive ($15 to $20 per filter), but they are washable and can last several years before needing to be replaced.
Look at the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Valve (MERV)
The last thing that you need to look at when selecting an air filter is the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). This is a rating that assists you in determining just how well the air filter can trap airborne particles. Filters are given a rating between 1 and 13, with higher ratings being more efficient at collecting more particles.
For more information, contact a company like TCS Heating & Air Conditioning today.