Choosing the right air filter for your air conditioning unit or furnace might not seem like a vital decision, but in reality, it can not only save you a lot on electricity bills but massively improve the air quality in your home. Discovering the benefits of a good air filter is just the first step toward realizing these positive changes.
Next, you should select the right air filter for your unit, considering the size and material of the filter. An ill-fitting filter or a filter made of the wrong material will be less efficient and affect the quality of air in your home. Once you have chosen your air filter, all you need to do is purchase and install it and then reap the benefits of this decision! Let’s get started.
If you have an air conditioning unit or a furnace in your home, such as a Trane or Rheem unit, you will know these vital home appliances can have a significant impact on your electricity bills. However, there is something you can do to reduce your electricity bills by as much as 15% and also improve indoor air quality in your home. All you need to do is select the right air filter for your AC unit or furnace.
During peak usage, for instance, in the summer and winter months, a clogged air conditioning unit or furnace filter can raise a $200 electric bill to as high as $280. This is a steep difference and can cause financial strain. Rather than paying this dramatic difference, and allowing this extra strain to your AC or heating system, you can simply purchase a better air filter for around $10-15. It’s a no-brainer. A well-maintained AC unit makes a happy home.
Size matters when it comes to selecting the right air filter for your unit. An air filter that does not fit well into your unit can allow pollutants into your home, decrease the effectiveness of your AC and increase electricity bills. Gaps around the air filter can also fill with debris, causing eventual breakdown that could cost hundreds of dollars to repair.
There should be a number printed on your unit which indicates the correct air filter size, or you can hand-measure the space and purchase a filter accordingly. If you cannot find the right size of filter online or in your local hardware store, you might need to order a custom-made filter for your unit’s measurements. It is important never to force an air filter that is too big into your unit or to allow the flow of air around an air filter that is too small, as both can reduce efficiency and cause damage.
Air filters come in a range of materials, and each has its own characteristics and MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value), which range from 1 to 16, with 16 being the highest filtration. Understanding the differences between air filter types will help you to select the appropriate filter for your home.
Fibreglass is an inexpensive air filter material, but only boasts a 2-3 MERV rating and therefore these filters are not recommended as they allow more pollutants into your home. Another option is disposable polyester or cotton pleated air filters, which have a MERV rating of 6, and as long as they are changed regularly, offer decent cleaning and removal of small particles from the air. High-efficiency pleated filters are the most expensive but provide the best filtering and system protection (MERV 14-16). They are generally found in hospitals, but if you have lung problems, you could benefit from this type of filter in your home.
Factors to consider with regards to air filter material include whether people will be smoking in the house, or if there are pets in the home that create a lot of extra small particle pollutants in the air. If so, you should choose the right type of material to cope with these added considerations. Electrostatic cotton and paper filters have a MERV rating of 10 and provide excellent filtering properties, as long as they are replaced regularly. They are a little more expensive but deal with the extra air pollutants in your home.
Now that you know the benefits of air filters and have decided which size and material of filter best suits your unit and household needs, it is time to make the purchase. Consider the brand of the air filter and its reputation. Not all filters are built the same, and the better quality the product the longer it will last.
This part should be relatively straightforward for you, but if you need assistance, you can always call a handyman or use an online guide on how to change the air filter yourself. This last simple step is the first chapter in your new and improved high-quality home air experience. Enjoy!
Hopefully, this guide has enlightened you on the benefits of a well-chosen air filter for your AC unit or furnace. Now you can reap the rewards of having made the best decision for your home air quality and electricity bills.
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