How a Higher-Efficiency Air Filter Pays Its Way
With the cold of a Mid-Atlantic winter settled in, you’re likely stressing your home’s heating system with constant use. However, a few simple adjustments and reminders can ensure your system runs efficiently, which in turn lowers your monthly utility bills. One of those simple fixes is installing a higher-efficiency air filter.
How to Pick an Air Filter
Air filters come in many efficiency levels, most often rated by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) system. These filters are essentially physical barriers that clean your air while allowing air to flow through. The MERV level, running from 1-16 for residential filters, corresponds to how many particles the filter catches and removes from your household’s air supply. The higher the number, the more (and smaller) particles the filter will capture. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need the highest MERV-rated filter.
Rather, you need the most efficient and effective filter for your particular system. By their nature, air filters restrict airflow. The higher-efficiency air filters restrict more air, and for older systems, that accumulated pressure can badly strain system components. Most experts recommend an air filter in the MERV 7-12 range for a good balance of air cleaning ability and airflow maintenance.
How Can Air Filters Save Me Money?
Higher-efficiency air filters do cost more money upfront, though the benefits easily outweigh the cost difference. Allowing fewer dust particles into your system means less strain on system components, and with regular filter replacement, you will consume less fuel. This adds up to savings every month on utility bills. Aside from saving you money, a higher-efficiency air filter will improve indoor air quality. A better filter also can save you the cost of repairing a system clogged or damaged from dust and debris, and should that buildup result in a full system failure, a higher-efficiency filter can even help delay the need for an expensive system replacement.
To maintain maximum efficiency, make sure to replace air filters when they get dirty. For any questions about air filters or indoor air quality, please contact us at Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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