Not All HVAC System Air Filters Are Created Equal

hvac system

If you live in San Mateo or any other city in the Bay Area, you may be like many other homeowners when it comes to the air filter in your HVAC system. They’re all the same, right? Actually, they’re not. Most heating and cooling systems include a one-inch fiberglass filter which is considered standard. The truth is, while these filters may be the cheapest when it comes time to replace, they aren’t effective for improving the quality of the air inside your home.

Standard one-inch fiberglass filters are only effective for filtering out airborne particles that are fairly large. This means smaller particles don’t get trapped, and are still floating around in the air inside your home – including bacteria and viruses. If you want the cleanest possible indoor air (and less dust in your home), consider a filter with a MERV rating of 13. MERV means minimum efficiency reporting value and is a standard that rates how effective an air filter is.

You may be surprised to learn that compared to a standard filter, one with a MERV 13 rating is 60 times more effective for filtering out even the smallest airborne particles. Not only will the air inside your home be cleaner and fresher, but your HVAC system will also work much more efficiently. Less stress on your system, and money savings on energy costs!

What else should you consider in addition to the filter you use? How often you replace it. Some HVAC experts recommend homeowners change filters every month or two, while others may advise once per year. It really depends on how often you actually use your heating/cooling system to heat your home in winter and cool it in summer. The more frequently it’s used, the more often you’ll need to change the air filter. If you aren’t sure when to change filters, simply take a look at it occasionally to see if it has a significant build-up of dust and dirt. When it’s dirty, it’s time to change.

You may consider the filter a minor component in a big system, but it’s a very important component for efficiency, extending the life of your HVAC system, and dramatically improving indoor air quality. At Ortiz Heating & A/C, our goal is to help San Francisco Bay Area homeowners enjoy cleaner air and a comfortable home while saving money on utility costs. Call us today!