A number of factors influence how much you pay each month for the energy your household uses. These include, of course, the rate your utility company sets for electricity and the efficiency rating of your air-conditioning system. There is another small, but simple, factor that influences how much energy your system consumes and how well the system uses it, and that’s your air filter: the type of filter you use and whether you change or clean it regularly.
Several components go into the efficiency of an air filter. Every filter has a “minimum efficiency reporting value” (MERV). This rating shows how efficiently a filter works to remove particles of various sizes; it is particle size that determines the rating. The smaller the particle a filter can remove, the higher the filter’s MERV rating. However, your A/C system needs a certain amount of airflow to function well to push cooled air into your home. More efficient filters have denser material, which can restrict airflow. So be sure the air filter you select can provide enough airflow for your system. You can check your owner’s manual or consult an HVAC technician for help.
The other factor that influences system efficiency is how often you change air filters. Airflow here is important, too. There is a delicate balance between a filter needing to trap particles to prevent them from entering the system and forming buildup, and providing enough airflow for the system. If you never changed your air filter over the cooling season, a lot of dirt would build up and eventually negatively impact your A/C. In fact, a dirty filter can decrease system operation by up to 15 percent. When you’re using your cooling system, check the filter monthly and replace it when it’s dirty (or wash it if you have a reusable filter). Air filters should be replaced at least every three months.
Keep your system running efficiently by using an air filter that traps particles while allowing sufficient airflow. For help increasing system efficiency, contact Jon Wayne Heating & Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers 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.
Jon Wayne Heating and Air Conditioning services San Antonio and the surrounding communities of Seguin, New Braunfels, Bulverde, Boerne, and Comal County. Visit our website to see our special offers to get started today!
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