The air in your home is an environmental hazard, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Homeowners in search of higher indoor air quality often look to improved ventilation and air cleaning devices, which do indeed raise the quality of your air. But the very simple but often-neglected task of changing your dirty air filters can considerably improve the air in your Grand Traverse County home, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
The air filter in your HVAC system traps dust, mold spores, pollen, bacteria and other particulate matter that can aggravate allergies, asthma and cause other respiratory problems. It prevents these particles from building up in your ductwork and your system’s interior, which can cause significant and expensive damage. A clean filter will help extend the life of your unit.
Air filters are rated using the standard minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV, scale. A higher MERV rating means the filter will trap more and smaller particles in your air. MERV 1-4 filters are the most inexpensive and won’t do much to improve your air quality. MERV 5-8 filters are of medium quality and are perhaps the most widely used in residences. MERV 9-12 filters are best if anyone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma. MERV 13-16 filters are of the highest quality, but aren’t generally used in residential buildings.
Check your air filter every month and change it when you find it’s dirty. Your filter is most likely located in the blower compartment of your unit between the furnace and the cold air return. When upgrading your air filter, it’s important to balance air quality with optimum airflow. Since higher MERV filters can impede the flow of air to your system, check the specs of your unit before upgrading to determine what type of filter your unit will accommodate.
For more expert advice about air filters or improving the quality of your indoor air, please contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We’ve served the Grand Traverse County area of Michigan with a high level of customer service for over 30 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas 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.
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