Written by Brad Crawford
Even though the heating season in Dallas-Fort Worth is only a few months long, there are still a few wintertime home maintenance jobs you’ll want to do to keep up your home’s energy efficiency. One of the simplest yet most important jobs is checking your HVAC air filters.
Dirty filters slow down airflow through the HVAC system, reducing the system’s efficiency and running up your energy bills. Severely clogged filters may blow out of the frame, allowing dust and debris to enter your system and home. Even worse, a dirty filter could cause your equipment to overheat and shut down.
Throughout the heating season in Dallas-Fort Worth, check your filters once a month. To inspect a mechanical filter, such as a fiberglass or pleated paper filter, remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light coming through, you’ll need to replace the filter.
Because higher efficiency filters can hold more debris, you may find you need to replace these filters less often, though on the other hand, their more elaborate filtering design may impede airflow through your system. An filter’s Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) indicates its efficiency.
MERV 1 to 4 — Cheap 1-inch fiberglass filters trap only larger debris particles (those over 10 microns). Although they protect your HVAC system, they do little or nothing to improve your home’s air quality.
MERV 5 to 8 — In this range are the medium-efficiency pleated paper or felt air filters that can remove particles of 3.0 microns or larger.
MERV 9 to 12 — These higher-efficiency pleated filters can remove particles as small as 1.0 micron in size.
MERV 13 to 16 — With the highest efficiency of residential air filters, these filters remove particles as small as 0.3 microns. Because these high-efficiency filters may impede airflow, talk with an HVAC professional before installing one.
For more pro tips on keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient during the heating season in Dallas-Fort Worth, contact us at Crawford Services. We provide friendly, reliable HVAC service in North Texas.