Written by Brad Crawford
Dallas heating and air conditioning services cover a wide range of issues, including temperature control, energy savings and indoor air quality. Because clean indoor air is such a major factor in home comfort, air filtration merits special consideration.
A good filtration system offers a number of benefits:
- Longer HVAC system life – A minimum level of filtration is necessary to keep out dust, pollen and other airborne debris that could accumulate in the ductwork and system components. Certain components, such as the blower motor, are likely to fail early if not protected.
- Greater system efficiency – A cleaner system runs more efficiently and therefore costs less to operate. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has found that dirty coils and blowers can reduce system efficiency by up to 40 percent.
- Cleaner air – Medium- to high-efficiency filters capture smaller particles and remove them from the air. This means less pollen, pet dander, mold spores, dust mites and other irritants floating around to aggravate your allergies or asthma.
If you’re looking for a good particulate filter, a Dallas heating and air conditioning expert can help you choose one. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) also gives you an easy way to compare the efficiency of these filters.
MERV 1 to 4 – These are the lowest-efficiency filters, usually disposable fiberglass panels or paper filters. Because they can only catch particles larger than 10 microns, their primary use is to protect your HVAC system. They do almost nothing to clean your air. If kept clean, however, these cheap filters will maintain good airflow in your system.
MERV 5 to 8 – These medium-efficiency filters help improve air quality. They trap particles down to 3 microns in size, including mold spores and pet dander. These are usually pleated (extended surface) filters.
MERV 9 and over – At the lower end of this range are the better quality medium-efficiency filters. Filters with a MERV above 12 are considered high-efficiency.
A word about HEPA filters
With a MERV between 17 to 20, High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are the most efficient of all. While they capture very small contaminants such as some viruses and smoke particles, they also slow airflow and can reduce system efficiency. Because of this, not every HVAC system can be fit with a HEPA filter. If you’re considering buying one, consult with a Dallas heating and air conditioning technician to make sure the filter won’t impair your system operation.
For even better indoor air quality, consider installing an electronic air cleaner to trap very fine particles and/or a UVGI air cleaner to neutralize biological contaminants.
If you’d like help choosing filtration options for your heating and cooling system, contact us at Crawford Services. In the Dallas area, we provide a wide range of value-driven HVAC solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in North Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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