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Indoor Air Quality: Replacing Your Air Filter

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It’s Not Just Outdoor Pollution

For several decades, our society has grown increasingly concerned about the environment and the quality of our outdoor air.

While that is a positive change, it is somewhat ironic that we do not have the same or greater public concern about indoor air quality.

Since modern homes and structures are built to be more energy-efficient and free of drafts, much interior air is severely polluted with a range of pollens, molds, dusts and other harmful airborne materials.

In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a number of warnings concerning this serious health issue and recently launched a major campaign to raise public awareness.

The Role of Air Filters

We work to educate our customers about the two primary components of the normal HVAC system that play major roles in the quality of your indoor air.

These are the air filter and the ductwork that circulates air through homes.

It is imperative that both of these parts of your heating and cooling system be maintained and kept clean.

Modern technology has achieved significant advances in the quality and effectiveness of the air filters that can be purchased for your system.

While the original purpose of such filters was to protect the unit itself from dust and debris, they are now designed to also remove much of a home’s airborne pollutants.

When customers select the filter that is going to protect their family, there are several options and a wide range in cost and efficiency.

Before considering those options, it is important to understand the way filters are evaluated and rated.

The industry uses the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) system with a scale of 1-20.

The higher the MERV rating of a filter, the more efficient it is at removing various pollutants and particles from the air circulating in a home.

As a general rule of thumb, it is important to have at least an 8 or higher rating for any filter that is installed and used in the home.

An initial breakdown on filters will include the filters a customer has with their HVAC systems and those they install to provide additional air purifying capabilities.

Speaking of just the system’s filters, there are disposable and permanent filters.

Customers simply throw away the disposables and clean the permanent filters. The permanent filters are normally electrostatic and rate as high efficiency.

This is just a starting point and customers should be motivated to learn more about this important part of maintaining healthy air in their homes.

Regardless of the MERV rating, it takes a clean or new filter to do the job.

Clean filters are also essential to a system’s operational efficiency.

Regular inspections, cleanings and/or replacement of all filters are good practices to adopt.

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