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How to Choose the Best Quality Heating System Air Filter

A new heating system air filter helps to make sure your heating equipment is operating at its maximum level of efficiency. During the time that your furnace or heat pump is in use, its filter will need to be changed every 30 to 60 days.

If you have a heat pump, its filter should be changed all year long at intervals of one to two months. Choosing the right type of filter is an important part of proper heating system maintenance.

Be sure to use a good quality heating system air filter for your home's system.

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value

The minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) is a rating of how efficiently an air filter removes airborne particulates. The higher the MERV rating, the better the job the filter will do at cleaning the air. Filters with higher MERV values are pricier than those with lower MERV ratings, but they can also help to keep your heating system cleaner and your home’s air purer.

High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters

A high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is able to remove tiny particles from the air before the air reaches your home’s living spaces. A HEPA filter can even remove bacteria and viruses as well as pollen and other small contaminants.

If you have allergies or asthma, a HEPA filter is a good choice for use in your home’s heating equipment. HEPA filters can also help to keep your home healthier during the flu season.

Manufacturer and Professional Recommendations

Some furnaces and heat pumps require that specific types of filters be used in order to maintain the product’s warranty. Your furnace or heat pump owner’s manual will also explain what size of heating system air filter the equipment needs.

You can also consult a furnace or heat pump technician about which types of filters perform the best in your type of equipment. You can also have these filters installed with help from our professionals. Through us, you can ensure that your heating system remains functional and efficient year round.

Don’t damage your Myrtle Beach heating system by neglecting the filters. It’s the cheapest thing you can do to prolong the life of your system. Call Brown and Reaves Services today at 843-497-9867, or fill out our short form to schedule a service call to make sure your Myrtle Beach heating system is running efficiently all through the winter months.

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Understanding Air Filter MERV Ratings

There are few items in your home that are as important to your family’s health as your air filters. Many homeowners simply head to the store and pick up the cheapest filter they can find, but that can have a major impact on their indoor air quality and monthly energy bills. Here is a closer look at how air filters are rated (MERV Ratings) and some steps you can take to find the best products for your own home.

What Are MERV Ratings?

Higher MERV ratings don't mean the air filter is automatically better.

MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) is the national standard that rates all residential and commercial air filters. This standard runs on a scale between 1 and 20, but most air filters that can be found at the store will have a rating between 1 and 16. Filters that have a rating higher than 16 are generally found in potentially toxic environments such as factories.

Higher MERV ratings don’t mean the air filter is automatically better. To the contrary, the higher the MERV rating, the smaller the pores are for air to flow through an air filter. This can actually cause more resistance in airflow, making it less efficient. When you reduce air flow, you worsen the air quality in your home.

What Air Filter Do I need?

Any air filter that is rated lower than 5 will remove very little from the air. These products are designed to protect the HVAC system more than anything else and often have to be replaced at least once a month. Most homeowners will want to use a high-quality filter with a rating between 8 and 13. These particular products will remove around 99% of the airborne toxins that can be found in a home.

HEPA Filters

For those who struggle with severe allergies or other respiratory issues, upgrading to HEPA filters might be an excellent idea. Many HEPA air filters are actually standalone units that can be placed in the rooms where they are needed the most. This technology works by forcing air into a fine mesh filters that trap pollen, dander, dust, and mold spores. HEPA filters can also be used within your existing air conditioning system.

To learn more about MERV ratings or to schedule an air conditioning or heat pump tune up now, call Brown & Reaves Services at 843-497-9867, or fill out our short form and someone will contact you as quickly as possible.

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Does Your Air Filter Need Changing?

Most people don’t give their air filter a second thought. But maintaining your heating unit or air handler’s air filter is crucial to your indoor air quality, as well as improving the longevity of your heating and cooling system.

What Type of Air Filter?

Your best bet is never to use a cheap fiberglass air filter in your heating and cooling systemThe type of air filter you install will have a huge impact on indoor air quality. The least expensive air filters are usually made of a loose fiberglass mesh, are about an inch thick and cost around a dollar or two each.  While they’ll protect your furnace from larger particles, they don’t do much towards protecting your lungs from tiny particles.

When to Change Your Air Filter

How often you change your air filter will depend on many factors, including the type of filter you’re using and the amount of contaminants (dust, dirt, cooking fumes, smoke) your home generates. Checking your air filter at least once a month is a good habit to get into. If it’s visibly dirty or dark, it’s time for a change. If you have a professionally installed air filtration system, have it maintained according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

A High Efficiency Air Filter

A carbon clean air filter with a MERV rating of 16 is idea, although a bit more expensive to purchase.Those cheap one-inch fiberglass filters may not provide enough filtration to affect the quality of your air. Instead, consider a pleated, high-efficiency air filter like the Carbon Clean 16 filter which has a MERV 16 rating to achieve the highest possible filtration efficiency. While a more expensive option, it will do a better job of capturing the contaminants that would otherwise circulate in your home.

Use the Correct Size Air Filter

Using a filter that is too small will allow dirty air to pass around it. A filter that’s too big will not fit properly in your system. Make sure you’re using the right size for your heating and cooling system. You can verify size either by checking the size of the old filter you’re changing out, or by checking the owner’s manual of your heating and cooling system.

Control Sources of Pollutants
  • Make sure no one smokes in your house.
  • Clean regularly to get rid of dust mites, which can aggravate allergies and asthma, particularly in children. You can minimize the problem by installing a whole-home filtration system with a MERV 16 rating, the highest capture efficiency among air cleaners.
  • Make sure anything that burns gas is vented to the outdoors. Never burn a ventless fire.
  • Avoid using scented candles or aerosol sprays to control odors. Try to find out what’s causing the odor and eliminate it, rather than covering it up.
  • Use cleaning supplies, paints and hobby products that are labeled as low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compound), which means they are safer for your house and the environment. If you have concerns about chemical vapors, install an air purification system.
  • Avoid air-quality products that produce ozone, a known lung irritant.

If you have a question about heating, air conditioning, plumbing, or any other home energy related topic, please use the comment link below to contact Brown and Reaves Services in Myrtle Beach. We’ll answer you back, or may even write our next post to cover your question and answer.

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Now is the time to get your heating system ready for those cool days and night ahead. Give us a call. We service the entire Grand Strand area, in and around Myrtle Beach. 843-497-9867. Or CONTACT US HERE.

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