before and after of a dirty and clean filter

The Expert’s Guide to AC Air Filters

When it comes to air filters, most homeowners just refer to the size they need and call it a day when they find the best price. There are plenty of recommendations though that will help you to achieve the best air quality and most efficient use of your air conditioner. Follow this guide to become an expert in AC air filters!

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How Often to Change Air Filter in Your House

Knowing when to change out your air filters can rely on several different factors:

  • Type of filter your A/C system requires
  • The air quality surrounding your residence
  • Pets
  • The number of people sharing the same air
  • Season
  • External factors like roadwork or construction

The general rule of thumb is to change your air filter once a month. Here are the guidelines recommended by service experts:

  • Vacation homes or single occupant homes with no pets: Change 6-12 months
  • Average sized home with no pets: Change every 90 days
  • Average home with one pet: Change every 60 days
  • Multiple pets or allergies: Change every 30-45 days

Best HVAC Air Filter for Home AC System

Mechanical air filters are the most commonly used air filters. These filters trap particles, dust, and debris to purify the air that’s filling your home. Mechanical air filters use a rating system called MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) which measures the effectiveness of the air filter. The lower the MERV rating, the lower the quality and the cheaper the air filter will be. There are quite a variety of air filters to choose from. Here’s some more information on MERV ratings and the quality of your next air filter:

Fiberglass Air Filters. These have the lowest MERV rating of all the air filters ranging between 1-4 and can often be purchased for less than $1 a piece. Fiberglass air filters have to be changed out more frequently than higher-quality air filters and only remove about 10 percent of particles from the air.

Pleated Air Filters. The more pleats per foot, the higher the quality. For about $10 a filter pleated air filters will remove close to 45% of particles from the air. With a MERV rating of 10-13, these are a good transition into a better quality air filter if you’ve been using fiberglass to filter your air.

High-Efficiency Air Filters. These air filters will leave you inhaling as much purified air in your home as possible with their MERV rating of 14-16. High-Efficiency Air Filters will remove up to 85 percent of particles from your air.

High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters. With a MERV rating between 17-20, High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters (HEPA) will remove 98% of air pollutants from your home. As clean as that sounds, these air filters require a significant amount of air pressure so in order to use a HEPA you will need to install a separate HEPA filtration system.

DIY Air Purifier Ideas

There are plenty of things you can do to improve your indoor air quality. Houseplants are a great way to add to your home’s decor, but also provide clean air by removing toxins. Beeswax candles are another way to reduce harmful particles in the air and offer a more discreet way of purifying the air in your home. Minimizing the use of chemicals and opening the windows on occasion will also assist in purifying the air in your home.

How to Change Air Conditioning Filters

Changing the air filter in your air conditioning system is an easy task that you can do in a few minutes. This video tutorial will show you how:

Contact Certified Air Conditioning Comfort Experts to Replace Your AC Filter

Contact A+ Air Conditioning today if you need help with any AC or refrigeration repairs or replacements! Schedule your first service and receive our new customer discount. Find out more about our air conditioning specials.