AC REPAIR & SERVICE IN ST. PETE, CLEARWATER, TAMPA
HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING
Allergens are in the air and indoor air commonly contains particles like pollen, mold spores, dust-mite debris and other allergens. Some of these
particles, like household dust, are visible to the naked eye. Others, like particles that can carry viruses, bacteria and odors, are microscopic. To help
reduce the amount of airborne particles, it’s important to use a high-efficiency air filter or room air purifier.
Why should I change my air filter?
1. A dirty air filter is the #1 reason for HVAC system failure. A dirty filter restricts the air flow into your HVAC systems air handler. This restricted air
flow places additional strain on the air handler fan motor and could, over time, burn out the motor and cause your system to overheat and
ultimately fail. Filter replacement is a small price to pay to extend to life of one of the biggest financial investments in your home.
2. A dirty air filter makes your fan motor work harder and consumes more energy. One of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce your energy bill is
to replace your air filter.
3. A dirty air filter reduces the air quality in your home. Poor home air quality can aggravate allergies and asthma, particularly children’s allergies.
Change your filter for your family’s health.
4. A dirty air filter makes your heating and air-conditioning systems and your ducts get dirty faster. This can lead to costly cleaning expenses or to a
need to replace your units sooner than you expected.
5. A dirty air filter increases your energy bills. You can see an immediate, short-term cost saving s when you replace your air filter.
6. A dirty air filter increases your carbon footprint. Changing your filter reduces the amount of energy your home consumes. It’s an easy and
inexpensive way to be environmentally responsible.
Where is my air filter located?
Your air filter is most likely located right next to your furnace or air conditioning system air handler. The air handler is the large box containing the
fan and fan motor. The air handler pulls air in from the house through the “return” duct system, and then blows the air through the heating or
cooling system and back into the house through the duct system. The air filter is typically located at the point where the return duct enters the air
handler. Look for a 1” wide hinged or removable cover. The air filter will be inside.
Increasingly, air handlers are being installed in attics. This sometimes limited space will require installation of the air filter in the return. The filter is
accessed by removing the grate covering the return duct. It is now unusual to have several returns in a house, with an air filter installed in each
Many houses have more than one HVAC system. Each system will typically have at least one air filter. Therefore your house may have air filters
located at the air handler AND in the returns. You should check each possible location to make sure you have located all of your air filters.
What are my air filter dimensions?
Air filter sizes come in a variety of dimensions. The most common width is 1”, but height and length will vary by manufacturer. Most standard filters
print the dimensions on the filter frame. You can use those filter dimensions to select the appropriate size replacement filter.
Unfortunately, some filters are not marked. In this case you will need to measure the dimensions of your existing filter.
Please also be aware that many filters may have actual dimensions that are not exact whole numbers—for example 17½” x 23¾” x 1”. If this is the
case, you should round the fractional dimensions up to the nearest whole number. In the example, this would require a filter with nominal
dimensions of 18” x 24” x 1”.
What kind of filter should I use?
You should use an air filter that offers the highest level of efficiency without damaging your HVAC system. Air filter efficiency is the measure of how
well the filter does its job of filter air before it enters the air handler. An air filter “cleans” the air by serving as a physical barrier to particles hanging
in the air. Manufacturers use a number of materials in air filters, such as fiberglass. Additionally, configuration of these materials can impact the filter’
s efficiency. For example, a pleated air filter provides greater surface area to trap particles than a flat panel filter and will thus capture more
particles even if made out of an identical material. A wider filter—say, 2” instead of 1”—will similarly capture more particles.
You may be surprised to learn that simply using the most efficient filter available is generally not the right answer. This is because as filter efficiency
increases, there is a corresponding increase in the level of air flow resistance. A highly efficient filter may restrict air flow to a level that will damage
your HVAC system by placing additional strain on the fan motor. Most older HVAC should use a filter having a MERV rating no higher than 11. Older
systems should use a filter with a MERV rating of only 8 or lower. Some older systems are required to use a flat panel fiberglass filter that offers
minimal air resistance but which regrettably provides little if any air cleaning at all. These filters carry no MERV rating at all. At the other end of the
spectrum, a filter rating higher than 11 is usually overkill for most residential requirements and is generally needed only for extreme allergy
Our Better home air filter is a MERV 8 filter, which provides superior efficiency at an economical price.. MERV 8 means this filter will filter on average
over 90% of the particles between 3.0 and10.0_ microns. This includes pollen, carpet and textile dust, mold, spores, hair spray, fabric protector,
dusting aids, and cement dust.
One of the Best home air filter is a MERV 11 filter, which offers the highest efficiency level appropriate for most homes. MERV 11 means this filter will
filter on average over 95% of the particles between 1.0 and 3.0 microns. This includes pollen, carpet and textile dust, mold, spores, auto emissions,
flour, and humidifier dust.
Perhaps we should have called this filter option “Best for Owners of Pets that Carry a Scent that is Not Always Rosy.” That name was unwieldy, and
just a bit insulting to our feathered, furry, scaly friends. Best for Pets is a wonderful solution for homes that require deodorizers or other
ameliorating treatments for pet scent (or any kind of persistent odor). “Best for Pets” filter is rated MERV 8 and is identical to our “better” filter but
with the added benefit of activated carbon media to absorb pet and other odors in your home. The activated carbon media removes a wider range
of odors, and the MERV 8 rating means goodbye to all but the tiniest of particles.
This technology is fairly new, and, as such, we do not carry carbon-treated filters in some sizes. We apologize, and we expect to expand the reach
of this product soon.
What is a MERV rating?
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value. This is an industry standard rating system that allows you to compare filters made by different
manufacturers. A MERV rating is a numerical value ranging from 1 (lowest efficiency) to 16 (highest efficiency) and tells the consumer how well the
filter captures and holds dirt and dust of a specified size range. The chart below shows the MERV ratings, corresponding particle size ranges, and
efficiency level as measured by the percentage of particles captured.?
Should I use the highest rated filter available?
No. You should use a filter rating that corresponds to the requirement of your HVAC system. If you are not sure contact your installer and HVAC
Using a filter rating that is too high for your HVAC system may cause damage. Higher rated filters offer resistance to air flow that may place too
much strain on the fan motor in your air handler, leading to HVAC system failure.
Using a filter rating that is too low will prevent you from maximizing the level of clean air in your home.
It is worth the effort to get this right. Call your HVAC system installer or maintenance company and ask them what air filter MERV rating they
recommend for your system.
Why should I use a high efficiency air filter instead of the less expensive blue fiberglass filter?
A more efficient filter is more effective at removing particles from the air as it enters your HVAC system. Conversely, a less efficient filter allows more
dirt and dust into your system. This dust and dirt will either land somewhere in the system or circulate back into the house. Dust and dirt on critical
parts of your HVAC system will increase your fuel consumption and increase repair and maintenance bills. Dust and dirt circulated back into your
home is just plain unhealthy.
Ironically, the effectiveness of low efficiency air filters actually increases as the filter loads up with dirt and dust. There are two problems, though.
First, it takes time for the filter to be loaded enough to get a beneficial effect so that everything that gets by the filter ends up either in your system
or back in your home. Second, eventually the filter can become so dirty that the system experiences a pressure drop which can burn out the fan
motor. To prevent this you have to change the filter, which takes you right back to the first problem. For the brief time that you get a small benefit
from your low efficiency filter is far outweighed by the problems it creates.
A high efficiency filter is immediately beneficial because it works right away. This filter also needs frequent changing for the same reason—it can
become overloaded and damage your system.
The cost-benefit equation is simple: For a few extra dollars you can ensure that your HVAC system is as clean as possible and the air in your home
is effectively filtered just by using an efficient air filter that is changed regularly.
Will I save money using a more efficient filter?
Very likely. This really depends on where you live and how you use your system. Experts have estimated that the average cost reduction derived
from using a high efficiency filter is approximately 10%. This cost savings includes the reduction in fuel consumed by your HVAC system, and reduced
repair and maintenance costs. This does not include, however, the cost of system replacement resulting from failure to replace your filter.
It's important to note that there are other ways of improving your overall home efficiency to complement regular filter replacement. Upgrading HVAC
units to high-efficiency units, replacing dated home insulation with efficient home insulation, and upgrading or repairing old windows all help to
make your home more efficient and green.
Will I have cleaner air in my home by using a more efficient air filter?
Absolutely, A more efficient air filter is designed to do a better job of cleaning the air as it enters your HVAC system. Clean air into the system
means clean air is circulated back into your home. That’s great news for your family’s health.
How long will my filter last?
Filter replacement frequency varies from house to house and from place to place.
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