How HVAC Filters Impact Performance and Efficiency in Harlem, GA

Many people underestimate how important air filters are for HVAC systems. Nevertheless, they can have profound effects on the HVAC system in your Harlem, GA home. Here are some ways that air filters impact HVAC system performance and efficiency.

Indoor Air Quality

Air filters remove pollutants from the air and improve indoor air quality. Each filter has a MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting value, rating; the higher a filter’s MERV rating, the more powerful that filter is. As you move up the MERV rating scale, you will see filters that are able to remove ever-greater proportions of ever-smaller pollutants.

MERV ratings range from 1 to 20. Most HVAC systems’ default filters have MERV ratings of 8, and filters with ratings of 13 or below are appropriate for most systems. If you wish to install filters that have MERV ratings of 14 or higher, you will usually have to consult with a trained technician and ask him or her to make special modifications to your system.

Filters with MERV ratings between 17 and 20 are genuine HEPA filters. This means that they will be able to remove at least 99.97% of all particles that measure 0.3 microns in diameter or more. However, such powerful filters are typically only appropriate for specialized, professional settings like hospitals. However, you can add an air purification system to your existing HVAC system that will vastly improve your IAQ.

Once you install a more powerful filter on your HVAC system, this can have a cascade of different positive health effects. Some of these effects can include fewer allergy symptoms, greater mental clarity, better sleep and a lower incidence of various respiratory diseases.

Airflow

Airflow smoothness is a crucial determinant of your HVAC system’s overall efficiency. The more swiftly and swimmingly air moves through your system, the more effectively your system will generally function and the less energy it will use. Of course, this only applies when controlling for other factors that might affect HVAC system performance, like refrigerant leaks, overall age and air leaks.

Air filters can affect airflow in two important ways. First, if your filters are dirty, the dust and dirt that has accumulated on them can actually inhibit airflow. This is because dirty filters leave less room for air to pass through them.

Secondly, filters can inhibit airflow by being too powerful. Although a high-MERV-rated filter will improve your IAQ, its mesh may be so fine as to actually slow down the rate at which air flows through your system.

Energy Bill Size

Since proper airflow is so intimately related to system efficiency, it will also strongly influence how much you end up paying for energy. Therefore, if you regularly clean and replace your filters, you can do quite a bit to keep your utility bills low. The same is true if you avoid using excessively fine-meshed filters, though you will have to ask a professional to find out exactly how much filter power is excessive in your case.

Moisture Accumulation

Sudden changes in air temperature can release condensation into the air. If your filters are dirty, they will have more overall surface area for moisture to gather upon. With all of this moisture, your ducts can become a breeding ground for all sorts of biological matter.

Humidity

As a consequence of the moisture gathering in your HVAC system’s interior, your home can become a more humid place. Pollutants are more likely to linger in humid air, since they can stick to minuscule water droplets. High humidity can also attract various insects and pests into your home.

You simply cannot afford to neglect your air filters if you want your HVAC system to work even passably well. The performance, efficiency and health benefits are simply too obvious to ignore. Call Doc Savage Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. and ask for our expert HVAC services near Harlem, GA to get the most out of every aspect of your HVAC system.

Image provided by iStock

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