Is My Air Filter Hindering My HVAC Efficiency?

Homeowners in Suffolk, Virginia, get a lot of use out of their heaters and air conditioners. If you’re a homeowner concerned about how this usage affects the environment and your electric bill, it’s essential to make sure that your HVAC system is running efficiently. One way to do this is to make sure you’re using the right air filter. Let’s highlight how your air filter can hinder HVAC efficiency.

Dirty Filters

The most common issue with air filters is clogging. Air filters trap air particles such as dirt, dust and pollen. However, they can only trap so much of these particles before they clog. A clogged air filter can cause your HVAC system to work harder to push the air through. The harder your HVAC system works, the more energy it has to consume. The solution to this problem is simple. Make sure to change the air filter once a month.

Wrongly Sized Filters

HVAC filters receive a MERV rating ranging from 1 to 20. Higher-ranked filters trap tinier particles. However, they can also cause the air pressure in your duct system to drop. This drop in pressure means that your HVAC system is wasting energy because it’s pushing out less air.

If you decide to use a filter with a higher MERV rating, make sure that it’s thick enough — between 4 and 5 inches if your system has room — to allow air to push through. The increased surface area of the pleats allows greater airflow.

Incompatible Filters

It’s important to make sure your filter is compatible with your HVAC system. For example, some systems are not compatible with washable filters. Incompatible filters can cause low airflow, overheating and other issues that reduce HVAC efficiency.

Atlantic Shores Heating and Cooling is happy to help you decide what air filter is best for your HVAC system. Give us a call at (757) 500-8724 to discuss your indoor air quality options and other energy efficiency solutions.

Image provided by iStock

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