Although it may seem as if choosing a new filter for your air conditioner should be easy, it will take just one walk down the aisle at your discount or home improvement store to prove otherwise. While for many years it was only necessary to be sure that you had a filter of the right size, now there are many other factors to consider. Before making that decision, the following information will be very helpful.
Avoid The Fiberglass Air Filter
The fiberglass filter for your air conditioner has been a popular item for many years. One of the reasons for its continued success has undoubtedly been its price. Often available for about a dollar, it is the most basic option.
While using the fiberglass filter is better than using nothing at all, there are flaws associated with its use that you should keep in mind. For instance, it has been estimated that the fiberglass filter removes less than a tenth of all the contaminants in the air. That means that those contaminants can easily access your air conditioning system. Because a dirty air conditioner is prone to mechanical problems, it is a good idea to upgrade to a different filter if you can.
Don't Buy The Washable Air Filter
In theory, the washable filter is a good choice. Since you can buy it once and reuse it many times, it has been used by many people in recent years in an attempt to be more environmentally responsible. The truth is that fungi and bacteria often find a home in the washable filter -- and every time you use the air conditioner, you are likely to be releasing those unwanted guests throughout your home.
Unfortunately, that means that the washable filter is not the right choice. You should avoid using washable air filters for your HVAC unit.
Don't Use Any Filter With The Wrong MERV Rating
In general, a good air filter -- if you are concerned about dust in the air -- will have a MERV rating that is between 9 and 12. The MERV rating is an industry term that refers to the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value of specific filters. Essentially, those numbers indicate the amount of debris that a filter can remove from the air.
If dust is not your primary concern and you are more worried about contaminants, you should look for a filter that has the highest possible MERV rating.
In conclusion, the use of an appropriate filter for your air conditioner will extend its life and limit the repairs that you will need to provide. As a result, you should consider the information above prior to making any decisions. To learn more, speak with an expert like those at Doctor Fix-It.