Ignoring Air Filter Replacement Wreaks Havoc on HVAC Systems in Cincinnati Homes

by Greg Leisgang on November 28, 2013

Posted in: Air Conditioners

The HVAC system in your Cincinnati home needs professional annual preventive maintenance to keep it working efficiently and to maintain low utility bills. But there's one task you should do every month while operating your furnace or air conditioner: inspect your air filter and replace it when it's dirty.

The HVAC air filter prevents dust from entering your system, helps maintain optimum airflow and traps pollutants in your home's air to help keep it clean. A dirty filter has some dire consequences, including:

  • Making your system work harder to compensate for reduced airflow
  • Increasing your utility bills due to inefficient HVAC operation
  • Allowing dust to enter your system and coat essential components, often resulting in their premature failure
  • Causing your system to overheat and shut down
  • Does little to improve indoor air quality

When choosing an air filter for your HVAC system, it's important to opt for a filter that provides excellent air cleaning qualities in addition to optimum airflow. Choose a filter according to the specifications of your system. Air filters are given a minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating. The higher the value on the scale, the better the filter will clean your air.

  • MERV 1-4: These low-quality, flat filters do little more than protect your system from dust.
  • MERV 5-8: This medium-quality pleated filter traps particles down to 3 microns, such as mold spores.
  • MERV 9-12: These high-quality, pleated filters trap particles down to 1 micron, including Legionella.
  • MERV 13-20: Air filters with a MERV rating in this range are typically not suited for residential systems due to their thickness and density. They can restrict airflow and cause subsequent damage to your HVAC system.

Most air filters are located in the blower compartment between the furnace itself and the air supply duct. To replace your filter, simply slide the old one out and dispose of it. Slide in the new filter with the arrows pointing in the direction of the airflow, or toward the furnace. Stocking up on filters before the heating or cooling season commences is always a good idea.

For more expert advice on air filters or other home comfort needs for your Cincinnati home, contact the pros at JonLe Heating and Cooling

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