What Do Air Conditioning Filters Do?
Air conditioning filters catch dirt, grime, and other particulate matter and prevent it from building up on the air conditioning coils. If the coils get too dirty the quality of the indoor air is affected, with risks to health and damage to the environment as well as degradation of your air conditioning system’s efficiency.
Filters must be cleaned or changed regularly. Dirty, old filters impede the free flow of air, causing the air conditioning system to run longer and work harder to keep the house cool. In turn, your electrical bill can be seriously impacted. Dirty filters can also lower the operating life of the air conditioning blower motor, leaving you with an expensive repair bill.
How Much Should You Pay for Air Conditioning Filters?
The short answer to the above question is that more expensive is not necessarily better. Every house, with its occupants and its air conditioning system, is different. Air filters have what is called a MERV rating depending on how much protection they provide. The cheapest, spun fiberglass filters have a 1 to 4 MERV rating. Disposable paper or polyester filters have a 5 to 7 MERV. Electrostatic self-charging filters made from paper fiber or cotton have a 2 to 10 MERV. The most expensive pleated filters, which tend to be thicker than the other kinds and are specially designed to fit their housing, run from 11 to 13 MERV.
In general, you should choose the filter with the rating your air conditioning system is designed for. However, if you have pets or smokers living in your home or people with asthma or other breathing problems, you might want to consider a higher-rated filter to keep your interior air fresh and your system running at peak efficiency.
For more questions on air conditioning filters or any aspect of air conditioning or heating, feel free to contact 4 Seasons Heating & Air in Alpharetta, GA. We have been handling the installation and servicing of air conditioning and heating systems for the North Atlanta area for the past 42 years, including 24-hour emergency service.