Did you know an average adult takes between 17,000 and 30,000 breaths every day? Breathing is something we take for granted and seldom think about at all. We assume there will be clean air around us, and that we’ll be healthy to carry out our daily responsibilities.
The reality is that many things in our indoor and outdoor environments can affect this life-giving activity. Although you can’t control everything in your air, you can do some simple things to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). Our professionals at AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning want to remind you one simple thing you can do is change your air filters regularly.
Air filters are typically made from a fiberglass or pleated material and come in a disposable cardboard frame. They sit in a compartment of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system and clean the air as it moves through your Texas home.
Air filters treat the air on its way back into the HVAC system to be either heated or cooled. In this way, clean air moves through your equipment before being circulated through your home. Even the most basic air filters can trap and remove dust, dirt, pollen, fibers, lint, hair, pet fur, and other particles.
Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings provide you with information to help you select the best type of air filter for your home. MERV ratings are between one and 16, with higher levels indicating better filtration levels. Filters with the highest MERV ratings will removing very fine particles but will also cost the most.
Standard, inexpensive filters typically have a MERV rating of one to four while slightly better filters used in many Austin homes have a rating of up to eight. Middle-of-the-road filters can capture particles 1 micron or larger and are typically rated between nine and 12. High-efficiency filters rated between 13 and 16 can remove anything larger than 0.3 microns.
Although some filters with MERV ratings higher than 16 are available, you must be sure your HVAC equipment is designed to handle such dense filtration. If not, you could damage your HVAC equipment.
If you and your family are relatively healthy, you may not notice any discomfort if you forget to change your air filters from time to time. However, many people find they can tell when their indoor air quality decreases because it affects their overall health.
Consider that the majority of people spend nearly all their time indoors. This means you are always breathing the air in your office or home. Outdoor pollutants can make their way inside, and inevitably dust and dirt will collect indoors. If you smoke, have recently remodeled, or care for indoor pets, you’ll be adding more pollutants and particles to your air.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), allergic rhinitis affects between 10 and 30 percent of people. There’s a good chance someone in your household will be affected by poor indoor air quality.
Symptoms may range from a simple stuffy nose or sneezing to significant respiratory distress in individuals who suffer from asthma or other lung diseases.
You can perform simple air filter maintenance in your home by simply remembering to change your filter regularly. Most filters should be changed every three to six months, but check the manufacturer’s recommendation for your particular HVAC unit to confirm the frequency.
In addition, you may want to have one of our HVAC professionals come out and inspect your system each spring and fall to ensure other components are clean and operating well. This is especially important if you’ve neglected changing your air filters in the past, because a clogged filter can put extra stress on your entire unit. You may need to replace or repair other associated components to keep your unit operating reliably and cost efficiently.
The simple task of changing your air filters brings many benefits to you as a homeowner. Not only do you experience cleaner indoor air, but you can save significant money. Clean air filters will help your HVAC unit operate at its peak efficiency and result in a longer life span for your entire system.
In addition, good air filtration can positively affect your home’s humidity control. All of these factors can reduce your monthly utility bills as well, saving you even more money in the long run.
Our team at AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning in Round Rock, Texas, can help provide more information about air filters. We can share additional data as well as answer questions about air filters or your HVAC system in general. Just call us at 512.537.1234 or request service online today.