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One of the best things you can do for your HVAC system is to regularly change your filter. It is recommended to change it once every 3 months, but that can vary. There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting the type of filter you want for your HVAC system. Here are some questions to think about:

What is the purpose of the HVAC filter?

The filter’s job is to filter the air that cycles through your home. It is actually to protect your HVAC system, but as an added benefit, it improves the air that you are breathing. A clogged filter can result in poor air quality and poor efficiency for the machine. As the filter becomes overfilled with particles that get caught, they begin to block air from flowing through smoothly, which in turn causes the system to work harder to push air through the clog.

What is the current air quality in your home?

There are a variety of factors that can impact the air quality in your home. Do you live in an area with a lot of traffic smog? Do you live in an area with heavy pollen during allergy season? Do you live in a home with someone who smokes? Does your home use a wood-burning stove or fireplace? Are there animals living in your home that shed and release dander? If your home includes one or more of these factors, it might be a good idea to consider purchasing a higher-quality filter, or changing the filter more frequently. You could also look into purchasing a portable air filtration system, to work alongside your HVAC filter. 

Who lives in your home?

If you live with someone who is really bothered by seasonal allergies, pet dander, or someone who has respiratory issues, a better filter or more frequent filter changes can make a difference in their lives. You might also want to consider an upgraded filter if you live with an elderly person, a newborn, or someone with other health issues.

What does MERV mean?

MERV is the most common way that the industry rates filters and their ability to remove particles from the air. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and the higher the number, the wider the range of particles and pollutants that it can remove. Here are some examples of MERV ratings:

  • MERV 6 – For your basic home, removes pollen, dust and lint
  • MERV 8 – For homes, but a little more effective, removes pollen, dust, lint, mold, and dust mites
  • MERV 11 – For homes that need cleaner air, removes all of the things listed for MERV 6 and 8, as well as dander, smoke, smog, and germs from coughs and sneezes
  • MERV 13 – For homes in need of the most filtration, removes everything in MERV 6, 8, and 11, and virus and bacteria particles. 

When selecting the type of filter you need, there are a lot of factors to think about. If you are unsure of which one is right for you, contact Reliance Home Comfort, and we can help you choose – based on your needs and your budget. A great thing to do when you’ve selected a filter is to sign up for an automatic refill subscription. The company sends you a filter when it is time for a replacement, so you don’t have to keep track. You just know when the filter arrives, it’s time for a change. Contact Reliance Home Comfort today with any questions you have about filters, and to schedule your next maintenance visit.