Furnace filters have a big impact on the efficiency and lifespan of an HVAC system. The type of furnace filter you choose, directly affects the amount you pay for heating and cooling in Sterling, Virginia. That’s because you can lower energy costs by changing the filters as recommended. You will need your Sterling HVAC company’s repair services less often by choosing the right filter and changing it as needed. What follows are more details and pretty much all you need to know about furnace filters.

What is a Furnace Filter & Is it the Same as an AC Filter?

A furnace filter is the same thing as an AC filter–or heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) filter–if your home has central heating and air conditioning. They are usually the same if your AC unit and heating or furnace unit are separate, as well, since they typically share the same air-handler.

A furnace filter is made with a variety of materials, such as polyester and fiberglass. They come in a range of sizes, such as 16”x20” and 20”x25”. The higher quality filters are pleated. Washable filters, which are permanent and reusable, are more efficient than the other varieties, which are all disposable. The disposable varieties of filters must be replaced when they get dirty and permanent filters must be washed and/or vacuumed regularly.

Why Furnace Filters are So Important

Furnace filters truly are essential components of an HVAC system because the entire operation of the furnace and AC is directly affected by the filter. Furnace filters prevent dust, gunk, and hair from being pulled into the blower fan by the return duct. A natural result of eliminating the circulation of contaminants is that the air is cleaner.

Improved air quality is a good benefit but it’s important to understand that the operation of the furnace is affected by the filter. If the furnace filter no longer does its job, the entire system has to work much harder to deliver air through the vents. Mechanical failure of an HVAC system in Sterling, Virginia, often occurs because the furnace filter hadn’t been changed or cleaned.

Different Uses of Furnace Filters

When you buy a furnace filter, it can be about more than ensuring that the furnace operates properly. Some more expensive filters, such as high-efficiency electrostatic filters, magnetically attract and filter contaminants. These types of filters are typically used in homes with pets or with someone who smokes, has allergy problems, or suffers from asthma. The high-efficiency kind are able to filter out dander, pollen, tobacco smoke, dust mites, and other particles from the air.

Note: High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are mechanical air filters that cannot be used in a furnace because they would restrict air flow. However, there are some furnace filters that come close to the filtration capability of HEPA filters except that furnace filters can’t remove viruses from the air. Learn more in the next segment.

What Kind of Furnace Filter is the Right One to Buy?

Two things determine which furnace filter is the right one for you to buy. The first is that you need to buy a furnace filter that has the correct measurements. Otherwise, the filter wouldn’t fit or do the job of protecting the blower fan. Once you determine the size of the filter you need, you’ll need to make a choice about quality.

You spend less on the least expensive furnace filters, but they need to be changed more often. If you check the MERV rating, you get an idea of the effectiveness of a filter. The MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating of spun filters is usually 4. The average MERV rating for standard pleated filters is 6. Electrostatic pleated filters have ratings that range from MERV 8 to MERV 12, which is the highest quality furnace filter you can buy.

When is it Time to Change the Furnace Filter?

The simplest answer to when is it time to change a furnace filter is: When it looks dirty. That time will come as quickly as two weeks if you buy the cheapest, lowest-quality air filter for your furnace. High quality furnace and AC filters need to be changed approximately every three months or longer.

Your AC / Furnace Filter and Sterling HVAC Services

One of the primary reasons homeowners need furnace or air conditioning repair Sterling VA is because filters when not changed for long time time, result in mechanical failure. Just as oil changes are essential to keep cars operating, furnace filters are essential components that keep HVAC systems running. Homeowners can often avoid the need for Sterling HVAC repairs by routinely changing filters and scheduling regular maintenance.

Contact Cardinal for Air Conditioning Repair Sterling VA 

At Cardinal Plumbing Heating & Air Inc., we proudly provide Sterling HVAC services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Our highly trained and friendly technicians will take the time to explain to homeowners things such as the importance of changing furnace filters regularly. We care about your comfort! That’s why we encourage homeowners to schedule regular HVAC maintenance and keep up with changing their furnace filters.

Call us for today for air conditioning repair Sterling VA or to schedule furnace maintenance.