Changing the filters in your air conditioner on a regular basis is part of general home maintenance, but did you know those filters play a big role in maximizing the efficiency of your system? We’ll teach you why replacing this small component is actually a very important part of HVAC upkeep.

What is the purpose of an air filter?  

Many people mistakenly believe that air filters keep dust and allergens out of the air. However, this is not what AC air filters are designed to do. Their main purpose is to keep dust out of the AC equipment to prevent damage to the system and keep it running efficiently. While ordinary AC filters help remove some dust from the air (when changed regularly!), they do little to trap the microscopic particles that cause allergy symptoms. But, if your goal is to improve air quality and reduce allergy symptoms, speciality filters designed to catch those tiny particles are out there.

What kind of air filter should I use?

The most common AC filters are made of paper. These filters are designed to trap large particles like dust that can accumulate on the motor and fans, reducing efficiency. Particles like mold, bacteria, and certain types of pollen are much smaller in size so they slip right through the fibers of those regular filters. This means they get circulated through your ductwork and blown back into your home. Air filters designed to block smaller particles are called “high energy particulate air filters” or HEPA filters. This type of filter is made from densely packed layers of glass fibers and can trap up to 99 percent of debris from pollen, dust, and smoke.  If you opt for a HEPA filter, make sure to check the MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting system) – the higher the rating, the better. A MERV rating of 10 or higher is generally accepted but our highly trained Comfort Consultants can help you find the best filters for your needs!

How often should I change my air filters?

Air filters, especially the HEPA filters, need to be changed at least once every two months and even more frequently during high pollen season. When you meet with a Northeast Florida Heating and Air technician, they can advise you on what filters are recommended for your equipment and your area.

If I change my filters regularly, does my AC unit still need professional maintenance?

Air filters are important for maximizing the efficiency of your AC unit, but they can’t do it alone! Air conditioners should be professionally maintained at least once a year to prevent buildup on the blower fans and in your ductwork. The air you breathe cycles through your HVAC system about five to seven times each day. If you are not properly maintaining your system, you risk having a major build-up of dust, pollen, and even mold spores on your equipment and in your ducts.

Call Northeast Florida Heating and Air for a maintenance check!

When you invest in AC maintenance, your equipment will be properly cleaned and tuned up, so you’ll enjoy fresher air, a more efficient AC unit, and fewer breakdowns. Regular maintenance can also help lower your energy bills and prolong the life of your air conditioning system. If you are in the Jacksonville, FL area and are interested in having your AC unit checked, call Northeast Florida Heating and Air at (904) 783-7003.


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