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Just How Efficiently Can An Air Conditioner Filter Operate? Factors To Sort Through

October 27, 2011 | Blog

Your air conditioner filter may seem like little more than a bulky piece of cardboard and paper, but it has a significant impact on how well your air conditioner operates and, in turn, how much it costs to heat and cool your home. High-efficiency filters also improve the air quality in your home, benefiting your family’s respiratory health and overall well-being.

Air Conditioner filter efficiency is defined as the filter’s ability to trap and retain airborne particles traveling through the air-flow system. A high-efficiency filter is extremely good at capturing material such as dust, dander, mold, pollen, and even bacteria. With these airborne contaminants safely trapped inside the filter, they won’t make their way back inside your home where you and your family can inhale them.

Several factors affect how well a high-efficiency filter does its job. For example, arrestance is the filter’s ability to catch and hold dust particles. Arrestance ratings are derived from controlled laboratory tests.

Pressure drop refers to the effect the filter has on air flow within the furnace. High-pressure drops reduce overall efficiency, so it’s preferable to look for filters with lower pressure drop ratings.

Dust holding efficiency describes how much dust a filter can hold at a specific pressure drop. A greater ability to hold dust means a more efficient filter.

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings indicate how well a filter captures particles from 0.3 to 10 microns in size. MERV numbers for home use range from 1 to 16, with higher MERV filters being more efficient. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters offer even better efficiency, though they may impede air flow and require system modifications and are generally not available for residential air conditioning systems.

The filter’s initial efficiency rates how well it works when new, while the sustained efficiency rating is a number representing the filter’s efficiency over its lifetime. These two ratings can give you a good idea of how well the filter will perform over time.

CCAC, Inc. is, as our name says, Constantly Concerned About Customers. We provide trusted and reliable HVAC service to Corpus Christi and South Texas. We can help you evaluate filters and choose the one that is most efficient for your needs. Contact us today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Mathews CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating services Corpus Christi, TX. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!      

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