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Floridians use air conditioners for home comfort year round. That makes knowledge of A/C filters vital for optimum efficiency, equipment operation and indoor air quality. Here’s what all Florida homeowners need to know about air conditioning filters:

Purposes of an A/C filter

Manufacturers fit air conditioners with cheap fiberglass filters to remove large particles from the air that could damage the blower motor or other system components. Buildup of dust and debris in your air conditioner can decrease efficiency and shorten the equipment’s lifespan.

You can choose to upgrade the A/C filter to trap smaller airborne particles that cause asthma and allergies, such as pollen, mold, bacteria and small dust particles.

Changing the A/C filter

While recommendations vary, the general rule of thumb is to check the A/C filter once per month and change it as needed, using the same filter for no longer than three months. Filters are quite inexpensive and easy to change, so it’s worthwhile to maintain proper airflow and encourage cleaner indoor air.

Choosing a filter

Feel free to purchase your replacement A/C filters from the most convenient source for you. If you’re worried about compatibility, check the air conditioner user’s manual. For more specific tips about choosing the right filter for your equipment, speak with a knowledgeable HVAC contractor.

MERV ratings

MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. It measures how efficient an A/C filter performs in trapping particles down to a certain size. For basic air filtration to protect the air conditioner, a low-efficiency filter rated at MERV 1-4 is fine (though these filters should be changed frequently). These low-cost filters won’t do anything to clean your indoor air, however. For more advanced filtration, which is important for allergy sufferers, a higher efficiency filter is recommended. Most HVAC experts suggest an air filter in the MERV 8-12 range, for a nice balance of maintaining both air quality and system airflow.

With this basic guide to A/C filters, it should be easier for you to choose the ideal filter for your system. To learn more, please contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating. We serve Martin, Palm Beach and Indian River counties.