From smog, to exhaust, to chemical fumes, everyone knows that outdoor pollution can be hazardous. But did you know that indoor pollution can be just as detrimental to your health? Rated as one of the top five health problems in 97% of American homes, indoor pollution occurs when your home’s air contains an abundance of dust, dirt, mold, and insect remains. Now that pollen & warm weather have begun to make its entrance into our area, indoor air quality is as important as ever.
There are several ways to improve your home’s air quality, but one of the best and most efficient is to switch out your heating and air conditioning system’s filter on a regular basis. Changing your filter improves the airflow in your home, keeps your family warmer in the winter, prolongs the life of your HVAC system, and ultimately saves you money.
Types of Filters
There’s no shortage of filter types. The basic four are pleated, non-pleated, electro-statically charged, and flat throw-away. Filters are qualified by a MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) between one and 11. Filters rated between one and four are generally good for window AC units and stop contaminants like dust, pollen, and mites. As you go higher up the rating scale, the filters stop more types of contaminants. Filters rated 13 and above prevent the spread of bacteria, sneeze particles , and even cooking oil and face powder.
Many homeowners elect for a basic filter (MERV 5) to protect their air quality. These non-pleated, non-charged filters are designed to be changed every month. Not changing your filter reduces your airflow and allows contaminants to build up in your home. The basic filter costs about $5, and you can buy it at your local hardware store.
To change a basic air filter, locate your HVAC system. Place your hand in front of the filter — if you feel a very weak air flow, your filter’s probably dirty. First, ensure your system is off and locate the small door that gives you access to the filter. Open it, remove the old filter, then simply slide the new filter in. These filters are meant to be replaced, so the process is engineered to be simple.
How-To Install an Electrostatic, Pleated Filter
More advanced filters require more expertise to install, and that’s where Michael and Son comes in. Along with filter installations, Michael & Son Services can help with all of your HVAC needs. You can take the worry out of home maintenance with the Michael & Son Home Care Agreement; visit our website for more information. Also, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube page to find out about special offers, upcoming events and much more!