So, you’ve probably heard that your air filter serves a vital purpose in your heating and air conditioning systems. You’ve probably also heard that you should have your air filter changed at least once a month, and that it’s pretty easy to do. So why would we suggest that you need a professional to do it for you? Well, for one, your air filter probably doesn’t do what you think it does. For another, proper air filter installation can be a bit more complicated than you think.
Air Filter vs. Air Filtration System
It’s fairly common knowledge that the air filter in a forced air system is there to protect the system from dust particles and other contaminants that can enter the unit and cause problems. The assumption that often accompanies this is that the air filter protects the occupants of a home from contaminants, as well. This is actually not true. The air filter commonly included forced air systems is designed to protect the system from dust and overheating, but that’s it.
An air filtration system, on the other hand, is a different type of air filter that is explicitly designed to increase air quality in the home. This kind of air filter is not present in all forced air systems, and will need to be installed. In some cases, especially with older systems, this will require altering the structure to allow the new air filter to be installed. Professional knowledge of this process is more or less required to ensure that it works properly.
The Right Filter for the Job
All air filters have a MERV rating that indicates their effectiveness in filtering. If you go shopping for an air filter, you may be tempted to choose the one that has the highest MERV rating. That would be the one that filters the best, right? Technically, yes. The problem is that your forced air system is not necessarily designed to handle a MERV rating that high. If you install an air filter with a MERV rating too high for your system, it can actually cause problems like restricting air flow and trapping heat. It is very important that you only select air filters which fit the needs and design of your system.