As the temperatures begin to rise in New Jersey with the arrival of summer, make sure your air conditioning system is at its top performance. You know about proper filter maintenance and replacement for the winter months, but what about summer? A worn, clogged, or improperly fitting air filter can greatly reduce the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system.

Air filters need to be changed more frequently during times of high usages, such as winter and summer. Check them monthly and if they’re worn out, replace them. A new air filter is a much smaller investment than having to invest in significant repairs, or worst case, an entirely new HVAC system because of improper maintenance. So how do you know which air filter is best for your home and its equipment?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The value is set by the HVAC industry for evaluating the performance of air filters. MERV ratings start at 1 and go up to 16 for residential systems, with super-efficient HEPA filters in the MERV 17-20 range. Choosing the most efficient one for your system isn’t as easy as choosing the highest rating. You need an air filter that works with your system without putting too much strain on the blower. Higher MERV ratings mean smaller pores in the filter, and if those pores are too small for the air to pass through at a rate your fan can handle, that lowers output and burns out the motor.

A filter with a MERV rating between 8 and 11 is ideal for most residential systems. It will remove most unwanted contaminants without over-stressing your blower. Newer, more efficient systems usually can handle air filters with a rating of 12 or 13. The effectiveness of any filter depends on regular replacement, as stated before. When in doubt about the right air filter or MERV rating for your cooling and heating equipment, consult with your trusted HVAC professional.

For more helpful HVAC advice, please contact us at Pipe Works Services today. We’ve been fulfilling the plumbing and heating and cooling needs of Northern New Jersey homeowners since 1988.

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