The cost of an air filter for your HVAC system varies depending on the product. Much of the cost comes from the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating, as well as how thick it is, what it’s made of, who’s selling it, etc.
Typically, for a standard disposable air filter that you can find at your local home improvement store, you shouldn’t expect to spend more than a couple of dollars. Filters that you can wait to change to every nine to 12 months or so tend to be more expensive, but you get what you pay for insofar as their efficiency.
If you’re not sure which filter will give you the best bang for your buck, our experts at Ambient Edge can help match the right filter to your current make and model of HVAC system. We don’t just do service calls – we also give advice! Call us for assistance at (928) 433-2979, or drop us a line on our website.
How to Know What Size to Buy
You may find yourself overwhelmed in the air filter aisle at all the different-sized air filters you can buy. How do you know if you’re selecting the right size for your unit? Your best bet is to consult your owner’s manual before you even head to the store. They should list the size of the filter in your manual.
Failing that, another tried and true method is to check out the filters you already have in your air conditioner and furnace, and then buy new versions of those. To do this, pull out the filter from its compartment and you’ll see all the relevant filter information right there in the compartment.
You should be able to locate everything from the brand of the filter to its MERV rating and dimensions. It’s even easier if they list the part number. Then you can head right to the store and look for (or ask for) the exact filter you need.
How Often You Should Replace Your HVAC System Filters
The main function of the air filters in your air conditioner and the furnace is to clean the air before these units push it back out. When they clean the air, where do you think the dirty and harmful particles go? That’s right – trapped in the air filter. Therefore, it makes sense that over time these filters get filthy and you must replace them. But when is the ideal time to do that?
Air filter manufacturers offer guidelines of between 3 to 12 months, depending on the size and quality of the filter. How often you change your filter, however, depends more on your individual living space. For example, does anyone in your home smoke? Do you have pets? If so, then you may need to change them more often.
Changing your filter also depends on which filter you buy. If you opt for a cheaper filter, then you’ll probably want to change it every 3 months or perhaps more often if you have pets or live with a smoker. If you invest more in your filter, you may be able to stretch it out to that 12-month mark. But you should check on it periodically and clean it regularly to ensure it’s not yet ready for the garbage can.
A good rule of thumb is if you hold up the filter to a light source and you can’t see through it, then it’s time to replace it.
The minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), or MERV rating, of an air filter tells you how efficient that filter is. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter. Most MERV ratings range between 1 and 16, though some filters may have slightly higher ratings. As you might expect, the higher the MERV rating, the more expensive the filter.
However, it’s important that you don’t just run out and grab a higher-rated MERV filter simply because it’s “the best.” A higher MERV number can actually allow less air to flow through your HVAC unit, which makes a higher-rated filter as bad as a clogged one. Most homes are just fine with air filters that have a MERV rating between 7 and 10.
If all of this sounds like babble to you, don’t worry. Our experts can analyze your system and help you find and buy the right kind of filters for both your air conditioner and furnace.
Don’t Let Air Filters Confuse You. Let Our Experts at Ambient Edge Help You Shop!
Since many of our service calls are for breakdowns resulting from poor-quality air filters, we’ve learned a great deal about air filters over the years. We know which ones are right for which systems, and which ones are right for which living spaces. As such, we can help you find the air filter that will help your machines run smoothly, safely, and efficiently.
Call us today at (928) 433-2979 for advice or service. We provide round-the-clock service for everything from emergencies and minor service calls to preventive maintenance. No matter what you need, if it’s HVAC-related, we can help. So call us today!