The average American spends nearly 90% of their time indoors. That percentage probably goes up during the winter months. This makes maintaining good indoor air quality incredibly important for Humble, TX, homeowners.
One of the best ways to achieve that is through regular heating maintenance. Specifically, filters trap dust, pollen, pet dander, and other contaminants. This goes a long way toward ensuring heating efficiency.
But filters need to be replaced at least once every three months for optimal results. So, how do you choose the right filters for your home?
Keep reading for tips on choosing air filters for winter.
Filter Type: Disposable vs Reusable
One of the first decisions to make when selecting a winter air filter is whether you want to use disposable or reusable options. Disposable filters are usually made of lightweight fibers and are cheaper upfront. They are also very convenient- you simply toss them when they appear visibly clogged, generally after 1-3 months.
However, the recurring cost of buying new disposable filters adds up over time. On the other hand, reusable filters are most commonly made of aluminum or polyethylene plastic meshes that can be washed and reused for up to 5 years. While more expensive upfront, they save you money in the long term through repeated use.
Moreover, reusable filters offer higher airflow. This is because they capture more particulates through their denser, pleated fabrics. This makes them a favored choice for many homeowners looking to enhance Humble, TX, heating maintenance.
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It measures how well a filter can capture particles of different sizes. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is at trapping smaller particles that can worsen winter allergies or asthma.
For example, a MERV 8 filter can capture particles as small as 3 microns, while a MERV 13 filter can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns.
The recommended MERV rating for residential heating systems is between 8 and 13, depending on your indoor air quality needs. Higher ratings above 13 are extremely effective at removing particles but can restrict airflow too much for homes. During the winter, a rating of 8-11 balances particle removal with adequate airflow for most Humble households aiming to enhance air quality.
During your annual heating tune-up, consider upgrading to a MERV rating that’s a step higher than the current filter. If you aren’t sure, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional about the highest MERV rating suitable for your heating system.
Air Filter Size
Another factor to consider when choosing winter air filters is their size. Air filters come in various sizes and can vary between models. You need to ensure that the new filters match the requirements of your HVAC’s air handler or furnace unit.
If the filter is too small, they’ll end up leaving open gaps for unfiltered air to pass through. Conversely, oversized winter filters may need trimming to fit the air handler. This increases the risk of improper installation and airflow issues.
Enlist the help of professional heating maintenance in Humble, TX, to choose the right size filters. This will go a long way toward maintaining optimal airflow during the winter for cleaner and more comfortable indoor conditions.
Initial Resistance or Pressure Drop
You’ll likely come across the terms “initial resistance” and “pressure drop” when researching winter air filters. The terminology refers to the filter’s airflow restriction when brand new, measured in pounds per square inch. The higher the pressure drop number, the denser and more restrictive the clean filter’s material is to air trying to pass through it.
A high initial resistance, usually over 1.0 psi, makes it harder for the blower to push air through the filter. This can strain the HVAC, reducing efficiency and necessitating heating repair too soon. Most experts recommend choosing filters with pressure drops of 0.1 to 0.3 psi.
This range provides a good balance of airflow and filtration ability. Keep in mind that filters with higher MERV ratings or more pleats typically have increased initial resistance. The local heating services can help determine if your system can handle the additional airflow restriction without issues.
Pets can significantly impact the performance of winter air filters in your Humble home. From fur and dander to tracked-in dirt and odors, pets put filters to the test seasonally. High energy and heat indoors during winter may also increase shedding relative to other months.
Evaluate filter upgrades in terms of your specific pets’ hair length, activity levels, and counts. Multiple large dogs require more substantial winter filters than a single cat. Additionally, consider adding secondary filtration like vent filters.
These can help effectively manage the pet hair circulating through your heater. It can also reduce the strain on primary filters.
Keep in mind that multiple winter filter changes may be in order if you own shedding pets. This is because hair and dander buildup limits cold airflow. It also causes the dispersal of allergens into your home’s tightly sealed winter atmosphere.
HVAC Company Recommendations
One of the best ways to choose the right winter air filters for your Humble, TX, home is to consult professional heating services experts. A professional understands the local climate, seasonal challenges, and common home layouts. They know how these factors impact the function of filtration abilities of your heating systems.
Moreover, an HVAC technician can thoroughly check your existing system for any issues. They can also recommend air filters for winter that best match your unique needs. They’ll even handle the replacement to ensure peak heating efficiency and air purity all winter.
Ramp Up Heating Maintenance With Air Filters for Winter
Choosing the right air filters for winter can make a huge difference in the quality of your home’s indoor air. It can also impact comfort, health, and energy efficiency. By considering the above factors, you can find the best option for your Humble, TX.
But if you need help, don’t hesitate to contact an expert at Guy’s Air Conditioning & Heating. We offer a wide range of HVAC services, including heating maintenance, to ensure the comfort of your home this winter.
Feel free to schedule an appointment today to discuss your filtration needs.