August 8, 2020

At Smedley Service, we work hard to keep the climate control systems of residents of Layton, UT, running at their best. You can trust our NATE-certified technicians to take care of your equipment. In addition to temperature problems, we also help customers to address issues with their indoor air quality. One of the easiest ways to improve your IAQ is through the use of a pleated HVAC filter.

Why You Need a Filter

When your heating and cooling systems run, they circulate air throughout your house. You may not realize it, but particles are floating in the air. The dust particles you see drifting through a sunbeam are made up of dead skin cells, pet dander, clothing fibers and pollen grains. When you breathe these in, they can cause an allergic reaction. When they float through your HVAC equipment, they can reduce the system’s efficiency.

Most people are familiar with flat, fiberglass filters. This type of filter is designed to keep larger particles like hair and other fibers from getting into your equipment. However, they do not do much for removing smaller particles from your air supply.

Pleated filters do a better job of removing smaller irritants from the air. Their unique design helps them to capture more impurities. You will have a cleaner system and cleaner air in your residence.

A Larger Surface Area

When you look at a pleated filter, the first thing you will notice is the accordion-like form of the material. The folds increase the surface area of the filter. This larger area improves the ability of the filter to capture impurities. In many houses, pleated filters will last up to 90 days, while homeowners must change fiberglass filters every month.

A Higher MERV Rating

In the HVAC world, the MERV rating refers to the strength of a filter. The acronym stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. A higher MERV rating means that the filter can remove smaller particles from the air. An operating room at a hospital will use a filter with a MERV rating of 16 to remove the smallest particles. Most homeowners would do well with a MERV rating between 8 and 12, depending on air quality concerns.

It is important to note that a higher MERV rating is not always better when it comes to your heating and cooling systems. The ability to filter out very small particles requires a dense material that will slow down the airflow. If your system is not designed to work with a high MERV filter, the equipment will have to work too hard to push air. This will lower efficiency and can shorten the life of the system.

Traditional fiberglass filters have a MERV rating of four or under. They are meant to remove large particles that might damage the system. You will not have to worry about decreased airflow, but you also will not have the advantage of extra filtering power.

Pleated filters use materials such as cotton, paper and polyester for an increased MERV rating. You can find this type of filter in the seven to 12 MERV rating range. At a MERV rating of seven, the filter will remove most dust, dander and pollen grains from your air supply. This will greatly improve your indoor air quality.

Designed for Modern Systems

It used to be that HVAC professionals would only recommend fiberglass filters for the sake of the life of the climate control system. However, innovations in filter materials and HVAC equipment have made it possible to use higher MERV filters in standard systems. A heating or cooling system will have the power to use a pleated filter without significantly lowering its efficiency.

The Need for a Change

One of the most important preventive steps you can take is to change your air filter regularly. Whether it is pleated or fiberglass, it will eventually capture enough impurities that it will slow down the airflow and make your system work too hard. This regular practice can save you from the frustration of an unexpected system failure.

Your Local Climate System Experts

Smedley Service is the company residents of Layton depend on for the care of their heating and cooling equipment. We can handle the repair, maintenance and installation of your home climate systems. We are also the professionals in Layton to turn to for indoor air quality testing and home plumbing needs. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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