What MERV Filter Should I Use?

Using the right filter could be the difference between a healthy family and one that experiences health issues. While there are a lot of filters on the market, and a lot of factors to take into consideration, one thing you need to look at is the MERV rating. These ratings range from good to better to best, but how do you know which is right for your home and family? The following are some things to consider.

The 3 Common MERV Filters

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. There are ratings ranging from 1 to 20, but the most commonly used filters in residences are 8, 11, and 13. By the MERV rating, you can understand how well each particular filter does at keeping contaminants out of your home. The greater the number, the better job it does, and need varies from home to home. For one family, an 8 might do the job just fine, while another might require a 13 because of their specific circumstances.

How Pressure Drop Relates to Filters

Anything that gets between your vents and your HVAC system is going to cause air resistance. While you need those filters, they are one of the causes of air resistance. This is called pressure drop. As you look at different filters, you want one with a lower pressure drop, but not so low that it won’t work efficiently. A good filter with a higher MERV rating is going to cause pressure drop, so don’t shy away just because it’s slightly higher.

A MERV 8 Rating is Basic

If you live in an area that has relatively low air pollution, you keep your home clean, and you don’t have any pets or allergies, a MERV 8 rating might be just right for your air filter. This rating will keep bacteria, dust, dust mites, mold, and pollen out of your air. Because the filter isn’t as tight, the pressure drop will generally be pretty low. MERV 8 filters would be classified as a “good” option for your home.

A MERV 11 Rating is More Significant

Going up a level to a MERV 11 rating, you’re going to filter out everything the 8 filters, in addition to the pet dander floating around your home. If you’ve got pets or mild allergies, this could be the right filter for you. The pressure drop is slightly higher, but that’s to be expected considering it filters more, and it’s still not high enough to be a concern. MERV 11 filters would be considered a “better” option when it comes to complete filtration for your home.

A MERV 13 Rating is Top Quality

A MERV 13 filter will rid your home of everything the 11 filters, but also gets rid of smoke, smog, cooking oils, and virus carriers, making this a top-quality filter. If you live in an area with a high level of air pollution, you’d want to use a filter with a MERV 13 rating. It’s also an acceptable option for families with multiple pets or individuals who have severe allergies. You’ll see a higher pressure drop with a MERV 13 filter, but again, it’s nothing to be concerned about. You might consider a filter with a MERV 13 rating your “best” option.

What Will You Choose?

As you can see, there are many factors at play when you’re choosing a filter for your HVAC system. Take some time to consider your specific circumstances and call Crockett Filter Club at 844-401-4604 with any questions.

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Breathing In A Furry Wonderland: Your Pets And HVAC

heating repair serviceWith fall on the way out and winter rolling in, American families are spending more and more time indoors. However, as you prepare your home and HVAC system for the winter, it’s essential that you don’t forget about your pets.

With great pets comes great responsibility, especially when it comes to your home heating system during the winter. Just like your air conditioning unit, your pet’s fur and dander can build up in the vents of your heating system without proper cleaning.

With that being said, here are some things to keep in mind this winter regarding the ways your pets affect your home’s air quality and HVAC systems.

Seasonal shedding

Although pet hair can build up in the filters of your HVAC systems throughout the year, it’s more likely to build up quicker prior to winter. This is because your furry friend is exchanging their thinner fur for their winter coat.

For this reason, you’ll need to change your filters frequently in the winter with the help of a heating repair service. This is especially true if your pet has long hair like a ragamuffin or a collie.

If you don’t change your filters, the hair can easily build up and block your filter. As a result, your air quality will be poor and may even cause respiratory issues. To keep your air quality as high as possible, contact a heating repair service to change your furnace filters at least once a month during the colder season.

Your pet’s favorite snooze spots

Pets, especially cats, love to lay on the heating vents on a chilly winter night. While this isn’t a problem for your heating system directly, it’s good to check and see if your pet has accidentally closed the vent itself.

A closed vent can be problematic for your heating ventilation and cause improper heating distribution around the house. This can make your HVAC system work harder than it needs to properly balance the heating around the house. The harder your system has to work, the less efficient your system will be and the higher your utility bills.

The Air Scrubber Plus®

The typical American household will have their air ducts cleaned every three to five years. However, as mentioned above, pet hair and dander can cause your HVAC filters to clog up even with the help of a heating repair service.

With the Air Scrubber Plus®, you don’t have to worry as much about the contaminants in your home air quality. The Air Scrubber Plus® uses ActivePure Technology to destroy up to 99% of surface contaminants.

The Air Scrubber Plus® has also been proven to reduce up to 90% of all airborne contaminants in the American home. To find out more about the Air Scrubber Plus and what it can do for your home, visit Pioneer Heating and Air today.

Will Your Heating System Last Through Another Winter?

heating systemDespite proper maintenance and care, your heating system won’t last forever. The average furnace only lasts for up to 15 to 20 years and the older they get, the less efficient furnaces become. You’ll be spending more calling your furnace repair service than relaxing and enjoying the cozy warmth of your home.

Before the colder weather becomes downright chilly, it may be in your best interest to consider installing a new furnace. Here are some key determining factors to help you make a well-informed decision whether to upgrade your heating system.

  1. Your heating system is getting older
    As mentioned above, the average furnace typically lasts between 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance and routine repairs by your furnace repair business. While some furnaces continue to work efficiently enough past 20 years, the odds are slim. The older your system gets, the less likely it’ll be able to keep your home adequately warm during the winter months.
  2. Your furnace doesn’t produce heat like it used to
    If routine maintenance and changes in the HVAC filter don’t seem to make a difference in the efficiency of your furnace, it may be a sign to get a new one. Poor heating efficiency can cause your furnace to overwork itself, which may lead to short cycling and overheating, which can be dangerous to you and your family. However, regardless of the amount of heat given off by your furnace, be sure to keep all flammable objects at least three feet away from your system to prevent fire hazards.
  3. Your bills are higher without any changes in your home life
    One of the best ways to determine whether your furnace is malfunctioning and losing energy efficiency is to look back and compare your utility bills over the years. While your utility may change month to month, the average cost over the course of the year should remain steady. If you’re noticing a gradual increase over the years, it may be a sign that your furnace is working harder to keep your home warm. Therefore, it may be time for a new furnace installation.

Even with routine maintenance and proper care, your heating system may eventually succumb to age and performance issues. Should this be the last winter your furnace produces sufficient heat in your home, consult your heating contractor for more information on furnace installation options.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until The Cold Sets In To Tune Up Your Furnace

furnace repairMany Americans enjoy the gentle chill of the autumn weather when it’s too cold to run the air conditioning, but not quite cold enough to relish in the warmth of the furnace. However, waiting until the last minute to turn on your heating system can be a problem.

Your HVAC system should be checked at least twice a year, once in the spring and the other in the fall. This is so your heating and cooling system is well-prepared for both the hot and cold seasons.

A furnace that’s been dormant throughout the summer may not be ready to charge ahead during the winter months. You don’t want to wait until you’re shivering to realize there’s a problem.

Preparing your heating system for winter
Begin by checking your furnace for anything flammable around or inside the unit that may have made its way inside during the summer months. As a rule of thumb, anything flammable should be kept at least three feet away from a running furnace.

Once you’ve established that nothing flammable is present around or inside your furnace, open the windows in your house before turning on your furnace. This is because dust and lint can settle inside the system during the summer. These particles are harmless, but they can often cause a slight burning smell as the furnace gets rid of them during its first cycle.

After turning on your furnace, let the system run for up to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the slight burning smell from the dust and lint should dissipate. However, should the smell continue after 10 minutes, turn off the heating system and contact a furnace repair service immediately for maintenance.

Conduct routine maintenance on your system
Performing routine maintenance on your HVAC system is essential to ensure proper and long-term heating function. A professional heating contractor or furnace repair service should take a look at your furnace at least twice a year.

Every 30 days or so, you should conduct your own heating system maintenance by changing the HVAC filter. This will help to keep your heating system working properly and your air clear of dust and debris.

Additional maintenance you can do around your system includes testing the thermostat for accurate control of the furnace. If your thermostat isn’t working properly, it can cause your furnace to short cycle, which can result in overheating or other damage.

An overheating furnace can be especially dangerous, which is why it’s also important to replace and test the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors prior to the colder weather.

The colder weather can be pleasant to many American homeowners before it gets too chilly. However, it’s essential not to wait too long to tune up and turn on your furnace. The earlier your furnace repair service can catch a problem with your furnace, the less likely you’ll have to worry about your heating system failing in the bitter cold.

What’s Causing My Furnace To Short Cycle?

furnace repair serviceHaving a working furnace is essential what with the weather brewing colder temperatures outdoors. However, sometimes furnaces can falter when they’ve been inactive during the summer. This is especially true if they haven’t been tuned up efficiently for the colder weather.

One of the most common problems homeowners often face with their furnace is called short cycling. Short cycling is when the furnace turns on for a short period of time but then turns off. This start-and-stop cycle can keep your home from properly warming up and may also damage your furnace itself.

But what causes your furnace to short cycle? The following are some of the key problems behind the short cycling of furnaces and how you can fix them.

Your furnace is too big
Short cycling that happens as soon as the furnace is installed may be caused by the furnace itself rather than a problem with the furnace. That is, the furnace may be too big or too strong for the space in which you’ve installed it.

An oversized heater will use a lot of energy to heat your space, which can cause the distribution of warm air in your home to be uneven. Uneven heat distribution causes the furnace to turn on and off again in order to compensate.

Contact your furnace repair service before assuming the problem with your furnace is its size. While it may be the cause, there could be another problem with the device.

Your furnace is overheating
Another common cause of a short cycling furnace is that the furnace itself is overheating and it’s turning itself off to prevent damage. An overheating furnace can be caused by restricted airflow. This causes the hot air in the furnace to become trapped. Restricted airflow is often the result of interior vents being blocked, a blocked exhaust vent, or a dirty air filter.

If your furnace is overheating, it’s essential for you to contact your furnace repair service immediately. This is because cracks can occur in the heat exchanger of the furnace when the machine overheats. Heat exchanger cracks can result in carbon monoxide leaks, which are life-threatening to both you and your family. For this reason, the carbon monoxide alarms in your home should be tested at least once a month.

Your thermostat is malfunctioning
Finally, another common cause of a short cycling furnace isn’t your furnace at all. When your thermostat malfunctions, it can signal to your furnace that the set temperature in the room has been met, causing the furnace to prematurely turn off.

A short cycling furnace can cause your home heating system to break down prematurely, which can be a big problem during the winter months. If your furnace is short cycling and you can’t seem to get the problem under control, contact the heating contractors at a professional furnace repair service today.