6 Telltale Signs Your AC Is Overworked

Who enjoys sweltering in the summer heat? If you want to ensure that your air conditioner continues to blow cool air in the depth of the summer months we layout 6 smart ways to tell if your AC unit is overworked.

Your AC might be overworked if…

Improper Settings are on your thermostat

You can help your air conditioning unit work efficiently by keeping the thermostat set at a steady temperature. For the best efficiency, you should set the dial to a temperature that feels comfortable, but not too cold. The Department of Energy suggests that having a fan on and setting the temperature at 78 degrees is the perfect energy- saving method. Otherwise, the AC unit would have to kick on and off repeatedly all day to keep the temperatures low.

Wrong Unit Size

When you purchase a new air conditioner, it is necessary to match its size to the square footage of your home to avoid overworking the system. An improperly sized air conditioner will work to hard and too long as it attempts to cool the space. This will cause it to develop premature wear and damage that often leads to failure of internal parts.

Dirty/ Wrong Size Air Filter

As the AC filter clogs with dirt and debris, the efficiency of the system plummets, causing you to pay extra money for less cooling power. In addition, the air conditioner blower has to work even harder than normal, which can lead to internal damage. For best results, change your filter every one to three months on average, but check it monthly during high pollen counts or excessive dust. In addition, the wrong air filter size can cause your AC unit to be overworked. Always check the make and model of the unit and purchase the correct filters size accordingly. If your old filter does not have labels with the size, grab some tape measure or ruler and see our page on “How to Measure Your Air Filter”.

Clogged Drain Lines

Over time, the drain lines in air conditioners get clogged with debris. Once the drain lines are clogged, the air conditioner cannot adequately remove moisture from the air to cool it to optimal temperatures. As apart of your seasonal cleaning, try to clear out the drain lines to keep your AC unit efficiently producing cool air. If you are unsure of the location of your drain line, consult a HVAC consultation they may be able to show the location of your drain line.

Uninsulated Ducts

If your air conditioner ducts are not properly insulated, the cooled air may rise in temperature before it enters the room. Since wildlife like squirrels and raccoons can remove this material from the ducts, be sure to double check the insulation on a regular basis to avoid accidentally overworking the cooling system.

Closed Vent Flaps

The AC unit utilizes exterior vent flaps to release warm air and moisture left over from the cooling process. When the vent flaps are turned to the closed position, the warm air remains in the case and kicks the system into overdrive. When this happens, you may notice that the air coming out of your interior vents feels warmer than usual.

Reducing Stress On Your Air Conditioning Unit

By paying close attention to the six areas listed above, you can make sure your air conditioning unit produces adequate amounts of icy cool air without causing excessive damage to the internal parts. When you are preparing the air conditioner for summer, for example, you can double check all of these problem areas to ensure your system is ready to go before powering it up full time. You will be rewarded with an AC system that maintains comfortable temperatures in your home without fail.

Preventative care methods like a yearly check –up of your AC unit is more likely to detect any recurring problems.  AC units are very expensive and should lasts an average of 20 years, proper care throughout your ownership will keep your unit in the best shape possible.


Air Filter vs Air Purifier

You’ve probably wondered if there’s much difference between an air filter and air purifier. The quick and simple answer to this question is ‘YES’. Although they both work to alleviate contaminants inside your home, they do it in very different ways.

How Does an Air Filter Work?

Air filters for the home are part of your HVAC system. They allow air to re-circulate back through your home after filtering out impurities such as pet dander, dead skin, cigarette smoke, pollen, among others. The air filters help your HVAC system run at peak performance and extend the life of the HVAC unit by keeping dust and dirt from entering the ducts. Over time, the filter will become clogged with the debris that it removes from the air, loosing efficiency. This is why it’s so important to replace your air filter every 30 to 90 days, depending upon the filter type.

A clean air filter has a tremendous impact on the quality of air inside your home. Air filters for allergy season can help alleviate a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and wheezing by catching allergens in the air.

What Does an Air Purifier Do?

A typical air purifier uses the same method for filtration to remove pollutants from the air such as cigarette smoke, pollen, dust, etc.  In this way, it removes the same sort of impurities that home air filters do, and some people use them to specifically remove odors.

There are several types of air purifiers and each work a bit differently. You just have to pick the better fit for your needs. For example, the activated carbon purifier is commonly used to remove odors from the air, but falls short when it comes to removing pollen, dust or other fine particles.

Sources: GAC Services, Air Care Online, My Air Purifier

 


Myths about Air Filters: BUSTED!

Let’s face it, you’ve postponed purchasing replacement HVAC air filters because you haven’t really realized how important they are for air quality of your home. Your HVAC system works constantly to keep your family warm in winter and cool in summer while improving the quality of the air. Therefore, we have compiled this list to set the record straight of common myths that you have heard or seen circulating about air filters.

One

Air Filters Only Minimize Dust – FALSE! While a quality air filter will do a lot to minimize the dust in your home, there is so much more a filter can do! Many filters can reduce the impact of pet dander and help eliminate mildew, viruses and bacteria in your home. If you invest in air filters for allergy season, you can reduce the impact of common allergens the entire family.

Two

My Filters Don’t Need to Be Changed That Often – FALSE! The experts are correct on this one, you need to change your filter every month. If you typically buy air filters with higher MERV Ratings such as MERV 11 or 13, then it is recommended that your filter changes every THREE months. However, if you have respiratory ailments such as asthma or allergies, monthly air filter changes still apply. This rule is especially strict on smokers and those with indoor pets, regardless of MERV rating.

Three

I Can Run My Furnace Without a Filter – FALSE! Running your furnace without the filter is a huge no-no! Without a filter, dust, dirt and debris will be allowed to blow freely throughout the home. Furthermore, you don’t want an expensive HVAC bill because this can cause significant damage to your HVAC unit. This practice is quite hazardous and could be costly.

Four

All Filters Are the Same – FALSE! There are different styles and types of filters. The air filter you choose is based on the current conditions of your home. If someone in your home has severe allergies or asthma, it makes sense to choose a filter that is designed to catch allergens. Others have many variations such as odor reduction, fiberglass, deep pleats or washable.

Five

If the Filter Fits, It Works – FALSE! If you have an HVAC filter that is not a perfect fit, it will not work as well and can lead to problems with your unit. Various brands such as Honeywell and Carrier, works better with filters belonging to that brand or replacements. To ensure you purchase a replacement air filter that fits perfectly, annotate the measurements. If there are no measurements displayed on the filter, you may need to measure your filter.

Six

There is No Wrong Way to Install Air FiltersFALSE! Arrows are key for installing the air filter the correct way. When installing air filters for the home, check out the arrows that indicate the air flow on your filter and your unit. If there are no arrows on your unit, you may need to refer to your owner’s manual. Installing the filter, the right way will make a big difference in how well the filter operates.

Seven

Air Filters Don’t Help with Allergies or Asthma – FALSE! While an air filter may not be a miracle cure for asthma or severe allergies, a filter can improve symptoms-especially when utilized with other preventative measures. In an article by WebMD, the EPA and the American Lung Association both recommend the use of air filters to reduce allergy or asthma symptoms.

As you can see, there are quite a few myths floating around when it comes to HVAC air filters.

 


Do I Really Need to Change my Furnace Filter?

YES! Freezing temperatures can make your furnace work harder and without the proper maintenance it can cause the unit to break.

During peak winter months, one of the main causes of failure is a clogged filter. Whether a residential, commercial or industrial furnace, your HVAC system needs the filter changed with more frequency during peak seasons. This is an easy and inexpensive step but a very important one!

Furnace filters can be trusted with catching dust, pet dander, and other airborne bacteria, depending on the efficiency, but when your filter is old a few things happen: your filter gets clogged, your furnace has to work harder to push air through, and what does make it through are particles of the dust and build up. Checking and changing your furnace filter regularly help avoid all of these things.

A clean filter will not only help your furnace continue to operate efficiently but it will also extend its life, improve air quality and help you with allergies and asthma.

Need help getting a new filter for your furnace? Go to Air Filters Delivered. Our business is the air you breathe.


MERV vs. MPR vs. FPR: Navigating Through Air Filter Rating Systems

Choosing the right air filter can be a daunting task. Have you wondered why there are 3 different rating systems? Certain brands have created their own rating system but, at the end of the day, they are rating the SAME filter! Unaware consumers often find themselves paying premium prices at grocery stores or big box retailers. Learn the facts and your next purchase will be much easier on your wallet.

MERV Rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) is the primary rating system used in the industry, both domestically and internationally. Established by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers), MERV rates a filter’s ability to capture and hold particles and pollutants.

MPR (Micro-Particle Performance Rating) is a rating system developed by 3M. It rates the manufacturer’s filters and their ability to capture airborne particles smaller than 1 micron

FPR (Filter Performance Rating) is a rating system developed by The Home Depot for brands sold through their stores, including Honeywell. It utilizes a color and number scale from 4 to 10 that closely resembles MERV rating.

The below chart will help you understand which of the ratings are comparable to each other:

MERV MPR FPR Efficiency Change Frequency
6 300 n/a Captures lint,household dust and pollen 30 Days
8 600 5/Green MERV 6 + dust mites & mold spores 90 Days
11 1000 – 1200 7/ Red MERV 8 + smoke, smog, cough/sneeze & pet dander 90 Days
13 1500 -1900 10/Blue MERV 11 + virus carries, odors & bacteria. 90 Days

Pet Owners: What You Should Know About Pet Allergens

How Can Pet Allergens Affect You?

We love our pets! But pet dander can trigger allergic reactions or asthma symptoms in certain individuals. The severity of the symptoms may vary from person to person, but  it usually includes congestion, sneezing, runny nose, chest tightness, itching, watery eyes, rashes and more. For these people that suffer severe allergies, breathing pet dander and allergens can lead to all those symptoms and even asthma.

What is Pet Dander?

Pet dander is composed of tiny flecks of skin shed. Because these particles are so lightweight, they can remain suspended in the air for long periods of time and will stick to your furniture, bedding and carpets, making dander easy to spread around your home. Pets also bring pollen, dust and other common pollutants from outside, aggravating symptoms for allergy sufferers.

How Can Pet Owners Control Air Quality at Home?

If you are extremely sensitive to these types of allergens, you should know by now that it may not be a good idea to have pets in the home. However, for many of us, our pets are very important members of our family so taking the right precautions is necessary to maintain good air quality at home.

Keep pets out of bedrooms and not allowing them on furniture, especially upholstery, may be a good way to start. Avoid carpeting rooms if possible and do not allow dust to accumulate on surfaces by constantly vacuuming or dusting the home. Finally, make sure you use a high quality air filter with superior air filtration and efficiency so pet allergens are properly captured and do not return to your air. For people with chronic allergies, we recommend a MERV 11 filter or higher to trap as much allergens as possible. You will also need to change your filter regularly to maintain maximum efficiency and better air quality.

 


What Is A MERV Rating? Which Is Right for You?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value – it is designed to allow consumers to easily compare the performance from one filter to another. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles (dust, smoke, allergens, pet hair, etc) your filter will remove from the air.
From standard to allergen-busting filters, matching the right MERV rating to your needs will make breathing at home easier for you and your family. Below is a breakdown on what different MERV Ratings can do:

MERV 6: Standard Air Filters

MERV 6 fiberglass disposable filters are a low cost solution if you are on a budget. They will help fight dust, dust mites, lint and pollen but they must be changed every 30 days to maintain ideal efficiency.

MERV 8: Premium Filters

MERV 8 Filters are an ideal upgrade from standard disposable filters and provide a significant impact on the quality of air you breath at home. MERV 8 premium filters help fight, dust and lint, dust mites, pollen and they last up to 90 days.

MERV 11 Filters: Recommended for Per Owners

Our pets are important members of our family but pet dander can activate allergies and make breathing difficult. MERV 11 pleated filters offer significantly higher particulate efficiency. They capture airborne particles/allergens between 1 and 10 microns and are just what pet owners need to improve air quality at home. These filters last up to 90 Days.

MERV 13 Filters: Recommended for Allergies and Asthma

Suffer from allergies or have asthma symptoms? MERV 13 filters are over 30-times more efficient at capturing micro particles than ordinary fiberglass filters, these filters capture airborne particles/allergens less than 1 microns in size. These filters will last up to 90 days and are great at capturing micro allergens, smog and virus carriers to help make breathing at home much easier.

To learn more about MERV ratings or if you are ready to buy your filter, visit Air Filters Delivered