They say the two certainties of life are death and taxes. Add to that wind blowing across the plains of West Texas.

That breeze keeps us cooler on summer days. It also swirls a lot of dirt around. We have gorgeous here sunsets in part because of the particulates in the air. It makes for a pretty photo to post on Facebook. Dirt in your cooling and heating system is a different story.

Think of the air filter as your first line of defense. Filters are located on the fresh air intakes. The filter traps particulates, dust and debris allowing the cleaner air to proceed. Obviously, if the filter is too porous or thin it will allow too much dust to go. If the filter is too restrictive, it will make the system work harder to pull air through. Success and balance are found somewhere in the middle.

Filters are graded by what is called the MERV rating. MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value”. The range is numbered 1 to 16 in order of increasing efficiency. For example, a filter with a MERV rating of 1 would be like a screen door. A MERV filter of 16 would trap invisible bacteria. The higher the MERV rating, the more energy and power is required to pull the air through. It’s the difference between sucking soda through a straw and sucking the same soda through a straw packed with cotton.

Your basic fiberglass filters may have a MERV rating of 4 or 5. Pleated filters will have a higher rating and as such, filter more particulates. Hospitals, for example, may use filters with a MERV rating of 14 that are capable of stopping the transfer of infectious disease and bacteria. The highest rated MERV filters can stop particulates the size of 1/300 of a human hair.

For your heating and air conditioning system, a good filter more than pays for itself every month. It keeps dirt away from your coil and condenser, parts of your system that can be costly to clean and repair. Not to mention the cleaner the filter is the cleaner the air will be as it circulates through your home.

Your friends at Sinclair are the best resource to tell you what filter is best for your particular heating and cooling system. Give us a call and we’ll inspect your equipment, make sure everything is clean and running smoothly. Call us today at 806-749-COOL (2665)

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