Frequently Asked Questions about HVAC Filters

One of the most important parts of your HVAC system is your filter. It helps catch dirt within your system to reduce wear and tear and can help keep the air in your home cleaner as well. With this in mind, it is important to do your research when it comes to choosing and maintaining the filter. To help you out, Worcester HVAC in Montgomery County is here to help with answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. 

Which One Should I Get?

The first question you will likely have is which filter to get. There are multiple types and many different MERV ratings. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value. MERV ratings help you compare filters across different brands and tells you the size of particles each filter can stop. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particle. However, it is worth noting that the average home does not require a 20 MERV rating. This rating is generally reserved for hospitals and clean rooms. The general Worcester home should have a MERV rating between 7 and 12. 

Where Is It Located? 

The next thing you need to know is where the filter is located. This way you can install it and take it out to clean or replace it. This part can be a little tricky as it is not always located in the same place. However, there are some common places you can look for it. A good place to look is on the air handler near where the return duct is attached. There is generally a slot where the filter slips in. If it is not there, you can check behind the return air grill on the wall of your Worcester home. It is also worth noting that some homes have multiple filters. If you still can find the filter, contact the professionals at Worcester HVAC for help. 

How Often Should I Change or Clean It? 

Some filters will need to be completely replaced regularly while others need to be cleaned. Depending on what type of filter you have, this will need to be done at regular intervals. The standard 1” filter will need to be changed every month. However, the amount of dirt in your home can affect this interval. It is best to simply check the filter on a monthly basis. When the filter is covered in dust,  it is time to change or clean it. 

How Do I Clean a Reusable Air Filter?  

Reusable filters can be taken out, cleaned, and reinstalled rather than completely replaced. To clean one you can start by vacuuming off or brushing off the top layer of dust. Then you can use a hose to rinse it off further. Be sure to use gentle settings so that you don’t break the fibers that trap the dirt. You also want to make sure the filter is completely dry before reinstalling it. Otherwise, it can attract mold and mildew. 

How Do I Install It? 

Finally, you will want to reinstall the filter. Start by turning off your air conditioner or furnace, and then locate where the filter goes. Next, remove the access panels and slide the filter in. Make sure the filter is facing the right way. Generally, there is a sticker or logo that tells you which way the air should flow. If there are any attachments or tools to hold your filter in place, attach them as well. Finally, put the access panels back in place and turn on your HVAC system again. 

More Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns that were not covered here, please contact the professionals at Worcester HVAC for help. You can do so here: You can also call Worcester HVAC at 610-287-HEAT. By improving your knowledge of filters you can help your HVAC system run efficiently so your family can be comfortable.

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