Carolina Climate Control Blog: Archive for the ‘Indoor Air Quality’ Category

3 Signs That You May Have A Mold Problem In Your Home In Charleston (And What To Do About It)

Friday, April 29th, 2022

In case you missed it Charleston was just named the best city in North America and second best city in the entire world by Travel+Leisure magazine.

So what’s not to love about Charleston and the Lowcountry? Well, due to the temperature and humidity it’s also a hotbed for mold creation in homes. Here are 3 signs of mold you should watch out for and what could happen if you don’t get it remedied.

1. Something Smells… Strange

One of the first signs of mold is if you can occasionally smell a foul odor in parts of your home. Several forms of mold may not be visible because it can live inside walls, under carpet and behind wallpaper. This can cause you to believe that the smell originates elsewhere, but mold may be the cause in many circumstances.

2. Visible Mold Signs

Mold can grow in a variety of different colors, but most mold you’ll find in homes will be black, dark-grey, dark-green or even grey-green. Often mistaken for dirt, if you see small black/dark spots of appearing on walls, sometimes ceilings and air vents, this is very likely mold growth. Visible signs of mold growth can also mean you have a larger mold growth somewhere else in your home.

An indirect visible sign of mold that happens often in Charleston is if you notice your wood floors buckling or bowing. They may be subtle bends and gradual bowing, but this could be the start of a larger mold issue.

3. Unknown Sources of Health Issues

Do you find yourself feeling better if you are away from your home? When you are home, do you find yourself strangely fatigued with a headache and loss of concentration, muscle/joint pain, sinus pains or itchy rashes? If yes, then you may have a mold problem you don’t know about yet that is causing you to be ill.

Mold Solution: Keep The Moisture Out

Indoor air quality can have major affects on your health with one of the leading causes being mold in your home. Symptoms may start small, but over time can lead to long term and more severe health issues.

So what’s to be done about this mold issue? Mold can grow almost anywhere given the proper conditions of having oxygen and moisture. For obvious reasons we can’t do much about oxygen, but we can stifle mold growth by preventing moisture in your home. Moisture can come from past flooding, water leaks from plumbing or your roof and especially high humidity areas of your home.

Keeping your air conditioning working properly is one way to keep the humidity down in your home. It’s not a cure-all, but it definitely goes a long way to keeping moisture at a minimum. Also, air conditioning drain lines should be kept clean and unclogged as well to prevent moisture from collecting in those unseen areas of your home.

Think you may have a mold problem in your home? Feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to review where your mold issues may be coming from and help you get rid of that mold once and for all.

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Protecting Your Home With UV Lights (And Which One Is Best for Your Home)?

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

You know how important it is to protect your home from prowlers with locks, alarms, and security cameras. It’s equally as vital to guard your home against invisible intruders, specifically viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and the byproducts of smoke.

 

 

Don’t let dirty air ruin your indoor comfort any longer. Take a minute and read our guide to the benefits of ultraviolet light. We’ll share a few of our favorite UV light systems.

 

 

 

What’s the Big Deal About Viruses and Bacteria?

 

 

Both bacteria and viruses may contribute to unpleasant encounters with viral and bacterial infections or allergic rhinitis and asthma. You can find both inside your home on surfaces and in the air.

 

 

Bacteria and viruses also like to lurk inside heating and cooling systems. They collect in the ductwork and vents. Running your furnace or air conditioner can release them into the indoor air.

 

 

It’s not only viruses and bacteria that impact indoor air quality.

 

 

 

Other Contaminants In the Air You Breathe

 

 

According to the EPA, cigarette smoke is a source of high levels of indoor air pollution. It can lead to “sick building syndrome.” You might experience headaches and dizziness when you’re in rooms with smoky air for extended periods.

 

 

Mold is another common source of indoor air pollution. The presence of mold inside your home can lead to allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and infections. 

 

 

UV lights can help control and perhaps even eliminate contaminants in your home, improving indoor quality.

 

 

 

Ultraviolet Light: A Powerful Solution

 

 

During the current global health crisis, many people developed an interest in ultraviolet light to kill germs on porous surfaces, such as envelopes and grocery items. Ultraviolet light can also kill germs inside your heating and cooling system.

 

 

Ultraviolet lights for your HVAC system are also called “germicidal UV.” When properly installed by a qualified HVAC technician, UV lights can protect your home from dangerous contaminants that contribute to poor air quality.

 

 

Warm indoor air temperatures and humidity make a welcoming environment for viruses, bacteria, and mold spores. UV lights placed inside your HVAC system reduce the populations of these contaminants.

 

 

Every ultraviolet light system is different. Some will better protect your family than others. You’ll want to consider which type of UV lamp you select to ensure you maximize the level of protection.

 

 

Find out what type of ultraviolet lamp would work best for you by reading the next section.

 

 

 

Ultraviolet Lights for HVAC Systems

 

 

At this time, there are two types of UV designed for HVAC Systems. One handles focuses on coil sterilization, the other sterilizes moving air.

 

 

Coil sterilization uses a stick-type light installed inside a return air duct. This type of UV light targets dirty coils—the culprit responsible for dirty sock syndrome. Coil UV lights are the most commonly used ultraviolet lights.

 

 

Your HVAC technician may determine air sterilization is the best option. In that case, they will install the ultraviolet light unit in the return air duct. This type of light cycles with the air handler blower.

 

 

Before installing home UV lights, you’ll need to have an indoor air quality evaluation. The evaluation identifies any existing problems with your air ducts and other components of your HVAC system.

 

 

 

Best UV Lights to Protect Your Home

 

 

Once you research the benefits of UV lights, you’re ready to determine the best UV lights for your specific HVAC system and your budget. Also, since you want to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold spores, you’ll want a light that emits the maximum UV radiation.

 

 

Need More Information?

 

 

Cleaner ducts and healthier air protect your home and keep your family healthy and safe. Ultraviolet lights help by killing off mold spores, bacteria found in dirty ducts, viruses carried through air systems.

 

 

Contact the team at Carolina Climate Control today for more information on the benefits of UV lights. We’re happy to answer questions and help you select the best UV light options for your home. We can also put together an estimate for any other HVAC services you may need.

 

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How Often Should I Change My HVAC Air Filter? (And More Filter Questions Answered)

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Are you about to install an HVAC system in your new home? Or are you looking to update your old one? No matter the circumstance, you need regular HVAC maintenance.

Among the many different parts that make up an HVAC system, the air filter is one that plays a crucial role. The air filter helps clean the air that circulates through your HVAC system.

Unfortunately, 82% of Americans fail to change their air filters regularly. This results in a myriad of problems that affect both the HVAC system and your health.

Hence, the question — how often should you clean or replace your HVAC air filter?

Continue reading below as we discuss changing air filters and other common questions.

 

The HVAC Air Filter: How Often Should You Change It?

How often should you change an HVAC air filter? There is no exact answer to this question because of certain factors. Replacing your air filters depend on the type of filter you’re using.

If you use affordable fiberglass filters, you need to change them every month. You can go for slightly more expensive pleated filters which can last up to six months before replacement.

The size of your filter also matters as well as the number of people in your household. If someone in your home is asthmatic, you should replace your air filters more often.

Therefore, if you’re using pleated filters, replace them every six weeks if someone in the family is asthmatic. If you have pets, you should change your air filters roughly every two months.

 

What Happens If You Don’t Change It?

As we mentioned earlier, failing to replace your air filters can lead to problems. What if you don’t consistently start changing air filters?

A common issue is that your AC will have to work harder to achieve the indoor temperature you want. This is because all the dirt, dust, and debris in the air filter will restrict airflow through the HVAC. As a result, you can expect your monthly energy bills to soar.

In line with the HVAC’s performance, a dirty filter will also affect your comfort. Your HVAC system may struggle until it no longer gives acceptable heating or cooling.

Failing to replace your air filters can also lead to them collapsing. All the dust and debris will accumulate after months of zero replacements. In turn, the dust will build up and create a load that may be too much for the filters to handle. When your air filters collapse, they may create gap. With that gap, air will just move around without getting any filtering.

In some cases, they can even damage other parts of your HVAC. This may lead to hundreds of dollars dedicated for repairs.

 

Health Concerns

Apart from the impact on your HVAC, failing to change your air filters can also pose health hazards. For starters, your family will experience poor indoor temperature. This is something you shouldn’t take for granted, especially during summer and winter.

You may also see more dirt inside your home. If your child is asthmatic, the dust can trigger asthma attacks.

You may experience frequent sneezing and coughing. This may be due to the dust and contaminants coming out from the HVAC. This may come with accompanying headaches, dizziness, and itchy eyes.

When it comes to long-term effects, you may develop various respiratory diseases. In some extreme cases, people develop heart disease and even cancer. Long-term exposure to poor indoor air quality can greatly affect your health.

 

What’s Your Next Move?

When dealing with old and ineffective air filters, there is no better move than to replace them ASAP. To do this, you must first identify the specific filters that need replacing. You can do this manually by opening up your HVAC system.

However, you may not have the right tools and experience. You may also be too busy or you don’t feel too confident tinkering with your air conditioners. In this case, your best bet is to call a trusted HVAC professional.

Consider replacing your old air filters with a different filter type. If you’re using the cheap fiberglass filters, upgrade to the pleated filters that last longer.

If you wish to take things to the next level, you should look into products offering air purification. One excellent example is the HALO-LED Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifier. This product works as your proactive air-conditioned treatment.

The in-duct air purifier treats and cleanses every cubic inch of space that your AC covers. It uses the REME-LED technology that effectively reduces all sorts of airborne contaminants.

Apart from dust and allergens, it reduces molds, bacteria, viruses, and smoke odors in the air. As for the other features, it comes with automatic self-cleaning ionizers. It also has unlimited cycling capabilities.

 

More Tips to Boost Indoor Air Quality

On top of replacing your old air filters, you need to incorporate these practices in your home. Firstly, try to limit your plants outdoors as much as you can. Keeping plants indoors contributes to mold formation.

Try to keep your house as clean as possible. Vacuum your rugs and carpets regularly. Do this once or twice a week. Make sure to use a vacuum cleaner that comes with a HEPA filter.

Clear your rooms of clutter. This is one of the fastest ways to trap dust and other particles indoors.

Make sure you clean and replace your drapes and bedding regularly.

 

Let’s Change Your Air Filters, Today!

Knowing when to replace your air filter is an important part of HVAC maintenance. It ensures your HVAC system’s top-notch performance and saves you from spending. This includes repairs and medication.

If changing air filters is something you cannot perform, we can provide a helping hand. We can replace and install a new HVAC air filter and save you from the trouble. Request an estimate and let’s work on your HVAC, today!

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How To Tell If Your Lowcountry Home’s Indoor Air Quality Is Below Standard

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Indoor air quality is one of the most important aspects of a home, but it’s not something most actively think about.  People spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, so it’s essential to have the best air quality possible.

What problems do you need to look out for? What can you do to improve the quality of air in your home?

 

What Impacts Air Quality in the Home?

Indoor air quality is how we measure how clean or polluted the air in any given space is. Outdoors, it is much easier to tell when air quality is poor. You may notice an odor or even see particles floating in the air. Weather apps often let you know when the quality is poor, making it easy to plan to avoid less-than-ideal air conditions.

Air quality is slightly harder to identify in the home, especially as we spend so much time indoors and gradually become “nose blind” to any smells that may indicate poor air quality.

Indoor air quality is impacted by a wide variety of factors, including the following.

  • Appliances
  • Home building materials
  • Open windows and doors
  • Moisture
  • Dust
  • Lack of airflow

Any or all of these can be factors if you suspect the quality of air in your home to be decreasing.

 

Dangers of Poor Air Quality

Poor air quality might seem like a small issue, but over time this can cause major, sometimes life-threatening, problems. Common pollutants include pollen, mold, dust, lead, asbestos, carbon monoxide, pesticides, smoke, pet hair, and other airborne allergens.

Anyone living in a home with poor air quality is potentially in danger. However, the elderly, the very young, and those with compromised immune systems are especially susceptible. People who suffer from asthma and other cardio-respiratory illnesses are more likely to suffer from a lack of quality air.

Symptoms may be mild and result in a small headache or eye irritation. If left untreated, poor air quality may cause cancer in some extreme cases.

 

Common Signs of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Now that we know about the dangers of living in a home with poor air quality, it’s important to be able to identify common signs that the quality is less than ideal.

 

1. Unpleasant Smell

Have you ever walked into your home after a few hours away and noticed a less-than-pleasant smell? Does the air feel stagnant and stale? Pest infestations, debris buildup in ducts or drains, stagnant air, and dust on surfaces can all cause undesirable smells.

If your home’s air systems are working well air should be flowing and constantly circulating around the home. This helps reduce the possibility of moisture buildup and prevents unpleasant smells.

Want a simple trick to tell if your air is circulating properly? If you can still smell last night’s dinner you cooked a day later, you need to get your system checked.

 

2. Cold Symptoms That Linger

Poor air quality symptoms are often misdiagnosed as a cold or flu. Symptoms including coughing, sneezing, runny nose, irritated eyes or throat, and dizziness are also indicators of poor air quality.

Write your symptoms down and take note of how long they last. If these symptoms linger for a week or more, it might not be a cold you’re suffering from. It’s important to pay attention to where they are the most severe.

Are your symptoms better when you leave the house? Are they worse in the morning after spending all night breathing polluted air? Or are your symptoms worse at work? You need to know where your symptoms get triggered to determine whether it’s your home’s air quality or somewhere else.

 

3. Dust Buildup Around Vents

Take a close look at the air vents around your home. Is there a layer of dust on any or all of them? You may also notice a layer of dust on nearby surfaces. This is a common indicator the level of air pollutants is high in your home.

Next, you’ll want to check the air system’s filter. If dust accumulates heavily one month after replacing it, you probably have a higher-than-normal amount of dust and other pollutants in your home.

Unfortunately, if you have dust buildup, you might also experience mold buildup, especially if your air is stagnant. Air that doesn’t circulate well often holds more moisture and can create conditions that invite mold and mildew to invade.

 

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Even the cleanest of people experience poor indoor air quality. Whenever you suspect this is happening, it’s best to check for the above signs. Once you establish that you do in fact have this problem, there are several things you should do as soon as possible.

 

Get Your Ducts Inspected

The simplest way to tell if you have clogged air ducts is with an inspection conducted by professionals. When you notice dust accumulation, stale air, or dirty filters, schedule an inspection to get to the root of the problem as quickly as possible.

 

Invest in Effective Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are an effective solution for cleaning the air inside homes or businesses. They sanitize the air of pollutants including pollen, allergens, and toxins. There are many different types to choose from based on your needs.

In-duct air purifiers clean the air from the source inside your system while LED air purifiers use light to eliminate pollutants. No matter which type you choose, you can use this tool to keep the air in your home much cleaner without having to lift a finger.

 

Replace Filters Often

To stay ahead of any problems, it’s best to check your filters once a month. This allows you to notice when the filters need changing and when it may be time for your system to be cleaned by a professional.

 

Do You Feel More Prepared?

Staying safe and healthy is a number one priority, especially during these unprecedented times. Keeping your indoor air quality clean is essential. If you think your house will benefit from a professional cleaning, schedule a consultation with a local heating and air company today.

Need other HVAC upgrades or repairs? Don’t hesitate to reach out with any other questions or concerns relating your heating and air conditioning system.

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What Is An Ultraviolet Air Purifier? (And Do They Work?)

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many area homeowners and business owners are looking at more advanced ways of keeping their homes and businesses safe from airborne pathogens.

One of those advanced methods of air purification many are now researching are ultraviolet light (UV) air purification.

UV light air purifying technology has been around for some time now, but with the recent uptick in questions involving this technology below is a quick rundown of how it works, the pros and cons of using UV light air purification and a highly recommended model for Lowcountry residents.

 

How UV Air Purifiers Work

As the name suggests, ultraviolet air purifiers use ultraviolet light to damage the DNA of airborne pathogens like bacteria, viruses and mold — causing them to self-destruct, making them harmless.

This is a similar process that occurs when you get a sunburn at the beach. UV light from the sun damages the DNA in your skin cells, which causes redness and swelling.

When installed in your heating, ventilating and cooling system’s ductwork, air is forced through the UV air purifier before being pushed into your home or business, thus purifying nearly every cubic inch of air that passes through your system and helping reduce those airborne pathogens.

 

Pros & Cons Of UV Air Purifiers

The biggest advantage of installing a UV air purifier has to be the ability to reduce and/or help eliminate different airborne contaminants, simply by installing one in your home’s HVAC system. While your home’s built-in air filtration can help eliminate things like dust and other larger particles, working together with an ultraviolet purifier adds that extra layer of protection that many homeowners are now seeking.

One cause for concern with UV air purifiers is that they can produce ozone, which is harmful for humans when exposed to high levels.

Many UV air purifier manufacturers have accounted for this ozone production by improving technology using various methods to reduce — and as you’ll see below — nearly eliminate any ozone production.

 

What Is The Best UV Air Purifier?

A few weeks ago we reviewed some general air purifying basics, and included brief description of the HALO-LED Whole Home In-Duct Air Purifier, which still stands as one of the most requested air purifiers we currently install.

The biggest reason for this being the HALO-LED’s highly effective air purifying, UV technology — that is both mercury-free (many other UV light purifiers use mercury lamps to produce UV light) and is zero ozone compliant. This means that you can get some of the highest level of air purifying technology without any of the usual byproducts produced by many other air purifiers.

We sincerely hope that you stay safe and healthy for as long as this pandemic lasts, but if you have any questions about air purification for your home or business in Charleston, feel free to contact us today.

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How Air Purifiers Work And Why The HALO-LED Model May Be The Best One Yet

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

A few weeks ago we touched on a few quick, simple ways to improve the indoor air quality in your Lowcountry home, with one of those ways being the installation of a whole-home air purifier.

In this week’s post we’re going to dig into a little more detail on air purifying technology, the latest innovations in the indoor air quality industry and give you a quick rundown on the HALO-LED model by RGF Environmental Group.

Different Types Of Air Purifiers: Passive vs. Active

Air purifiers generally come in two different styles: active or passive.

Passive air purifying technology you’ll probably be much more familiar with, with the primary example being your home’s air filter in your HVAC system.

In today’s post, though, we’ll be focusing on active air purifying technologies. The “active” part of this technology refers to the air purifier using more advanced technology to go on the offensive — in a sense — against indoor air pollutants.

Active air purifiers use a few different types of technology to remove particles from the air, with ionizers and ozone generators being some of the more commonly used types.

Ozone vs. Ionizing Air Filters

Ozone generators have many industrial and commercial air and water cleaning applications, as they create ozone molecules that interact with air pollutants, producing a chemical reaction which neutralizes those pollutants.

However, with ozone also coming with certain health risks, manufacturers and consumers tend to lean toward ionizing air purifiers.

Ionizing air purifiers use technology to charge the particles in the air, making them stick to nearby surfaces or specialized plates which then neutralize them via a variety of methods.

What Makes The HALO-LED Model Different

Even though ionizing air purifiers are generally a bit safer to use than ozone generators, they still can indirectly product the harmful ozone mentioned above.

What sets the HALO-LED model apart is effectiveness in producing the desired oxidizing effects and particle neutralization while being zero ozone compliant or producing any other harmful byproduct.

This is done using UV light technology coupled with self-cleaning ionizers, which work in combination to reduce airborne and surface microbial, bacteria, viruses, mold, odors allergens, dust and more indoor air pollutants.

The HALO-LED also conveniently fits into your existing ductwork, working in combination with your HVAC system to effectively treat every cubic inch of air conditioned space in your Lowcountry home.

Air purifying technology and studies have come a long way over the years, and with RGF’s HALO-LED whole-home in-duct model, it’s taken another large leap forward.

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5 Quick, Simple Ways To Improve The Indoor Air Quality In Your Lowcountry Home

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations — a fact that can be somewhat upsetting given that most of us spend a large percentage of our time indoors.

If left untreated, pollutants and allergens in your indoor air like dust, mold, pet dander, lead, ozone, pesticides, cleaning chemical compounds and more can end up in our bodies and can ultimately lead to various health defects (asthma & other respiratory diseases) in many cases.

Unfortunately, here in the Lowcountry some of these indoor air quality cases can be compounded by our year-round humidity levels and our extended time indoors escaping the summertime heat.

Fortunately, though, listed below are 5 simple ways that you can quickly improve your Lowcountry home’s air quality and help fend off those pollutants.

1. Vacuum, Mop Regularly & Use A Floor Mat

Many of your home’s indoor air pollutants and allergens can end up settling in your home’s various dust particles, so keeping things tidy by vacuuming — then mopping — can help keep those allergen-filled dust particles from ending up in your body.

Your floor mats aren’t just for decoration, either. Many of the outdoor pollutants and dust particles can become indoor pollutants quickly when people track them into your house, so adding a few around your home’s entrances can help collect those before they make their way into your home. (And remember to clean those mats regularly as well.)

2. Keep Indoor Humidity Down

Nobody likes their home’s air to be muggy and full of moisture. It’s not only uncomfortable to live in, but also creates a breeding ground for mold, dust mites and other indoor air pollutants. Most Lowcountry homes are already equipped with built-in humidity reducers: air conditioners (or heat pumps).

Even with an air conditioner installed, however, if it is not sized or configured correctly you can end up with more moisture in your home than you would want, so be sure to keep track of humidity levels even when your system is running the most.

3. Change Your Air Filters Regularly

Your HVAC system’s air filters are a vital defense against indoor air pollutants, but if they’re not changed or cleaned regularly those air pollutants can settle in your ductwork and even build up on the wrong side of your air filter.

Both of those situations can wreak havoc on your home’s indoor air quality which is the opposite effect of your air filter’s purpose.

On top of this, a clogged up air filter can cause your HVAC system to run inefficiently — something that can drive up your monthly energy bill.

4. Sign Up For An Annual HVAC Maintenance Plan

More of an indirect way of improving indoor air quality, but having an experienced, local HVAC company come out a few times a year to inspect your system can help you catch any unwanted sources of indoor air pollutants coming from your system.

An annual maintenance plan can also help you catch the humidity or air filter issues mentioned above as well, so be sure to ask your heating and air company in Charleston about their maintenance plans and rates.

5. Install A Whole-Home, In-Duct Air Purifier

While the above listed air quality-improvement steps above can go a long way toward making your indoor air quality better, something more homeowners in Charleston are adding are whole-home in-duct air purifiers like the HALO-LED™ In-Duct Air Purifier into their HVAC system.

These types of air filters use advanced filtration, ultra-violet (UV) technology to remove airborne contaminants from your home’s air. They’re installed directly into the ductwork of your HVAC system and turn on automatically when your system kicks on, ensuring nearly every cubic inch of air in your home gets treated.

We hope you take the steps to make your home and family’s indoor air quality better this year and if you follow the above listed ways, you’ll be well on your way to a better air quality this year.

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HVAC Explained: What Is The Best Air Filter Choice For Your Heating & Air Conditioning System?

Friday, January 5th, 2018

Air filters may be one of the most neglected, often forgotten components in residential HVAC systems here in Charleston.

It’s easy to overlook air filters as they quietly do their job unseen in most cases.

Despite this understandable overlooking though, air filters play a vital role in both indoor air quality and overall HVAC system performance.

Air Filters & Air Quality

The EPA lists indoor air quality as one of its top environmental health risks, so understanding the relationship between your HVAC system’s air filter and your home’s air quality shouldn’t be overstated.

We’ll get into more detail below about air filter ratings & types, but since most of the air in our homes here in the Lowcountry pass through your air conditioning or heating system, the air filters you choose can ultimately decide how good (or bad) your home’s air quality is.

Air Filters & HVAC Efficiency

We’ve stated the role air filters play in system efficiency & lifespan in several blog posts over the years, so we’ll be brief here.

If your air filters are clogged with dust & debris, this will result in buildup in your ductwork and sometimes even back to the main unit itself. This clogging means your system has to work harder to push air through it, resulting in overworking. This overworking will drive up your energy bills and ultimately can shorten the lifespan of your system.

Air Filter Ratings & Types

To help end users of air filters, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) created the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV rating. The MERV rating essentially allows users to see how effective air filters are at capturing particles that pass into it.

MERV ratings range from 1 (lowest effectiveness) to 20 (highest) which take into account three main characteristics:

  • Ability to remove particles
  • Air flow resistance
  • Air filter operating lifespan

To get a better sense of the rating system, let’s look at some of the more common air filter types and their associated MERV ratings.

Fiberglass Air Filters Charleston SCDisposable Fiberglass
(1 to 4 typical MERV rating)Pros: Inexpensive, good for protecting HVAC components (less air flow resistance)

Cons: Not great at cleaning air

Pleated Air Filters Charleston SCDisposable Pleated
(5 to 13 typical MERV Rating, up to 16 for high efficiency types)Pros: Pleated material increases filter efficiency lowered air resistance for HVAC system

Cons: Less efficent than HEPA for the smallest particles

HEPA Air Filters Charleston SC

HEPA
(17 to 20 typical)

Pros: Top of the charts as far as filtering all types of particles

Cons: Most are too large for residential systems, restrict air flow which could result in overworking your HVAC system

Washable Air Filters Charleston SC

Washable/Reusable
(1 to 4 typical)

Pros: Longer lifespan of filter use, durability

Cons: Requires frequent cleaning & needs time to dry to prevent germ/mold buildup, more expensive, not great at cleaning air


So What is the The Best Air Filter Then?

As with choosing the best HVAC system for your home in Charleston, selecting the best air filter can be a challenge. There are tradeoffs between optimal air filtration, which gives you better air quality and optimal system performance, which keeps your electric bills down and extends your systems lifetime.

Our best bet for a good balance between these two would be the pleated air filter types. However, if you favor better air quality or better system performance, you can choose the air filter type on either end of spectrum to get the results you want.

As always, for more professional tips about air filters and air quality, reach out to your local heating and air conditioning company.

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