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Residing in Sun City for the last 30 years has allowed us to witness quite a bit of change in West Phoenix. Thriving communities have been replacing farmland and desolate desert landscape for some time now. From snowbird visitors to those looking to settle in expanding cities like Surprise and Goodyear, many people are drawn to the Valley of the Sun. But it doesn’t mean the weather is perfect here. Since we lack an abundance of moisture and vegetation, the dust rarely settles in Arizona. In turn, the air quality suffers. While a booger-filled nose can take some getting used to, choosing the best air filter for your Phoenix HVAC system can help.

A dirty, clogged or outdated air filter can be the root of a handful of heating and cooling problems. At the same time, there are a number of maintenance issues that can hinder the efficiency of your HVAC equipment. While it’s extremely advantageous to to use proper filtration, it won’t make a difference if you’re not maintaining your AC unit and furnace. You can easily avoid repair costs and high energy bills by simply ensuring your system is running at maximum efficiency. The best way to do this is to hire a professional HVAC contractor for routine maintenance appointments. $14 per month can save you thousands over time.

Determining the Best Air Filters for Arizona Properties.

If you need to purchase a basic air filter for your home, the good news is they aren’t very expensive. Many homeowners believe the more expensive the filter, the better it’ll filtrate their air. But that’s not always the case. If you want to save money on your energy bill, then the last thing you’ll want to do is make your HVAC system work harder.

For the most part, standard air filters are just fine because they don’t restrict your HVAC system’s airflow as much as higher MERV-rated models. Most heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems will list filtration requirements.

If you still don’t know which one to buy, you can always ask one of our experts which of the below ratings are best for you. Instead of selling you on our products or services, we want to help you keep harmful contaminants outside and your energy costs low. Changing your air filter monthly can extend your air conditioner’s life and help you avoid inconvenient, uncomfortable breakdowns.

Understanding Air Filter MERV Ratings.

Believe it or not, some HVAC contractors believe it’ll cost them business if they share preventative tips with the community. But we see it a different way. It’s important that Phoenix residents are able to trust our services and know they’re always our number one priority. We’ve upheld this stance since 1989 and it has resulted in a 5 star reputation. So you could say we enjoy sharing information.

With that in mind, let’s expand a little on MERV ratings (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values) and what they mean. Hopefully it’ll help you confidently select the best air filter for your Phoenix HVAC system.

1. Basic MERV 1-4 Air Filters

As a rule of thumb, the lower the number the more likely the HVAC air filter is for a smaller system. Most manufacturers produce 1-4 MERV rated air filters for the purpose of capturing large particles like dirt, mites, textile fiber, sawdust and pest droppings. Most are made especially for window heating and cooling units and they tend to allow a number of pollutants into your home.

Window units not only take up a lot of unnecessary space, they’re also unsightly to the eye. But if you’re using a window unit and its 1-4 rated MERV air filter, you’re not going to keep much outside. In addition to exposing the home to contaminants, you’re basically letting hot, unfiltered air in through the gaps between the units and the walls.

If you live in Phoenix then you know just how annoying, uncomfortable and costly this can be. In other words, if you’re using this type of air filter then you should really consider investing in the longterm by financing a new heating and cooling system.

2. MERV 5-8 Air Filters

When it comes to most central heating and air conditioning systems in Arizona, most fall within the MERV 5-8 range. They’re purposed to can catch dust, insect parts, and pet dander as well as other larger particles that you honestly don’t want indoors. As long as you have your ductwork and the rest of your HVAC system maintained regularly, these types of air filters should help you and your family avoid asthma or allergy symptoms in addition to bad smells from biological growth.

If you want to make sure you use top of the line filtration products and avoid overworking your equipment, then using a MERV 8 air filter will be just fine. Either way, any filter within this range is going to be ideal for most properties in Arizona that don’t require highly filtrated air.

3. MERV 9-12 Air Filters

These types of air filters focus on providing additional comfort by catching some bacteria, biologic spores and mites while helping property owners reduce odors. They’re ideal for people who are sensitive to allergens or have breathing issues. We see them the most in care facilities or in the homes of older generations. A lot of our customers in Sun City benefit from 12 rated filters.

While higher ratings increase blockage, they shouldn’t affect the performance or efficiency of a home HVAC system. But small systems may need to be tested.  As always, it’s always a great idea to have an AC professional stop by and check everything out. The filters won’t make much of a difference if your system is malfunctioning or underperforming. Besides, the assurance will easily be worth it over time.

4. MERV 13-16 HEPA Air Filters

Not all filtration supplies can be used at home. 13-16 rated MERV air filters are generally made to only be used in commercial HVAC systems, like hospitals or care facilities. You could say there is more of a demand for these in Phoenix, Arizona. Also known as HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, they stop a multitude of bacteria, viruses and even particulates of smoke from passing into commercial properties or treatment centers.

Unless you’re invested in a certain heating and cooling system for respiratory or other health concerns, most residential HVAC systems are not able to handle HEPA filters. If you’d like to double check, we’re only a phone call away. If you live in the Sun City Grand area, then we’re right around the corner!

Want to Learn More About HVAC Air Filters?

Canyon State Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing is a Trane Comfort Specialist with more than 30 years of experience. We can help you determine the best air filter for your home based on your HVAC system manufacturer’s recommendations. Doing so will keep the property performing at a high level while enhancing comfort and improving your indoor air quality.

Feel free to give us a call anytime at 623-201-5118 and expect honest, friendly service from our expert technicians. Image provided by Shutterstock

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