Archive for August, 2017

Most homeowners understand what air filters are and what their purpose is for indoor air quality, but when it comes to deciding which air filter you and your home needs, the options can be dizzying. Which is the best quality? Does price mater? What size do you need? Air filters don’t need to be as mystifying as rocket science, so we’ve laid out some important details to simplify the air filter decision process.

How do I know if I need a new air filter?
There’s a simple test that you can do right outside your home to determine how efficient your current filter is and see if you need to buy a new one or not. You can either complete this test outdoors or with something below your filter so you won’t have a mess afterward: Hold the filter horizontally and pour standard table salt through the filter. If some or all the salt falls through the filter, then you can bet that the filter will let salt-sized dust through, as well. The more salt that falls through your filter, the sooner you should upgrade your filter to something more efficient.

How do I choose a filter with the best material and rating for my HVAC system?
All air filters are rated in efficiency based on the MERV rating, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV ratings range from 1–16 and the number rating tells homeowners how well the filter is designed to trap dust and dirt under the least efficient conditions. Here are some of the typical materials of air filters, their MERV ratings and how they correspond to efficiencies (these are only a guide and any further questions can be answered by our Climate Zone professionals to help you determine the best air filter for your home):

Fiberglass, Disposable Panel, Washable Metal/Synthetic, Self-Charging (Passive)
MERV 1–4: 60–80% average filtration efficiency

Pleated, Media Panel, Cube
MERV 5–8: 80–95% average filtration efficiency

Extended Pleated
MERV 9–12: >95% average filtration efficiency

Electronic
MERV 13–16: >98% average filtration efficiency

While a higher MERV rating may seem like it provides the best filtration efficiency, it’s important to be careful with high MERV ratings. The higher the MERV ratings, the more expensive it usually is to operate your HVAC system and the harder your system will have to work because there is not as much air that can flow through. Think about it this way; the most efficient “filter” would actually be a piece of plywood that would just trap ALL contaminants (and all the air) from entering your home. That’s maximum air filtration, but would also be the least comfortable way to go.

We usually recommend a MERV 6–8, but there may be reasons this isn’t the best type of filter for your home. For instance, if a member of your family suffers from allergies or respiratory problems, you may want to consider a higher MERV rated air filter or a whole-home air filtration system. Our Climate Zone experts in Haverhill are happy to talk through this filtration efficiency business with you to make sure that your home is comfortable, energy efficient, clean and not costing you a fortune to heat and cool.

What filter size should I get?
We’ve saved the easiest for last—the best way to determine which size filter you need is to simply look at the label of your existing filter or measure it you can’t find the labeled size. The standard home air filter is 1” thick.

Air filters are supposed to protect our homes and loved ones from harmful pollutants, dust and dirt, so it’s important that we understand all the facts about getting the best air filter for our personal needs. We hope this information has simplified the air filter phenomenon. But, if you have any further questions, feel free to contact the professionals at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone in Haverhill at (978) 872-1190.

Everyone is always looking to save a few bucks no matter what the season is in Haverhill. One of the best ways can be through your HVAC system, which homeowners can often overlook as a viable saving option. Of course you never want to compromise your comfort levels inside your home, but Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone has a few tips on small and large changes you can make to save money on your heating and cooling costs:

  • Schedule annual maintenance – We know we sound like a broken record, but the best way to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and without extra costs is through regularly scheduled maintenance from a professional. An efficiently running system is less likely to give you trouble, therefore saving you money by not having unwanted repair and replacement costs. When your technician comes each year to check your heating and cooling system, make sure to ask how much life they think your unit has left – systems that are more than 10 years old may be costing you more than just buying a newer, more efficient system.
  • Check your registers – a small and easy thing that you can do at any time is checking your air registers, where your warm or cool air is pushed through to enter your home. Make sure that your air registers are clear of any obstructions, including furniture, toys, carpeting, drapes, etc. When your air vents are clear, your system doesn’t have to work as hard to push the air into your home, thus saving energy and some money. Another helpful hint is to partially close the registers in rooms that aren’t occupied as often as others, including guest rooms, bathrooms and closets. Don’t close too many air registers, however, because closing more than about 35% of your registers might cause your system to work harder than it normally would.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat – A programmable thermostat can adjust to your exact heating and cooling needs, instead of just letting your system run all the time, even when no one is home. Most programmable thermostats are digital or WiFi-enabled so you don’t have to worry about continually adjusting the temperature throughout the day. You can set your system to heat or cool your home at certain times when you would like the air colder or warmer. As an added tip for additional money saving, turn down the temperature in your house a few degrees at night during the winter and just add an extra blanket to your bed to make up that additional warmth.

Taking steps to reduce your energy costs will not only benefit your wallet but also the life of your HVAC system. What’s better than lowering your monthly bills while also making a positive change in energy efficiency? If you are interested in learning more about how to save a few bucks with your heating and cooling system or if you would like to learn more about programmable thermostats and how they might benefit your home, give the experts at Climate Zone in Haverhill a call at (978) 872-1190.