Air Filters: Everything You Need To Know

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Most people know how important their HVAC system is to their home comfort, but many people don’t realize how important the air filters are to the system – and to their health. With so many trees here in the Modesto Central Valley, this naturally comes with a higher amount of allergens, types of pollens, etc. All of these from outside eventually make their way into your home, through the intake vents. This makes Modesto Area HVAC needs especially important.

The truth is, your HVAC system is only as good as the filters used to filtrate the air. That’s because without these filters being clean, clear and able to do their jobs, your HVAC system will actually struggle and even suffer. This brings in more of the junk from outside. Additionally, if the filter can’t push air through a clean filter, they could break down and cause wear and tear, not to mention the impacts dirty air filters have on your health.

This results in increased symptoms of allergies, and reactions to smoke, odors, and pollutants.

Why Air Filters Are Important

Air filters help by removing small particles from the air as well as toxins. Things like dirt, debris, dust, pollen, dander, and hair. Clean filters also help prevent disease and sickness by reducing the number of mold and mildew spores from adhering to your central AC unit, causing us to become sick.

Regularly replacing your air filters can also help cut down on the costs associated with running an HVAC system. That’s because as mentioned earlier, dirty filters actually cause your unit to strain. Dirty filters restrict airflow through an air conditioning unit’s intake vents, which causes it to work harder to keep your home comfortable.

As this happens, the unit works harder to keep up the same efficiency, which ultimately actually lowers efficiency. This is why keeping clean air filters saves you money; through better HVAC efficiency.

Replacing your air or furnace filter is easy, and something that can be done by yourself. If you’d rather have us come out and replace them for you, we certainly can, as well as helping you select top quality filters that do an even better job.

Ensuring that your filter fits properly in your HVAC system means making sure that you have not only the right length and width, but also the thickness of your filter.

Most standard air filters are between one and two inches in thickness, although high quality filters will be even thicker, such as media filters which are typically 3 to 5 inches thick.

Why Thickness and MERV Rating Matter

A minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) is an industry-standard method used by air conditioning manufacturers to rate their filter media.The rating system goes from 1 to 20.

The higher the MERV rating is, the smaller the particles the filter can trap and keep you from breathing in. This leads to less particles and better indoor air quality. If you have asthma or allergies it’s recommended to get a filter with a MERV rating of at least 13-14. For even more comprehensive filtering power, you can consider getting a filter with a MERV rating of 17 – which quality them as high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. These filters can remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns in size.


Air filters can not only save you money by increasing the efficiency of your unit, they can also keep you healthy and comfortable. For more information about the many types of air filters and who they best serve, contact us today and we’d be more than happy to help you.

Rick Falke

Rick Falke

Rick Falke is a Central Valley HVAC Contractor with over 50 years of experience in the industry. A 2nd generation HVAC Owner, Operator, and Technician, he owns WallyFalke’s Heating & Air Conditioning in Turlock, California where they provide high-quality HVAC installations in the Modesto, Merced, Manteca and surrounding areas.

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